Workflow software as a Service (SaaS) is a model of software deployment where the workflow server is hosted at the workflow vendor, and the workflow functionality is provided to customers across the internet as a rented service.
The workflow server and the workflow software are run from our web-farm and enable customers to subscribe to the workflow software service without the need to buy hardware, software or pay for costly maintenance.
Under the traditional SaaS model, an application resides at an offsite data centre where the service provider maintains the data, servers and related hardware. End-users access the application remotely via an Internet browser or back-end web servers. The SaaS model is based on a “one-to-many” delivery model whereby an application is shared across clients, providing a minimal level of application customization to avoid major implementation and integration costs. A key premise of this model is that the SaaS provider invests in the technology, hardware and ongoing support services instead of the client. In return, the customer “pays-as-they-go” according to a subscription and Service Level Agreement (SLA) that ensures the customer a specified level of performance and availability. This approach shares risk between the SaaS provider and customer and offers single-source accountability.
Traditionally, the user purchases a workflow software package and license by paying a one-time fee. The workflow software then becomes the property of the customer who made the purchase. Workflow software as a service, on the other hand, does not have licenses. Rather than a single fee, payment for the use of the workflow software is through subscription. The user’s access and use of the workflow software ends when he stops paying subscription fees.
Workflow SaaS is just part of a wider move towards Internet-based automated services.
The infrastructure of the internet enables to cut out much of the location-dependencies that obstruct business. Workflow software used to be installed on each customer computer and had to be installed in the same building as the people that used it. The web removes these constraints.
Advantages for the Customer
Lower Costs. The customer doesn’t need to pay a large upfront licensing fee. They only need to pay recurring subscription fees.
Less Storage and Backups. The customer doesn’t need to store software or data stored on their computers, so they don’t need large data storage facilities. There is also the convenience of not needing to constantly backup data, as storage is our responsibility.
Fewer Personnel. Workflow software as a service reduces the need for specially trained IT staff to handle maintenance, monitoring and software updates. We provide these services.
Savings. The customer saves on hardware, software purchase and updates, support staff, power, security devices, and administration.
The workflow SaaS model is quite different from the licensing model in that large upfront fees, professional services and maintenance costs are replaced by periodic ‘all-in-one’ subscription payments on a monthly or other recurring basis. The trade-off being that SaaS providers have significantly less upfront revenue in exchange for longer-term and more predictable cash flows as a result of a service-based relationship. Many providers find it easier to build a steady revenue stream this way than with traditional software licensing.
BPM and SaaS
BPM Software (BPMS) is now being implemented using the SaaS model where a vendor hosts the workflow engine, the process logic and data in a central location and provides end users access to this data and the software which is run and used over the world-wide web.
PNMsoft is offering workflow software as a service.
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