SaaS (which stands for Software-as-a-Service) is one of the fastest growing aspects of cloud-computing. So much so, that it has naturally gained a lot of attention in our now tech-obsessed age.

As is common with popular products and services, there can always be misunderstandings, while some may only use these products or services in order to be ‘on-trend’. This article will highlight a few of the assumptions I have heard people make about SaaS and attempt to correct these misconceptions and elaborate the most accepted answer.

Is SaaS a trending hype that’s soon to fade?

My answer would definitely be no. But I guess some people wouldn’t agree with me, especially the skeptical ones. So let’s just illustrate it by comparing it to the following situation:

How long have we all used ‘web-based’ e-mail solutions like Gmail, or Yahoo mail, or Hotmail (aka MSN, or now Outlook.com)? Probably more than 15 years for some of us. I do agree that those aren’t services that were conceived with SaaS in mind, but they do act exactly as one: e-mail features served through the Internet rather than pulled directly from the customer’s own servers. And like more modern services such as hosted Exchange services for businesses, you can access your emails anywhere you have an internet connection.

But even if we go beyond email services, there’s a lot of other IT services that companies have now sourced through SaaS: let’s take the example of Customer Relationship Management (and almost all Enterprise Resource Planning features)- albeit the Sales force takes the biggest part of the market, there’s a lot of competition within this segment.

Now let’s look even closer – look at your own website; chances are that the technical parts are managed by a hosting provider on a combination of cloud-computing services.

My point is that SaaS has been hanging around for almost a decade now, and it’s getting a bigger adoption as much more solutions are developed for almost any customer’s need.

Isn’t SaaS more costly – in the long run?

Well, this one depends on what costs you consider when comparing it. If you only consider the cost of renting the space vs. having your own servers, then SaaS would probably cost more in the long run. However, that’s not how things operate. Weigh in the cost of infrastructure as well as the cost for human resources to make everything work and run smoothly as well as the expertise needed for developing such high-level features and you’ll soon discover that a customer would be much better off to easily access SaaS features like Email Exchange hosting, without risking these high costs in the long run – after all, on a SaaS scheme, the customer can cancel the subscription anytime – shop around and you will see that most services require no upfront costs.

What about the security issues?

This is the biggie – the one that everyone looses sleep over. My answer? Well, what IT system doesn’t? The most common complaint people have against cloud-based solutions surrounds the security of their data (or IT system) since SaaS solutions would mean that part of the system would not physically be on their premises. My stand here is simple: every IT system has security issues, which is why there are updates and people who specialise in security.

Now the question is: how much time and effort does your company currently put into keeping everything secure? The likeliness is that you don’t allocate as much time and resource as a cloud-based service provider who’ll find their business bankrupt should any security issue have a major impact on it’s base of, potentially, thousands of customers. And the best part is, you, as a customer, only pay a small amount into contributing to those expert’s salaries.

IT outsourcing makes sense for a variety of reasons. While you may think you have everything under control with your own IT department, there may be some areas that are severely lacking – or missing entirely. When you find a company to outsource to, it can save you time and provide you with an array of other benefits.

You Save Money

When you take advantage of IT outsourcing, you save money. Many companies believe that it’s an added expense, but you actually save money. This is because the IT company is providing services to more than just you. As a result, the costs are lower. You won’t have all of the services and labor to pay out to manage your IT because another company will be taking on the responsibilities for you.

You Save Time

You can save time with IT outsourcing. Forget about having to check the servers and develop your own website. These can all be done by professionals who are experts in these areas. They know how to do things quickly and efficiently – and you benefit from this. You won’t be the one responsible for these tasks and that means you can allot your time to those other things on your ever-growing to-do list.

You Get Better Services

There are better services waiting for you when you outsource. What you do for yourself cannot be compared to what you get from an IT company. You may be able to get better website design, better cloud services and even better internet and email services. All you have to do is determine what you have now and then contact a company to find out how much you can improve by IT outsourcing.

You Get More Services

When you outsource, you can get more services than you have now. You may have never thought about enhancing your phone system. If you have to put people on hold often or you are doing a lot of call transferring, you may want to look at hosted and VoIP phone solutions. This will automate a lot of your call volume and even provide you with a simplified way of answering calls. You may even be able to eliminate the operator position.

Other services can include managed IT solutions, web solutions, process management as more. When you save money by IT outsourcing, you can suddenly afford the other services you always wanted.

You Improve Productivity

Improving productivity is going to come from more and better IT services. You can talk to an IT company about different ways to improve your productivity. This includes helping your employees when they are on the road with cloud services as well as when they are in the office with managed services. Productivity can also increase by automating some tasks and eliminating the IT management from your payroll – which frees up man hours for your employees to work on other things.

Protera Technologies, (Protera), a global leader in business-critical managed enterprise cloud and hosting services, is pleased to announce it’s presentation at the ASUG Illinois-Chicago chapter meeting. This presentation is about migrating existing SAP environments to SAP HANA. This presentation comes on the heels of Protera Technologies recent SAP HANA Certification, making it possible for Protera Technologies to provide innovative SAP HANA solutions for business owners. SAP HANA is the innovative in-memory computing platform that converges database and application platform capabilities to transform transactional, analytical, textual, predictive and spatial data storage and processing so companies can run their businesses using big data in real time. Those interested can attend on 4/17/2014, at Session #1 – 9:00 am. The presentation takes place at the Westin Chicago Northwest Hotel, situated at 400 Park Blvd., Itasca, IL, 60143.

About Protera
Protera Technologies, Inc., a global total IT outsourcing services provider, was formed in the mid 90s to provide comprehensive end-to-end IT solutions for customers. Protera Technologies has capitalized on its strong expertise with SAP solutions to evolve into a pioneer of end-to-end total IT outsourcing global solutions that cover all IT needs of an organization. Protera has built an on-demand operations platform – AppCare – to deliver total IT outsourcing services. The AppCare platform brings together the comprehensiveness of a total IT solution along with the flexibility, robustness and cost effectiveness of on-demand/cloud innovations. Protera’s services focus on total customer satisfaction with dedicated points of contact and experts that know customers’ environments in depth.

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SAP, SAP HANA and all SAP logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.

Protera worked quickly with Elevance to understand all aspects of the SAP and non-SAP software landscape, including number of users and transaction volumes. Protera deployed Elevance’s infrastructure in a highly secure tier-one data center. The data center supports Elevance’s rigorous internal and external audit requirements. In addition, Protera performed rigorous testing to make sure that Elevance staff around the world could access the deployed applications – from home, the workplace, or anywhere else with an Internet connection.

To learn more – read the white paper: SAP White Paper

Amazon has begun to collaborate with SAP to create innovative solutions for any business, no matter the size, when it comes to customer support. New, and even existing, customers of SAP can use the SAP solutions on the AWS (Amazon Web Services) cloud. This collaboration has been tested and verified to be meeting the same standards that SAP applies to any IT infrastructure. SAP is used to simplify infrastructure management in the cloud. Amazon is providing a safe and secure platform for businesses to efficiently send SAP solutions. AWS with SAP is a completely self-serviced resource and you only pay for the resources that you need and want to use. With this collaboration there is no need to wait a week, or even months to see a growth in your capital. You will be able to send the support SAP environment to any IT infrastructure within a few hours.

The partnership between SAP and Amazon Web Services brings you the reliability of one of the largest enterprise software companies in the market today with the secure cloud infrastructure and pay-as-you-go model of AWS.

With the self-service business model of AWS, you can select just the services that you need, and pay only for the resources that you use. Amazon also offers standard server images for Windows and Linux, allowing you to install SAP solutions within that existing framework, just like you would with any physical or virtual server.

Running SAP in the cloud helps to lower costs and simplify infrastructure management. The secure and reliable cloud infrastructure provided by AWS makes it simpler than ever to quickly deploy solutions, and use of the AWS cloud requires no additional licensing fees for the use of already existing software licenses. The flexibility that AWS adds to SAP solutions allows you to customize the resources that you use in the cloud, ensuring that you never pay for services that you don’t really need.

SAP data encryption is important, because it can help encrypt information so that unauthorized users cannot access it. When data is encrypted, only authorized users can access it. Anyone else is blocked out. The technology behind information security is complex, but for end users, its use is relatively simple. Encrypting data can be beneficial to companies in several important ways. Below are a few of the most important business benefits of SAP data encryption:

1. Make confidential data secure – Data encryption can be used to ensure that sensitive or legally protected information such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and protected health information remain secure and confidential. Once encrypted, authorized users can access and interact with the information as they normally do (after entering their password or using a biometric device to authenticate them). Meanwhile, unauthorized users are unable to decode the data.

2. Comply with regulations – SAP data encryption can help ensure that your organization complies with any applicable regulations that require protecting or encrypting sensitive information.

3. Secure the data itself rather than the device – With data encryption, the data itself is secured rather than the device. This doesn’t mean you should abandon other security measures but it does mean that should those measures fail, the information will remain protected.

4. Peace of mind – Knowing that your most sensitive information is protected brings peace of mind. For example, if you have a laptop that contains sensitive information and that laptop gets lost or stolen, you can rest assured that the data is locked up despite the loss. The same is true when it comes time to dispose of a hard disk. Did you know that hard disks that have been reformatted still have data on them? This information can be recovered by data thieves using data recovery software. While reformatting a disk is a deterrent, it’s not foolproof measure. With data encryption, it doesn’t matter if a thief uses data recovery software to recover encrypted files because those files will be meaningless thanks to the encryption process.

5. Reputation management – SAP data encryption can protect your business’s reputation by preventing accidental disclosures of data. For example, companies that have had laptops containing sensitive information stolen have faced unfavorable press.

6. Data-specific encryption – SAP data encryption can also be used to encrypt specific data. For example, some data may be more sensitive than other data. You can fine-tune SAP information encryption processes to ensure that your most sensitive business and client information is encrypted. Whether you need to encrypt the entire database or files generated by specific departments, SAP data encryption makes it possible.

These are but a few of the many benefits of SAP information security for businesses. If you’re concerned about data theft, snoops, hackers, or regulatory compliance, SAP information security is an absolute must. Encrypting your information can bring peace of mind and enhanced security while also protecting your company from embarrassing exposures and helping it to comply with security and privacy regulations.

SAP is the acronym for Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing. It was developed in 1972 by five German Engineers in 1972 and today nine out of ten Fortune 500 companies use SAP. It’s become the go-to standard.

SAP is composed of several modules, and each module has a function. Each module represents a business process – there are 19 modules. With so many modules, SAP can be applied virtually anywhere. The reason SAP is so popular today is because of it’s open architecture, and wide array of applications.

Companies like Microsoft, and IBM, use SAP’s modules in order to carry out their business.

One of the best uses of SAP is in combination of Amazon Web Services.

The partnership between SAP and Amazon Web Services brings you the reliability of one of the largest enterprise software companies in the market today with the secure cloud infrastructure and pay-as-you-go model of AWS.

With the self-service business model of AWS, you can select just the services that you need, and pay only for the resources that you use. Amazon also offers standard server images for Windows and Linux, allowing you to install SAP solutions within that existing framework, just like you would with any physical or virtual server.

Running SAP in the cloud helps to lower costs and simplify infrastructure management. The secure and reliable cloud infrastructure provided by AWS makes it simpler than ever to quickly deploy solutions, and use of the AWS cloud requires no additional licensing fees for the use of already existing software licenses. The flexibility that AWS adds to SAP solutions allows you to customize the resources that you use in the cloud, ensuring that you never pay for services that you don’t really need.

Businesses today are running many of their applications in the cloud. One solution that can help simply infrastructure management is to use a SAP hosting Amazon solution. This is a great way for businesses to lower costs and improve time-to-market. The use of Amazon Web Services is a platform that is used to deploy any SAP solution in the cloud.

There are many benefits for a SAP hosting Amazon solution. 

Low Cost 

A business will only pay for the cloud resources that are used.

Scalable 

Hundreds to thousands of virtual machines can be added based on resource needs.

Flexible 

SAP customers are able to use existing software licenses on AWS without paying additional licensing fees.

Secure 

Industry-recognized audits and certifications are provided on a durable technology platform.

Deployment 

Applications can be deployed instantly without having to wait for new hardware to be installed.

Reliable 

AWS has multiple Availability Zones and services that are fault-tolerant and high reliable.

Speed

New infrastructure can be provisioned for a business in must minutes and not days or weeks.

Elasticity 

Resources and be added and removed as the needs of a business shift.

Refresh Cycle 

The burden of managing hardware refreshes every three to five years is eliminated.

Protera (www.protera.biz)is a global on demand hosting,Cloud services, AMS and total IT outsourcingprovider fully dedicatedto serving the SAP Ecosystem. Protera Technologies has developed a stateof the art delivery platform (“AppCare”) that enables an array ofglobal IT solutions from Total IT Outsourcing to point solutions suchas On-Demand SAP Hosting, Cloud services, Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint,Fax services, Citrix, IBM Webspere, Disaster Recovery, Network Management andRemote Application Management. The AppCare platform brings together thecomprehensiveness of atotal IT solution along with the flexibility,robustness and cost effectiveness of On-Demand/Cloud innovations.  Proterahas been awarded the following SAP certifications:  AMS, Hosting, CloudServices and Mobility Hosting.

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The organization was formed in 1998  inChicago, IL.  it’s management team includes the former head of IBM’s SAPapplications on demand group and the former CEO of  Nexus Technologies, apioneer in managed hosting services for SAP.  Protera’s founders haveremotely managed or provided fully hosted solutions for Rockwell, BP, AbbottLabs, Quaker Oats, Coca-Cola, Akzo Nobel, Kimberly Clark, SAP America, andSiemens among others.

AboutAG Technologies

AG Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (www.ag-technologies.com) isa CMMi Level 5 company, ISO 9001:2008 certified (Quality Management System)and ISO 27001:2005 certified (Information Security Management System). Thecompany is a premier end-to-end solution provider in Microsoft technologies andSAP and is headquartered in India with development center in Mumbai, India. Thefocus is on delivering high quality, cost effective solutions in two practices,SAP and Microsoft. AG Technologies provides implementation and support servicesin all areas of Microsoft, SAP, and related technologies.

Video presentation– Running SAP DR systems on AWS

In this video AWS and Protera present how organizations running SAP can leverage the benefits of the AWS cloud to increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of their DR systems. In particular Protera presents how their services delivery team deployed and operates the SAP DR solution of one of their manufacturing customers on AWS to provide increased and cot effective business continuity guarantee.

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