If someone tells you that the entire world wide web is a software application that’s delivered to you as an on-demand service, it wouldn’t be a completely incorrect statement. But it wouldn’t be an absolutely correct statement either.
Let’s take the case of this website to analyze.
The data resides in physical servers somewhere in the world. The software brings the data into life by giving it a website form. When the user sends a request to view the content or any other part of the website, his request is delivered near immediately. Everything happens on-demand, similar to how a software-as-a-service model works.
Every major app or site that you use, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, and so on, are all delivered to you on-demand over the internet. Since most of these applications make money by showing you ads and is hosted on private clouds, we generally don’t associate them with SAAS.
What is SAAS?
“Software as a Service provides you with a completed product that is run and managed by the service provider. In most cases, people referring to Software as a Service are referring to end-user applications. With a SaaS offering, you do not have to think about how the service is maintained or how the underlying infrastructure is managed; you only need to think about how you will use that particular piece software.”
Here is a small list of SAAS examples that perfectly fit the defenition.
Microsoft Office 365
Office 365 is the world’s largest Software-as-a-Service product. Microsoft’s office productivity tool had more than 155 million paid subscribers by the end of September 30, 2018. A +200 million user base now looks like a near certainty.
Office 365 user base doubled in less than two years.
|End of Period||Commercial Monthly Active Users|
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud is a collection of apps and services built by Adobe for video, design, photography and the Web. Creative Cloud subscription includes some free services as well.
Adobe has four tiers of Creative Cloud subscription service for individual users.
Photography Plan (20GB) includes Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC, Photoshop CC, and 20 GB cloud storage
Photography Plan (1 TB) includes all the features of the base plan but extends storage to 1 TB
Single App allows you to select one out of 12 Adobe applications. Includes 100GB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark with premium features
All Apps gives you access to the entire collection of 20+ creative desktop and mobile apps from Adobe. Includes 100GB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark with premium features
Dropbox is a file sharing and collaboration service that allows users to store, share and access all their files. Since it is a cloud storage service, users can access their files from multiple devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets, anytime and anywhere through the internet.
Dropbox’s user base has steadily grown over the last eleven years, reaching more than 500 million registered users worldwide and 12.3 million paying subscribers.
Dropbox Userbase Growth:
|End of||Paying Users in Millions||Average Revenue Per User|
For individuals, Dropbox has three plans. The Dropbox Basic Plan offers 2 GB of free storage, Dropbox Plus subscription costs $8.25/month for 1 TB space and Dropbox Professional subscription costs $16.58/month for 2 TB space.
Dropbox offers two subscription plans for Teams. The Standard plan offers 3TB storage space for $12.50 per user/month while the advanced plan provides unlimited storage space for $20 per user/month.
G-Suite is a collection of office productivity tools offered by Google for subscription. Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed during the company’s fourth quarter 2017 earnings call that G-Suite had four million paying customers.
Communication Tools: Gmail, Calendar, Google+, Hangouts Chat, Hangouts Meet,
Storage: Drive for cloud storage and Google cloud search
Office Productivity tools: Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides, Sites, App maker and Keep,
User Management Tools: An admin panel to manage user, device and security settings. Vault service to archive, search and export information and Mobile Device management.
Salesforce is a pioneer in the Software-as-a-Service industry. In fact, it was Salesforce that showed the world that software can be sold using the centrally hosted, pay for what you consume business model.
” By designing and developing our service to be a low-cost, easy-to-use application that is delivered through a standard Web browser, we substantially reduce many of the traditional expenses and complexities of enterprise software implementations. As a result, our customers incur less risk and lower upfront costs.”- Salesforce IPO registration statement 2004
Salesforce has a long list of SAAS products that includes Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Community Cloud and Quip.
Slack is a cloud based Office Collaboration tool developed by Slack Technologies. According to the company, “Slack is a collaboration hub that connects your organization — all the pieces and the people — so you can get things done”.
Slack has three subscription plans
Free plan includes 10k searchable messages, allows you to connect up to 10 apps, unlimited private and public channels for team interaction, direct video and voice calls inside slack and file sharing.
Standard: Costs $6.67 per user per month. Features include full archiving, unlimited apps, group calls and screen sharing, search, authentication, and access controls.
Plus: Costs $12.50 per user month. Includes all standard plan features, SSO and Provisioning, 99.99% uptime and 24/7 support.