Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
  • Like
Top reasons why you should choose saa s as your implementation model   a centiro white paper
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.


Now you can save presentations on your phone or tablet

Available for both IPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Top reasons why you should choose saa s as your implementation model a centiro white paper



  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. A Centiro White paper.Top reasons why you should choose SaaS BY NIKLAS HEDIN 2012-08-30
  • 2. A Centiro White paper.IntroductionThe way applications are commissioned these days have changed dramatically in the last couple ofyears. Internet as a platform for application commissioning and delivery has matured and has explodedin terms of variation of different usages for businesses and individuals. The last years introduction ofcloud concepts have also helped establish the Internet as a means of delivery for business criticalapplications.Why? Read on, you are about to get the answers, for choosing clouds and SaaS deployments ingeneral, and running Centiro in the cloud in particular.The cloud and SaaS – the 30 second definitionCloud computing has dramatically changed – and is changing – the conditions under which you candesign, operate and deliver application and information content over the Internet. This has a directlinkage to the way a business can be supported and developed.On a high level, cloud based services are offered in three categories these days: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Amazon, Google and Microsoft Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Salesforce Software as a Service (SaaS) – Centiro and many, many moreFor the purpose of this whitepaper, we are focusing on SaaS – means to provide application contentfrom one-to-many - and the way Centiro works with SaaS. Another thing to remember is that true SaaSis multitenant – one of the differentiators between SaaS and traditional hosting, which often had themeaning of providing application content from one (the hosting provider) to one (the application user). Top reasons why you should choose SaaS | 2
  • 3. A Centiro White paper.Business reasons for Centiro SaaSConnectivityThe key role of any Centiro application is typically to integrate processes and connect businesspartners – customers, carriers and suppliers. The Centiro applications and datacenter is built fromground up with the notion of secure connectivity. Centiro already has numerous connections with a vastnumber of parties, using different protocols, traversing firewalls and following procedure. All tried,tested and governed by the Application Management team at Centiro. Adding a new customer ortenant in this environment is a swift and established process.The value of this connectivity is considerable – Centiro has operated and continually addedconnections to the SaaS platform since 2001.Normally and according to our experience, enterprise datacenters are built to secure applications as asingle mindset, with the exception of Enterprise Application Integration platforms or data-gateways toallow for connectivity. In the DMZ, you typically find web applications, but mission-critical applicationsare rarely allowed close to the internet. Connecting business partners with special needs such ascarriers, is often difficult resulting in long lead times, firewall policies hamper the speed at which youcan connect partners, and must often be changed to allow synchronous point-to-point connections,such as web-service calls.The business value and speed of the SaaS connectivity resulting in business agility is a considerableadvantage.FlexibilityBusiness and markets change at a quicker pace these days. This results in more dynamics in howsupply-chains and logistics need to be wired together – with the pressure and focus of being able tomake changes in the partner landscape without considerable loss of investment or hampered businessperformance.The Centiro SaaS model allows a business to use applications where and when needed, without thenormal focus of hard- and software provisioning process common with Enterprise IT shops. Typicalexamples where the flexibility from a multi-tenant SaaS platform offers a clear and direct businessadvantage over traditional in-house IT production: Connect and enable a partner which is not be a part of the enterprise network Allow application use in a remote location for a limited period of time Seasonal and volume variations, calling for elasticity and quick scale-up and scale-downA SaaS model allows you to pay-as-you-go, and pay-per-use with a minimal management overhead. Top reasons why you should choose SaaS | 3
  • 4. A Centiro White paper.Keep your business focus on the businessThe introduction of cloud computing and SaaS is changing businesses in the aspect that it requires lessspecialized or dedicated IT support staff. Centiro SaaS delivery is focused on business requirements,business value and supporting business operations, a fact that allow a subject matter expert orbusiness owner within the business to come closer to subject matter experts of all kinds within Centiro.According to our experience, this typically relieves the conversation from IT-focus, which is common inon-premise deployments.The business focus can be seen in the Service Level Agreement, where focus is on the businessqualities of an application - availability, reliability, performance and turn-around times for businesschanges. The money you spend is geared towards business result in a SaaS setup, not obscurecapacity.SaaS allows you to keep your eyes on your business and on your customers.Lower total cost of ownershipThis argument is fairly straightforward. It builds on the notion that true SaaS works to a large degree onshared infrastructure and economies of scale. The Centiro SaaS platform uses hundreds of servers in avirtualized and highly available environment. This kind of investment is tough for any one customer todo on their own for a specialized application like Centiro. The fact that we can optimize operations,governance, sizing and our organization around the combined customer base and business volumesbuilds a strong business case and outperforms the on-premise model on both up-front capitalinvestment and operational costs. Some of the characteristics, such as the elasticity and reliability, areeven difficult to attain with an on-premise deployment considered what is included in the SaaS offeringfrom the get-go.SaaS means less up-front capital investment and more efficient use of resources = lower TCO. Top reasons why you should choose SaaS | 4
  • 5. A Centiro White paper.A smoother ride for the businessThe people operating the Centiro SaaS platform are dedicated to one application only and highlyexperienced to optimize and care for it. The result is a highly controlled and quality assured way ofintroducing changes, and faster time-to-resolve in case there are any issues.Furthermore, a lot of effort is spent in optimizing the experience and performance for the user, sincethis is a key business factor in our SLA’s. A specialized SaaS platform, such as Centiro’s, do get moreattention from the SaaS provider than a specialized application typically gets in a larger Enterprise ITenvironment from the in-house IT staff. They often have a burdened and long list of supportedapplications, and the knowledge is more generalized across a multitude of applications and platforms.SaaS allows pressed IT resources to focus better.SaaS model provides the business with better productivity thanks to dedication and focus inoperations.Faster access to innovationThe Centiro SaaS platform is updated in three-week cycles. For customers with own SaaS instances atCentiro – offered in special cases, the frequency may vary, but still follows the cycle. The multi-tenantarchitecture and constant flow of new requirements and ideas from the users of the platform, allow forfaster access to new ideas. Changes can be introduced in the SaaS environment at a greater pacewithout disrupting customer unique configurations.On-premise updates however, are less frequent, and because of that fact alone, often guarded withmore rigorous planning, testing and more use of resources. On premise Centiro applications can still beupdated using the semi-automatic update facility, but still does not beat the SaaS environment when itcomes to speed of deployment.SaaS users get faster access to the pool of good ideas and practices developed in other businesses.Customer satisfactionThe whole model around SaaS at Centiro is simple in terms of business incentive. If things work well,business use is wide spread with our customers and the application gets positive acceptance, ourrevenue increases. Compared to traditional license models and on-premise deployments, the elementof true performance is connecting our dedication to deliver well and perform well with the result. This ismuch different than a traditional up-front license and heavy on-premise deployment. According to ourexperience - SaaS models also promote constant improvement culture – all helped by the rapiddeployment frequency - and long, fruitful partnerships, the common denominator between us and ourcustomers is that we want the application to work well for the business.We are deeply vested in the fact that our customers must be satisfied with SaaS. Top reasons why you should choose SaaS | 5
  • 6. A Centiro White paper.Technical reasons for Centiro SaaSCentiro applications are carefully architected and engineered with a dedicated mindset and view of thewhole lifecycle and robust operations. It must not break. When it breaks, it should degrade and comeback gracefully. It must be easy to maintain and upgrade, and not cause downtime while that process isongoing. Centiro applications are designed from the ground up for a new era, where maintenancewindows are a thing of the past and grid workload distribution and rolling upgrades are considered thenorm. Interestingly enough these days – it is the consumer oriented extremely large scale architecturesof Facebook, Google and others that influence our design and architecture more than businessapplication examples.The Centiro SaaS platform works on highly virtualized server concept with the focus of capturing thedynamics of application use, reliability and high availability. The workload is spread across our twodatacenters to allow business to continue as usual in case of site outage or site maintenance orreconstruction.And although a setup like our own is attainable for on-premise deployments, it is hardly economicallydefendable, and it requires a specialized and experienced skillset to build and maintain.All inclusiveConsidered the mission-critical role of Centiro applications, we have made sure that a lot of must-havesare all included in our SaaS offering: Multi-layered, multi-site data protection, recovery and backup. This allows us to catch anything from small problems that go unnoticed for our customers up to potential large disasters where business contingency is key. World class application management. We have a team of developers, DBA’s and specialized IT staff constantly monitoring health and performance. They pro-actively optimize operations and make changes to the application to make it perform better. They start every day with a daily standup meeting to discuss ongoing changes, challenges and the upcoming release pulse. The key is also that they understand the business use of the application really well, much better than your traditional enterprise IT-resource. Elasticity and perceived infinite capacity. The dynamics of our platform allow load-balancing and scaling to happen in both short- and long term without our customers having to worry. You pay for the quality attributes with business impact defined in the SLA, such as application uptime, reliability and performance. No need to worry about CPU’s, licenses and dedicated staff to support the operations of your application. Redundancy in datacenters, hardware, software and connectivity. Centiro is also a registered ISP on its own with the purpose to use our multiple and disparate access routes to the Internet for load balancing and redundancy. The automatic balancing and failover between these access routes is done using the standard Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). Rapid commissioning of new sites and users. Thanks to the multi-tenant nature of the SaaS operation, new sites and users can be introduced without even thinking of hardware or installation. Access to separate environments for development/sandboxing, User Acceptance Test (UAT) and production. This allows our customer to follow through change-cycles without having to Top reasons why you should choose SaaS | 6
  • 7. A Centiro White paper. replicate hardware or data for the Centiro application in order to test the application before it enters production. A thoroughly proven and tested release process. The process contains automated testing and deployment through our different environments before it reaches production. When a new type of error is encountered, it is added to the catalog of automatic tests so that the error never occurs in release again. The process itself is measured and improved all the time. Considered that the release-pulse is three weeks, we are a lot more adaptive for the Centiro applications than would be your in-house resources. We always plan with failure and rapid rollback in mind, but aim for the positive deviation that means we deployed a new version without errors and interruptions.No hardware to worry aboutImagine in the days when you had to order servers, get them wired up in a rack, installed andprovisioned to run the application? Well, with SaaS and cloud models, those days are over. You shouldof course keep whatever hardware you need and deemed critical, it’s just that you don’t have to worryabout all hardware for all applications. Less up-front cost, less governance and less head ache.Easier integrationIt is not uncommon that it is easier to integrate with our SaaS environment thanks to the open andavailable web-standard protocols. It is also a fact that we can provision an account and give you accessfor integration work and testing in a day. Another angle of this is of course the parties we already haveintegration with – you don’t have to clutter your in house landscape and bother your already pressed IT-resources with protocols, formats and knowledge about specialized integration in for example thecarrier industry. That’s all been tried and tested already, and for you to use out of the box.The Centiro SaaS environment serves as your single-face-to-industry integration hub. Top reasons why you should choose SaaS | 7
  • 8. A Centiro White paper.What about risks using SaaS?In the early days of SaaS, voices where often raised that the risk of connectivity failing or other parts ofthe SaaS environment would introduce new and higher risks compared to running the software on-premise. The factual experience tells a different story – yes, SaaS introduces risk. But it also eliminatesother risks related to running the software on your own. Connectivity failing is probably the leastoccurring one of all risks. Human error is – regardless of type deployment – still the largest contributionas to why interruptions in application delivery occur. The difference with SaaS is that there are severalmore layers of protection and rigorous procedures in governance compared to the normal on-premiseinstallation. This actually translates to less disruptions of service.Another point of interest also remains – highly available SaaS deployments for Centiro customers arealso designed to gracefully degrade, meaning that the faults occurring are realized and expected partsof the application design, as it should be with any modern cloud architecture. In this way, we canfacilitate parts of the application delivery even in the case of a service degrade. The interplay in thiskind of hybrid Software + Services setup is rarely – if at all - available with pure on-premise installations,it offers unique qualities and are offered to our customers as an option.The risks with SaaS is not higher as such, merely different, and even lower in certain areascompared to on-premise deployments.Better securityDue to the fact that our environment is specialized, we can optimize security for that. It boils down tokeeping operating systems variants to a minimum, constantly keeping in line with security updates as apart of our rolling-upgrade scheme. Thanks to the knowledge and experience we get from operatingmillions of transactions per day - day in, day out – and the business commitment in our SLA’s, we haveto keep on top of configuration management and contemporary threats in order to avoid attack vectors.The knowledge and practice of IT-security is a highly fluent and dynamic matter and something we caredeeply about.In 10 years of operation, the Centiro SaaS platform has had no service disruptions due to securityreasons or virus outbreaks. Top reasons why you should choose SaaS | 8
  • 9. A Centiro White paper.ConclusionCloud computing and SaaS are here to stay. It has become the vehicle and delivery model of choice formany customers – 9 out of 10 of our customers today choose SaaS. It is almost to the point where Iwould urge to include a SaaS/Cloud alternative in all major architectural considerations andprocurements of software. If you do not consider it, you are missing a lot of the learnings anddevelopments that have happened in the industry the last years.Today, we have arrived at the point where SaaS is no dream – it is proven in the trenches with loads offact and cases to back the statements up. I hope the texts have shed some light on the SaaS subjectand would welcome any thoughts or comments you may have – my email and twitter addresses are tobe found below.SaaS benefits are no longer a stated dream – it is now a collection of hard and sound business facts.Good luck with your SaaS projects! Top reasons why you should choose SaaS | 9
  • 10. A Centiro White paper.About the authorA visionary strategist and innovative entrepreneur, Niklas Hedin has more than 17 years’ experience ofhow you transform vision and strategy into enterprise architecture, action, and result. He is specializedin software architecture and development in the field of demand- and supply chain integration andtransportation.His specialty as an architect is to help companies transform business and supply/demand-chainstrategies into actionable architecture and accomplish process integration across system- andorganizational boundaries. This specialty includes the understanding for human factors, organizationaldynamics and management skills needed to achieve the wanted results.His technical specialty is within the field of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Event DrivenArchitecture (EDA) and Business Process Management, all in the light of multi-tenancy and SaaSdelivery models.Niklas Hedin is a Certified IASA CITA-Professional and a Microsoft Certified Architect, two titles whichidentifies global elite professionals in the IT industry based on experience. There are only about 120people in the world carrying the MCA certification, and one in Scandinavia.Listing of the MCA’s can be found here of IASA and CITA-P can be found here DetailsCentiro Solutions ABNiklas HedinVevgatan 6504 64 BORÅS, SWEDENPhone: +46-33-29 77 00Fax: +46-33-290 399Email: niklas.hedin@centiro.seTwitter: Top reasons why you should choose SaaS | 10