Procurement Software as a Service Explained
Procurement Software as a Service Explained
What is the difference between procurement software and procurement software as a service? Terminology including "Software as a Service (SaaS)," "e-procurement" and "cloud based" are showing up everywhere - not only in the world of procurement, but for many business services as well. As an e-procurement solution service provider, SourceSuite knows a bit about SaaS and its benefits. So, what is the difference between traditional procurement software and SaaS?
Software as a Service Defined
Gartner defines software as a service as “software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers.” SaaS is software that is deployed online rather than installed on individual computers. It is often used for enterprise applications, such as procurement and financial solutions, which are distributed to multiple users. SaaS applications work with a web browser, so users can utilize the tools of the software on their laptop, tablet, or other mobile device. You may also hear SaaS defined as cloud based, since it is comprised of software hosted on the internet or the “cloud.” Procurement SaaS is an emerging solution for purchasing professionals. E-procurement software, such as SourceSuite, allows its customers to have all the benefits of traditional software security without hosting costs or drawn-out update downloads and installations. Data stored on the e-procurement cloud is still ‘owned’ by the customer and simply hosted by the provider. Updates to the software are done automatically online, and customers do not have to have specific hardware or equipment installed to run SaaS products.
Benefits to Procurement Software as a Service
There are many benefits to using an SaaS procurement solution as opposed to the traditional model of software distribution. The cloud based model has flourished within the procurement software market as technology continues to improve, benefiting buying organizations of all shapes and sizes.
Cost of Procurement Software
The largest drawback for most organizations regarding traditional procurement and financial software is cost. Software can get expensive when paying licensing, installation, and maintenance costs, not to mention time spent by IT staff maintaining the program. Procurement software as a service allows your organization to simplify the purchasing process at a cost typically less than licensed software applications. Also, because the procurement software is hosted remotely, users don't need to invest in additional hardware with an SaaS solution. SaaS eliminates the need for an IT team or outsourced vendor to handle the installation, set-up and daily upkeep and maintenance required by traditional software. A procurement solution such as SourceSuite gives a robust bid and vendor management solution at a fraction of the cost of traditional installed procurement software.
Training and Learning Curve
SaaS modules and applications tend to have wider organization adoption rates, with a quicker learning curve vs. traditional procurement software. With users not limited to using the procurement software on specific computers where it’s installed, or only in the office, there tends to be greater usage with SaaS solutions. Most people are familiar with using the Internet on a daily basis, so logging into an e-procurement system and using its familiar web-based navigation creates a faster learning curve. Many solutions (such as SourceSuite) offer live online training and continued support for all users.
Goodbye to Painful Upgrades
SaaS procurement software providers manage required updates and upgrades to the software, meaning there are no updates or patches for customers to download or install. Procurement SaaS providers manage the entire system and its availability, so there is not a need for customers to add hardware, additional software, or bandwidth as the user-base develops and evolves. SourceSuite e-procurement solutions are completely configurable to our customers’ ever-changing environments and provide easy to use features, allowing administrators to add users, change feature settings and add new modules.
Integrating a procurement SaaS solution with an existing ERP system or other business productivity system is simple and seamless. Most SaaS providers understand the importance of keeping data sets up-to-date and accessible across multiple platforms. With traditional procurement software, integration can be a challenging and costly endeavor. SourceSuite ensures continuity of data across management systems with simple integration of data feeds for most ERP and financial systems.
Kim Cullen | sourcesuite.com