Friday, October 5, 2007

Software + Services <> SaaS & => Confusion

I am just writing this blog to draw a line between two different terms and jargon. That is if Software + Services and Saas (Software as a Service) mean the same thing?. I confess when I first heard this term Software + services I took it as a synonym to SaaS but Software + Services is a bit different. The first obvious difference is that Microsoft is an advocate of Software + Service :). (just like they did it with xml, web services & infamous passports).

The picture became a bit clearer when I read a recent article Profile: Ray Ozzie (chief software architect Microsoft) in architecture journal. (a good magazine to subscribe for free with no advertisement crap)

In my understanding SaaS represents selling the software as a web based service (or application) and thus the customers don't need to buy the full licenses of products and they pay only for what they use. Also it allows cutting cost in application maintenance as enterprises does not require to install and host the applications themselves, plus this benefit and that benefit. We have some successful stories on that like

Microsoft thinks a bit differently, arguing there may be some scenarios when it is not entirely possible to market a software totally as a service. It questions the assumptions like having a high bandwidth connection would always be available to the users. It comes with another term Software + Services. In nutshell, you have your data stored in Internet cloud,may be exposed through web pages but also accessible to client applications running on PCs, PDAs/Smart phones with local data caching capabilities utilizing the device capabilities to process and present the information. So in way it is an extension of SaaS. Examples are Xboxlive, itunes etc.

I could save my time in elaborating it more in details as I found a very nice blog entry, almost talking the same that I had to write. Check this out. Software + Services = ?

See you next time.