Software as a Service (SaaS) and AJAX Viewing Technology: A Cost-Effective Combo

There’s bad news and there’s good news. You may have heard the bad news –the economy is on a roller coaster ride. And while businesses and individuals are scaling back on spending and seeking savings at every turn, there’s also good news: With creative and resourceful planning, technology has the potential to yield powerful and cost-effective solutions to help you succeed in this uncertain climate. Utilizing innovative technologies in new ways, companies can save money while streamlining their processes for greater efficiency.   

One solution to consider that will have an impact on your workflow is to integrate an AJAX Viewer into a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.  An AJAX zero footprint viewer runs in a web browser, allowing it to integrate seamlessly into a SaaS application for universal document viewing. End users only need a browser in order to view, annotate and redact documents quickly and easily, with no application download or installation required.    

In September ImageSource published an article titled “The Mega Trend of SaaS” which cited a study that found the total cost of operating a SaaS environment to be less than half the cost of a traditional software license model. The article said that SaaS reduces costs and streamlines overall business processes, in part, because customers only pay for services they use, as opposed to buying a complete software package loaded with bells and whistles they don’t need. The AJAX viewer enhances the streamlining and cost-saving measures SaaS offers in several ways:

  • Reduces costs and eliminates concerns over maintaining external user environments.
  • Supports multiple document and image formats including PDF, Word, AFP, Excel, and more, eliminating the need and expense of the creator application.
  • Provides high-speed viewing™ for large multi-page documents resulting in the ability to review and process more pages in a shorter period of time.
  • Reduces training efforts because the viewer provides a User Interface with a consistent look regardless of browser or platform.     

Take for example a vendor that sells a title records or permit review SaaS application to municipalities.   By incorporating an AJAX viewer the vendor is now able to offer a true browser-based solution and they also eliminate the need to perform a time-consuming and costly process to convert and store files in a web-friendly format.   The end user would be able to easily view documents directly in the browser without downloading any external application or invoking the creator application.  And because the hosting is provided by the vendor, the municipalities’ IT ongoing effort is reduced to almost nothing.

“The Mega Trend of SaaS” reported that the SaaS market could grow to more than $10 billion over the next two years. Despite crashing markets, SaaS still appears to be growing and is doing so by creating innovative alliances. For example this month, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) provider, Salesforce.com partnered with the social networking site, Facebook, to connect the two communities. Together they launched website-building tools through website design provider, Dreamforce, so that Salesforce customers could run public websites or intranet sites on the Force.com platform.  

According to a recent eWeek article, market intelligence firm IDC revised its IT spending forecast but reported that despite the current economic conditions, they predict worldwide IT spending will grow 2.6 percent in 2009.  In the article IDC stated that “computer software and services were expected to enjoy solid growth” and elaborated that these areas remain crucial to many mission-critical operations as well as overall efficiency and productivity. 

With a glass half full view to what could be seen as a dismal situation, the current economic conditions could be perceived as a wake-up call for the business world to innovate. As the economy struggles to navigate difficult and unchartered terrain, thinking outside the box about how to use and extend current technologies could transform current economic woes into new opportunities. Economic crisis or not, businesses will always and forever be trying to both save money and increase efficiency. Marrying SaaS and AJAX to create one powerful solution is one way to do both.

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