SaaS Summit 2009 Recap
On March 11 – 13, DocuVantage sponsored this year's SaaS Summit hosted by OpSource. In a recent interview, Jana Wiggins, president of DocuVantage, offers her insights into the latest trends for software-as-a-service and discusses what is on the horizon for the industry.
As a vendor, why do you choose to attend the SaaS Summit every year?
The SaaS Summit is an ideal forum to share what we are doing with DocuVantage OnDemand®, network with other Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) peers, current customers and future customers.
What were your thoughts on the panel discussion on Cloud Confusion?
Cloud Computing is made to look more confusing than it actually is. From a customer perspective you can summarize it based on a few key points:
Your access to the application is the internet and the software and infrastructure is in the “Cloud” providing guaranteed uptime.
You do not own the software, hardware or people that are needed to manage the infrastructure and the application; you simply use it just as you do utility services.
You pay as you go unless you have terms in which you receive discounted pricing for paying in advance.
And when you need the application to scale to meet your needs, this flexibility is already built in the infrastructure.
In the DocuVantage program ad for the conference, there was a quote from one of your customers stating that they could “easily maintain the retention scheduling for compliance regulations,” by working with DocuVantage. Can you elaborate on how you helped that client?
Many of our customers are in regulated industries and are required to securely manage and retain their documents for a specific period of time. At the end of that “retention period” they may be required to legally dispose of, or “purge”, those documents. Since these customers have moved from paper documents to electronic documents this is easily done within the DocuVantage OnDemand® Records Management functionality. The application will manage the retention schedules, lock the documents down to protect them from deletion or modifications and then notify the customer as the retention period expires so that the document can then be purged legally.
We manage the documents from creation, through their revisions, business processes and their disposition; in other words, the application manages the document through the entire document lifecycle. This not only saves customers a great deal of money by not having to pay to store paper records, but also cuts down on the labor costs associated with searching, retrieving and managing the compliance.
As the CEO of a SaaS company, what do you think we can expect to see in terms of corporate adoption of SaaS technology in the next 5 – 10 years?
Companies of all sizes are already implementing these newer solutions or rapidly moving their legacy applications from a license or on premise based software to SaaS. And I certainly agree with the industry predictions that companies will increase SaaS consumption to over 40% this year alone. The costs benefits and immediate ROI are too compelling for the C-level to ignore.
Many companies don’t even realize they are already using SaaS or On Demand applications. Well known and easy examples of SaaS applications are SalesForce.com for CRM and ADP, the payroll provider. There are many driving factors that tell us why this is happening. Factors include the economy, increased compliance regulations, ease of deployment, lower costs or the immediate ROI. All of these factors help contribute to the decision; however, in this economy it really comes down to “can I solve my problems faster with a lower cost and less risky solution?”
Many stakeholders opt for not having to buy and maintain the typical infrastructure needed for on premise applications that include hardware, software and labor resources. Additionally most management teams are eager to move away from capital expenditures to solutions that fall under operating expenses. An additional plus is with a subscription model the customer is not locked in; it forces vendors to earn their customer’s business each and every day. SaaS applications offer a great low-risk solution. The subscription model gives the customer the freedom to flip the switch and turn-off their service if they aren’t completely happy.
Who do you feel is adopting SaaS faster? Large or small companies?
In our experience smaller companies are typically more nimble and do not have as many approval levels that many larger companies have. They are able to make quick decisions and easily bring in newer technologies that are more flexible to accommodate their business needs and distributed workforce. Our success in gaining traction with our larger customers and government entities has been based upon implementing departmental solutions that spread virally based on each success. This is a huge win for the customer. They are able to deploy and see the solution work in one department, achieve fast user adoption and then they can add the technology solution in other departments as well.
On Demand's New Role in Document Management
Going paperless is becoming increasingly popular among businesses today, whether it is for environmental, economical or even security reasons. The traditional preferred solution has been to install server-based licensed software for document management and business-process solutions; however, an alternative to installed software and hardware is on the rise.
On Demand, or Software-as-a-Service applications provide an online solution for Document and Records Compliance Management making it easier and more affordable to customize individual needs. Simple customer requests, such as increased storage capabilities or new workflow components, can be fulfilled securely and instantly via the web.
There is a growing acceptance for online data storage among consumers today. The increasing demand for faster response times, security against natural and human disasters and the need for an easier way to access information makes the decision to switch to Online Document Storage and Management a simple one. As compliance regulations and government restrictions increase, it also becomes more important to put systems in place to help manage tracking and security.
On Demand Document Management enables organizations across all industries, whether they are financial, healthcare, government, real estate, etc., the ability to manage workflow efficiently. In addition, the long-term contracts and high-cost of licensing fees often associated with installed software are no longer an issue because with an on demand solution, the pricing is typically based on a monthly, per user rate.
“Organizations are seeing the benefits of moving large-scale software expenses from their capital budget to their operating budget,” according to Rob DeSisto, Vice President and distinguished analyst for Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner*. These organizations realize that in using an On Demand application, there is no need to install expensive equipment as the solution is hosted and managed by the provider.
To learn about the online applications offered by DocuVantage OnDemand® and to enter the new world of On Demand solutions, sign up now for your FREE DOCUVANTAGE CONSULTATION.
Keeping Your Company Compliant
With the increase in news about mortgage, banks and auto manufacturers in deep financial trouble, most observers note a common thread – lack of oversight. Policies that were put in place to prevent failure were never followed or were completely ignored.
The disasters of Enron and MCI taught business owners the need for compliance. Even the government got involved and passed a host of laws (Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, GLBA, FISMA, etc.) to try to prevent this from happening again. And while the news may focus on the CEO’s and CFO’s, the core of compliance starts and ends at the departmental level. So what tools are available to make this task a bit easier?
If you read the laws in depth you will find they have a similar theme at the core – security. It may be the security of a patient’s health record, or the security of an employee’s social security number or the security that a document has not been altered.
This type of compliance is at the very core of Document Management solutions such as DocuVantage OnDemand®. You have complete control of the document, where it is stored, the security of each person who has access, the tasks they are allowed to perform (view only, edit, approve etc.) and a full accounting of what has been done to that document. Full version control shows changes (edits, modifications, etc.) that are made. You also have the ability to ensure and prove that a document stored has never been altered, accessed or removed from your system.
In case of an audit, instead of combing through stacks of folders and paper documents, a couple keystrokes can retrieve any file needed and even burn them to a CD or DVD. Even better, auditors will not have to come to your location! Using DocuVantage OnDemand®, you can give them access to your documents from their own PC with the same security to ensure they remain safe and protected.
Imagine this worst case scenario. Due to a legal challenge you personally are called into court to testify to the security of your departmental records. You will have to convince a judge and jury that none of your files have been accessed, damaged, lost or compromised. Do you want to go in with a box of paper files that you keep in filing cabinets outside your door? Or would you rather arrive with a CD in hand, containing a full record of everyone who accessed each file and all the details (if it was viewed, if it was printed, etc.) demonstrating your high level of management? The choice is yours.
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