Software as a Service (SaaS) is a new way of distributing software in which vendors or service providers, instead of selling it to companies, make it available to customers over the internet, using cloud-computing technology. So instead of companies installing software in their own servers, software providers host the software at theirs and just charge them according to the time they spent using it, or a monthly fee. Here is a video that better explains what is SaaS:
SaaS is becoming increasingly popular, and as the industry develops, more and more companies are dropping older business models in favour of this new technology. Cloud-based software and services were one of the trending topics at the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona last week, and many telecommunications companies told us about their plans to implement SaaS in the interviews that Onbile held there.
Some of the benefits of the SaaS model are that it is easier to administrate, all users will have the same version of the software because updates and patch management will be done automatically, and therefore collaboration will be easier. Also, it will grant global accessibility, making remote work models easier, which reduces costs and improves performance. According to Bessemer Venture Partners‘s Cloud Index, here is an list of the top 30 SaaS companies:
And here is an overview of the top 10, both in terms of market capital and company value:
#1 Salesforce: The founder of SaaS industry, this American-based company is best known for its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, although they also offer other services, like PaaS (Platform as a Service), AppExchange (a market for cloud computing applications), or Work.com, a social performance management platform. They also offer a SOAP/REST Web service API that enables integration with other systems.
#2 LinkedIn: Although some may argue whether to include in the list of Software-as-a-Service, BVP has chosen to include the leading social networking site for professionals on their list.
#3 Workday: Based in the United States, what makes this cloud-based management software vendor from others is that they offer “online services at a fraction of the cost of upgrading from their incumbent vendors”. They offer financial management, human capital management and cloud integration applications.
#4 Netsuite: The well-known American software company offers SaaS integrated business management software that includes software for ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), accounting, order management, inventory, CRM, PSA (Professional Services Automation) and e-commerce applications.
#5 ServiceNow: American-based, this SaaS company was established in 2003 and provides IT service management (ITSM) software. It competes with companies such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard in ITSM applications, and with other SaaS/PaaS companies like Salesforce.com or Force.com.
#6 Concur Technologies provides travel and expense management solutions from its Washington-based headquarters in the US. Concur’s SaaS solutions include Concur Travel ;amp& Expense, a travel and expense management solution for companies, and TripIt, a mobile travel organizer for individuals.
#7 Athenahealth is an American health company that provides practice management and electronic medical record services for medical practitioners. Among its services they offer specialized medical software such as an integrated electronic medical records (EMR) service or a physician billing and practice management service.
#8 The Ultimate Software Group: Found int he 90s, this company develops and provides cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solutions for companies across all industries. Its software solutions are divided in two solutions: UltiPro Enterprise, designed for larger companies (+1,000 employees), and UltiPro Workplace, conceived for smaller businesses (200-999 employees).
#9 Medidata: this American-based company specializes in developing cloud-based software solutions for the clinical development process, improving study design, protocol development, trial planning and management, site collaboration, randomization and trial supply management, monitoring, and many others.
#10 Cornerstone OnDemand is another American-based software company that provides cloud-based talent management solutions to more than 12 million users in 190 countries worldwide. All of its products are SaaS, and include from learning management systems to performance management tools to talent acquisition management and tracking solutions.