Implementing a successful SaaS business model

If providers are looking for an edge in the cloud services market, SaaS might be the golden ticket. But before entering the market, researching SaaS business models should be step one.

Software as a Service (SaaS) has huge profit potential for cloud providers, but finding success in this highly competitive market requires finesse. Are you equipped to make it in the SaaS market, or are you destined to fall short?

Although SaaS delivers the highest value to customers, compared to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), providers can't expect to be successful in the SaaS market by going in blind. There are a lot of factors to consider when launching a SaaS portfolio -- including sales techniques, partnership opportunities, financial issues, technical considerations, customer expectations and more.

The SaaS business model can be a key element to a cloud provider's portfolio, but it needs to be executed right. Our SaaS guide for cloud providers offers a collection of tips and best practices to help you get started in this market.

Table of contents:

Build targeted cloud services with the right partnerships

Cloud providers often struggle to pinpoint which market to target when launching new cloud services, and not all have the in-house expertise to launch a robust SaaS offering. One solution to this problem is for providers to seek out software developer partners who can help providers generate higher-revenue SaaS offerings for specific vertical markets and determine individual customer needs. In this tip, Tom Nolle of CIMI Corp. gives expert advice on what path providers should follow when developing an optimal SaaS strategy, along with other advice on identifying and recruiting partners.

Deciding between partners or acquisitions for SaaS development

Finding the right software developer partners can make or break a SaaS venture for cloud providers. Electing to buy one or more software development companies is another direction to consider in a SaaS business venture -- but this route should be taken with caution. In this tip, Nolle addresses the pros and cons of such relationships. He also delves into why it is essential for providers to consider the partnership route in order to address and understand the needs of small and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises.

Selling SaaS: Assessing DevOps tools and models

Although it is true that the SaaS business model has the potential to be the most profitable of the three main cloud service types it doesn't mean that providers should start selling SaaS without the proper planning and support. Without the use of DevOps tools and principles, the task of building and sustaining SaaS applications can quickly create an operational nightmare for providers. In this tip, Nolle discusses two possible models for DevOps tools, including a script-based model and a container model, and the benefits of each.

Evaluating the three big cloud business models: SaaS, PaaS and IaaS

Cloud business models are abundant, but finding the one that best suits your capabilities and strengths as a provider isn't always obvious. Before rolling out new services, cloud providers should weigh the benefits, risks and return on investment (ROI) of the SaaS, PaaS, IaaS or combination models. In this primer, you will learn how to assess cloud business models and zero in on target markets. Nolle paints a picture of what each of those business models should look like, as well as their cost-effectiveness.

Can U.S.-based SaaS companies lower their tax bills by operating abroad?

With potential income tax savings reaching billions of dollars, big U.S. software companies have begun using cloud computing to shift their operations abroad. By selling more products as SaaS from remote data centers, software companies are taking advantage of the cloud in a new way. But how long will it be until the U.S. government takes notice and wants a piece of the pie? This column explores these questions and takes a look at the status of the cloud taxation issue.