Customers often wonder what the difference is between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
The most correct answer is probably the one that is provided by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which is a federal agency in the United States: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-145/SP800-145.pdf
And a more ‘easy to digest’ reply is provided by Keith Combs at Microsoft who makes this come alive beautifully on http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2012/04/04/what-is-infrastructure-as-a-service-iaas.aspx.
In a nutshell we can say that if the license for the application is embedded in the price for the hosting service then it’s likely to be SaaS – and on the other hand if the license is provided by the customer on a separate licensing agreement then it’s likely to be IaaS. As simple as that!
Customers today are not like customers of yesterday. They want to buy functionality with a crisp ROI as they are tired of buying just pieces and put them together themselves. And customers want to pay as they go which makes a ‘per-seat-model’ the most desired choice for their applications.
We also see a new breed of buyers that are outside the traditional IT department but heavily embedded in the core business of the customer (Tiffani Bova of Gartner calls it ‘Speed 2’) and this new breed is even more intrigued to buying functionality and pay per seat than the classical IT buyer.
At Idenet we can provide both IaaS and SaaS but when we look at our engagements, and what’s in the pipeline, we see a very strong demand for ‘Bring-your-own-License SaaS’ (BYOL SaaS).
BYOL SaaS is our best way to describe a typical engagement where the customer provides the license for the application but Idenet takes responsibility also for the application layer - and everything is packaged as a per seat model where the customer can add and delete accounts on a monthly basis.
For many customers BYOL SaaS is simply to bring together the best of two worlds and to give customers a solution that is as agile as their business! I am sure that we will hear more about BYOL SaaS the coming year!