HR Automation: The SaaS Advantage An EmployWise™ White PaperGartner report, December 2008 IntroductionA December 2008 survey byGartner found that the nearly From On-boarding to retention and to more complex HR issues,90% of organizations are managing talent is a top priority for any organization, in the currentplanning to maintain or increase business scenario. HR professionals are needed to move quickly,their usage of SaaS solutions make faster decisions, adopt strategic business approach and shortenfor the following reasons: the learning curve as much as possible to stay ahead in business and1) More cost-effective from remain competitive. The old support tools don’t seem to help in thea TCO standpoint than ‘new normal’ for HR professionals.on-premise solutions Today, the most comprehensive and cost effective, efficient and2) Easier and/or faster to deploy organized way to manage talent is Software-as-a-Service. A platformthan on-premise solutions that delivers the software solutions online.3) Lack of IT resources necessary In addition to the ever changing business scenario, the contemporaryto implement an on-premise work place is also changing. Out of ‘100 best companies to work for’solution by Fortune magazine, 82 allowed their employees to work from home or telecommute. This is one of many trends that are gainingGartner Report User SurveyAnalysis: Software as a Service, momentum focusing on result based work culture. This germinates aEnterprise Application Markets, requirement of a system that can equip employer and employeeWorldwide, 2008, December equally with anytime and anywhere availability.2008 What is Software-as-a-Service? Software-as-a-Service is a system that provides comprehensive software applications through a completely secure Internet environment. Instead of purchasing software license that requires up- front capital expenditure, in-house IT infrastructure and a lot of maintenance, a company can choose to use the software for a subscription fee, while the software and company data are stored by a secure and remote host.
Companies earlier using traditional in-house tools for their HR Automation cite tremendous benefitswhen moving into SaaS deliver model: Better features and functionalities Better customer support and after sales service Convenience and 24 by7 access No headache of upgrades, management and maintenance Multi tenancy keeps the costs low Cost effectiveness Secure data and confidentialityWhat do you get, when you get SaaS?There are benefits and advantages in being a SaaS-y. As a service, you get commitments from the service provider to deliver new features and capabilities, up-time, data storage, bandwidth, great and ongoing support, regular upgrades, and a wide variety of IDC states the percentage of U.S. firms which plan to spend configuration and options. at least 25% of their IT budgets The SaaS service provider also equips clients with the on SaaS applications will increase from 23% in 2008 to ability to connect the system to other systems (through nearly 45% in 2010. a rich set of programming interfaces), the ability to customize the work structure, branding, and the ability IDC Study- Economic Crisis to develop a comprehensive and periodic reports. Not Response: Worldwide only that but, instead of procuring the software and Software as a Service Forecast running it in your own IT infrastructure, you are now Update (November 2008) part of a community of customers using the software. True SaaS vendor helps you connect to this community online, by accessing support, peer groups and sharedcontent.
The Economics of SaaS PricingIn the area of Human Resource Automation, you can begin with a system that does simple performanceappraisals, for example, and then upgrade to more complex succession management features in comingyears.While the SaaS model has these flexiblepricing options, it also brings the challengeof a "continuous recurring cost" to putinto your budget schedule. Licensedsoftware purchases can be budgeted as"capital" for purchase andimplementation, and then "annualexpense" for maintenance. Mostcompanies prefer to capitalize their assets- it allows them to spread their expensesover longer periods of time and improvetheir reported operating income. SaaSsoftware does not allow this flexibility: themonthly fees start on day one and they goon forever. Is SaaS the right choice for you? Rather than purchasing aWhy is SaaS the Real Deal? certain number of users or capacity, the SaaS model allows an organization to addA SaaS distribution model can be a cost effective new licenses as needed.option for an organizations looking at avoiding Hugh This option provides theupfront investments in purchasing of a license. Since choice to start small anda SaaS model is always hosted, organizations can expand later, steadily increasing the number ofavoid adding servers, powering servers or setting users and the associatedaside space for them in a data center by utilizing a costs as their organizationalweb-based system that users can access through a needs expand.browser. Since the vendor supports the solution, the As SaaS software is deployedorganization may not need staff dedicated to dealing over the web, the ITwith help-desk related issues. department may be much less involved which will result in lower costs.
Why is Not All SaaS, a REAL SaaS?Due to SaaS gaining momentum rapidly, everyone including who don’t have the SaaS capability aretrying to jump in to make quick bucks.But not all SaaS is SaaS, here’s why:It’s not Hosting and Subscription that gets you to be a real SaaSSaaS software runs on the providers premises, not the customers servers, and payment is bysubscription spread over the term of the contract rather than as an upfront license fee.There are key advantages that flow from these, mostly to do with amortizing the cost of acquiring,implementing and operating the software. Costs are shared across more than one customer, yieldingeconomies of scale.Multi Tenancy: The game changerMulti-tenancy refers to having all customers running on a single unit of the live software. Unfortunately,there are number of software vendors who havent yet reached that level yet. Most of them are holdingback from multi-tenancy because theyre saddled with conventional software code that isnt architectedthat way. Itll take them time and a massive re-engineering effort to switch (if they ever manage to).There are huge benefits to be gained by the customer through true Multi-tenancy. Quick and Easy Implementation: With multi-tenant SaaS, the software is already up and running in the vendors data center in advance. Having the software already operational means that customers can go live in a matter of days or weeks, and theyre free to phase in the roll-out to cause minimum disruption to business operations. Just Configure, don’t customize: An important benefit or multi-tenancy is enabling policy-driven configuration of applications. Multi-tenancy obliges vendors to push greater configurability because their customers want the flexibility to modify how the applications work for them. One version of software: SaaS providers always provide one single version of SaaS application. With single multi-tenant software all customers are automatically upgraded to the latest version instantly and automatically. All the innovations that take place in software can be used by all users and clients. Shared Infrastructure: Multi-tenant allows multiple customers to run on the same infrastructure. Clients do not need any infrastructure to run the application. The users use the application that’s hosted and maintained by the SaaS provider. The cost of infrastructure gets shared and that benefit is also shared with the clients.
Is SaaS Scalable?The SaaS model is as apt for 20 People Company as it is for 20,000. The reason is its ability to scape upwhen there is a need. SaaS business model involves supporting a very large number of customers andeven larger number of users on a 24x7 basis anytime, anywhere. Thus a true SaaS application needs tobe architected and built such that it is capable of supporting these very large volumes.As mentioned earlier as well that SaaS model doesn’t require any IT infrastructure and hence at the timewhen there are more people who want to use application, all clients need to do is to ask serviceprovider to issue new subscriptions. Again, the maintenance and implementation is all taken care of bythe provider itself.The Maturity Model of SaaSBroadly speaking, SaaS application maturity can be expressed using a model with four distinct levels.Each level is distinguished from the previous one by the addition of one of the three attributes; isscalable, multi-tenant-efficient, and configurable.Level I: Ad Hoc/CustomAt the first level of maturity, each customerhas its own customized version of the hostedapplication, and runs its own instance of theapplication on the hosts servers.Architecturally, software at this maturity levelis very similar to traditionally-sold line-of-business software, in that different clientswithin an organization connect to a singleinstance running on the server, but thatinstance is wholly independent of any otherinstances or processes that the host is runningon behalf of its other customers.
Typically, traditional client–server applications can be moved to a SaaS model at the first level ofmaturity, with relatively little development effort, and without re-architecting the entire system fromthe ground up. Although this level offers few of the benefits of a fully mature SaaS solution, it does allowvendors to reduce costs by consolidating server hardware and administration.Level II: ConfigurableAt the second level of maturity, the vendor hosts a separate instance of the application for eachcustomer (or tenant). Whereas in the first level each instance is individually customized for the tenant,at this level, all instances use the same code implementation, and the vendor meets customers needsby providing detailed configuration options that allow the customer to change how the application looksand behaves to its users.Moving to a single code base for all of a vendors customers greatly reduces a SaaS applications servicerequirements, because any changes made to the code base can be easily provided to all of the vendorscustomers at once. However, repositioning a traditional application as SaaS at the second maturity levelcan require significantly more re-architecting than at the first level, if the application has been designedfor individual customization rather than configuration metadata.Level III: Configurable, Multi-Tenant-EfficientAt the third level of maturity, the vendor runs a single instance that serves every customer, withconfigurable metadata providing a unique user experience and feature set for each one.This approach eliminates the need to provide server space for as many instances as the vendor hascustomers, allowing for much more efficient use of computing resources than the second level, whichtranslates directly to lower costs.Level IV: Scalable, Configurable, Multi-Tenant-EfficientAt the fourth and final level of maturity, the vendor hosts multiple customers on a load-balanced farm ofidentical instances, with each customers data kept separate, and with configurable metadata providinga unique user experience and feature set for each customer.
A SaaS system is scalable to an arbitrarily large number of customers, because the number of serversand instances on the back end can be increased or decreased as necessary to match demand, withoutrequiring additional re-architecting of the application, and changes or fixes can be rolled out tothousands of tenants as easily as a single tenant.Benefits to your entire Organization:Top Level Executives/CEOs: Convenient 24/7, anytime/anywhere self-service access Empowered through self-service and decreased reliance on HR Instant, easy-to-use, up-to-date reporting and analytics Easy, efficient administration of performance reviews Approve staff requestsHR Professionals: Easy, efficient, comprehensive, state-of-the-art HR management under one umbrella Manage HR functions for unlimited employees across locations Instant, stress free, up-to-date reporting Saved time in answering manager and employee inquiries Monitor and assure HR complianceEmployees: Empowered through self-service and control of personal information Instant information and updates without assistance from HR Improved company-wide communication Improved training and development tracking and planningAbout EmployWise™A Leading SaaS service providerEmployWise™ is a multi-tenant SaaS or “cloud based” solution that provides integrated and totalemployee life-cycle management capabilities that help companies support employees through everyphase of their service with the company, from recruitment to separation. EmployWise™, enables human resource departments to be more productive by streamlining and automating HR processes. EmployWise™ modules cover the entire
employee lifecycle and customers can pick and choose to deploy them as needed now and as they grow.IBM Beacon Awards WinnerEmployWise™ is the Winner of 2008 Beacon Award, under Software as a Service(SaaS) Innovation category; recognized as Outstanding IBM business partner ininnovativel y creating value for the clients.IBM Beacon Awards recognize IBM Business Partners for outstanding delivery ofvalue to clients and innovative approaches to solving business issues.EmployWise™ contested with over 725 nominations from around the worldandwas judged by the leading industry journalists, analysts, and IBM top executives.About Global Groupware SolutionsGlobal Groupware Solutions Limited is committed to enabling businesses across the world developstrategic competitive advantages through lasting relationships with their employees and customers.It provides technology solutions that combine a deep understanding of business processes acrossverticals with cutting edge information technology.In over a decade of existence, Global Groupware Solutions has worked with small and largeorganizations, spanning several industry verticals.