May 11, 2011

SaaS or Not to Saas? That is the Question when Considering an Enterprise-Wide CRM Solution

Manish Limaye

Manish Limaye

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While, the first blog in this series addressed CRM technology infrastructure, this blog provides guidance on the topic of solution architecture. As with almost all organizations big and small, technology serves as the backbone and delivery vehicle for the realization of business processes influenced by an organization’s culture. To endeavor into an enterprise-wide CRM solution requires careful consideration of key fundamental decisions. To SaaS or not to SaaS? That is the question.

On-Premise or SaaS?

So, what questions drive a decision to go with an on-premise packaged solution? When does it make sense to use a software as a service (SaaS) solution? Chances are if you’re reading this blog you already have several CRM solutions throughout the enterprise at various levels of maturity. Some big, some small, some package, some custom. While SaaS can deliver significant recurring cost savings (e.g., software licenses, support, etc.) it can still be just as costly to customize an on-premise solution for your business, especially when you factor in integrations. A SaaS solution also means that your data is located off-premise, which can be a concern. On the flip side, going with a SaaS solution means you benefit from an entire 3rd party organization dedicated to the development and testing of the software in question. Assuming that the economics make sense, if your current processes can be shoe-horned into a solution geared towards the “lowest common denominator” with minimal customization and technology is not a core competency then go with SaaS. If CRM and how you manage customer relationships represent a true competitive advantage for your business, try or stay with an on-premise packaged solution that can be highly customized to meet your specific process needs and build a center of excellence to provide on-going support.

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