SAAS – Does the service match the software?

Software as a Service is a phrase you’re probably familiar with. But what exactly does it mean?

According to one definition, Software as a Service (or SAAS) is ‘a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted.’

How to ensure software and service excellence

When you’re buying Software as a Service (SAAS), your initial focus might be on the software itself:

  • Whether it has the features you want
  • Whether the licensing arrangement allows the number of users you need
  • How well it will complement your existing systems
  • How intuitive and user-friendly it is
  • Whether it offers the level of security you need

But you also need to think about the ongoing service you’ll receive.

After all, one of the key aspects of ‘Software as a Service’ is the service element.

How to make sure the service matches up to the software

Although all SAAS providers promise great service to support their software, not all deliver.

If you want to make sure the service you receive matches the software, you need to ask these three essential questions. Getting the answers to these at the outset will be key to getting the support you need.

1.  What initial training do you provide?

     A good SAAS solution will be user-friendly and intuitive. But this doesn’t negate the need for comprehensive training at the start.

     It’s essential that you and your team get a good grounding in your chosen solution. This will make it easier to use and more likely to be adopted across the
     firm – saving you time in future and making sure you get value from the platform you’ve chosen. 

2.  How user-friendly is this solution?

     Not all SAAS platforms are created equal. You want one that is easy to pick up and straightforward to use. A good board portal, for example, should make 
     your life easier by simplifying the collation of board packs. It should also help your directors by making it easy for them to access and read board papers.

     If your solution isn’t intuitive, you won’t save the time you were hoping for. In the worst case scenario, it will be under-used or even abandoned

     Make sure your chosen solution is painless to use. It should make use of formats you’re familiar with, like pdf. There should be a clear step-by-step
     process to achieve the end result, and every stage should be clear and easily-followed.  

3.  What ongoing support can you rely on?

     However user-friendly your chosen platform, there will be times you need support.

  • How quickly can you get help when you need it?
  • Is the support team UK-based?
  • Are they technically excellent…but able to explain things in plain English?
  • Are they available 24/7?
  • Are they as comfortable speaking with your board members or company secretary as they are with your technical or administrative team? 

When your service matches up to your software, SAAS can make your life immeasurably easier. Just make sure you ask the right questions at the start. If you’re considering an SAAS platform, asking these three questions will help you find the platform that’s right for you.

If you want to find out more about the advantages and practicalities of board portals – one SAAS that can really deliver time and cost savings – you can download our Board Portal FAQs. They answer the questions companies and boards typically have when considering an online approach to board packs. You can read a copy here.

Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.

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