Broadsign are going press release crazy, what with their recent acquisitions, show announcements and are now back on track with a number of good white papers also.
Their most recent white paper was released yesterday entitled “Grow Your Digital Signage Business, not Overhead. How a SaaS Solution Can Help”
It’s attached above in case you haven’t seen it elsewhere.
Forgetting for a minute Broadsign’s recent acquisition of Navori, all of their business is based around Software As a Service (SaaS).
We are big fans of the SaaS model as you know and often shout about the seen and hidden costs of software acquisition as follows: –
- Upfront software license
- Implementation integration costs
- Support and IT personnel costs
- Hardware costs
- Training costs
- Length & rate of implementation
- Time to market (sometimes with a delay whilst deployed)
- High deployment risk/success
- User acceptance and adoption
- Ongoing maintenance & product cycles
- Full application lifecycle operation
Gartner Research reckons that “Customers can spend up to four times the cost of their software license per year to manage their applications”
Carried out correctly SaaS shifts the risk of the technology purchase(s) from customers to suppliers – just be careful when negotiating the price per venue and any get out clauses. SaaS should be as easy to order, cancel and operate as your mobile phone contract!
Broadsign covers some of this in their white paper but just to re-iterate, SaaS solutions: –
- Are usually web-native, engineered to be simple to deploy, learn, use and customise
- Have Lower upfront and ongoing operational costs with little or no investment required in software, (hardware does not apply to our digital signage marketplace) and internal IT resources
- Eliminate the hidden costs of licensed software
- Allows faster deployment to fully operational in a few months (even weeks or days)
- Shifts budget from capital expenditure to a predictable operating cost
- Should have seamless product enhancements and upgrades (that do not require overhauling prior versions, supporting legacy versions or re-writing)
- Emphasises ongoing customer service, support, training end-user acceptance, usage and productivity rather than solving technical issues and troubleshooting
SaaS isn’t however the be all and end all of what the next generation signage systems should all be about. We would expect a signage vendor to support things like OpenID that we have discussed previously, be open to a number of Web 2.0 fundamentals – such as the use of other components, widgets etc.