The Great Debate: SaaS vs. On-Premise

By Dick Stark

RightStar’s eighth annual customer appreciation cruise, held Thursday on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., drew a large crowd. Stewart Ainsworth, CTO of BMC Federal moderated a panel discussion on SaaS vs. On-Premise, BMC’s  Carrie Anne Mosley, VP Sales of Remedyforce and Michele McFadden, Senior Product Director, ITSM were the panelists. Carrie-Anne represented BMC Remedyforce, and Michele, Remedy on-Premise or FootPrints Service Core. Here’s a short synopsis of a few key points:

1. Financial Implications. Carrie-Anne pointed out that for many, the key benefit of SaaS is its simple, subscription-based pricing model: Organizations pay a subscription fee per year per user that covers everything needed to operate, including support and maintenance. This model provides a lower and consistent level of opex without any of the capex investment required for on-premises hardware and software licenses. As a result, the total cost of ownership of SaaS is lower.

Michele said to watch out for hidden costs of SaaS providers such as charges for disaster recovery, data storage, and back-up. She also quoted from a Gartner study that showed that implementation cost for a SaaS based ITSM system is no lower than an on-premise based system.  Michele stated that a FootPrints Service Core system could be up and running in three weeks, whereas a SaaS based system could take much longer.

2. Security. Carrie-Anne discussed Salesforce’s force.com platform’s security record, pointing out that Salesforce’s #1 goal is security.  She said that because, Salesforce is a public company, a security breach would pummel the stock.  In Salesforce’s 15 years that has not happened.  Carrie-Ann then mentioned that Remedyforce is “in line” for FedRAMP certification in June.  FedRAMP is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. (Some Federal Agencies may not be able to procure Remedyforce until it is FedRAMP certified).

Michele stated that a key advantage of on-premise is that customers are in control of their own environment and by default, security. Customers control their own data centers and  access to their environment and data.  Security tests such as intrusion detection and virus scans are the customer’s responsibility, not something left up to a cloud provider.

3. Integration Considerations.  Carrie-Anne said that there are a myriad of options to integrate with Remedyforce.  One is Pentahoe, which is included with Remedyforce and allows integration to various data sources and systems.  She said that customer data is always owned by the customer and is available should the customer decide to move to a new system.  Michele described integration flexibility as a key differentiator for Remedy and mentioned integrations such as: network monitoring tools, ticket exchanges to other systems, and even an integration to a blood donor system.

One attendee summed the cruise up this way, “I’ve been to every cruise and this was by far the best one ever.”

RightStar will repeat this session in a live webinar to be held in mid-June.  Stay tuned….

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About dick1stark

I am the President, CEO, and founder of RightStar Systems, a leading IT consultancy and BMC Software Solution Provider and Atlassian Expert Partner. My passion is customer success—whether it’s reducing the cost of service management, improving overall efficiency, or increasing end-user or employee satisfaction. Since founding RightStar in 2003, RightStar has made the INC 5000 list four times. In 2011, RightStar was awarded the prestigious National Capital Business Ethics Award (NCBEA) by the Society of Financial Service Professionals based upon RightStar’s foundation of honesty, ethics, and integrity. And in 2014, RightStar was selected by Forrester Research as one of 13 North American companies profiled in its ITSM Consultancy Wave Report. Finally, in 2016, BMC selected RightStar as its 2015 Supplier of the Year for its consulting partnership and excellence in service delivery. Dick is a graduate of Stanford University and a Project Management Professional (PMP).
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One Response to The Great Debate: SaaS vs. On-Premise

  1. Brad Hodson says:

    Michelle is exactly right that many SaaS providers have hidden costs, in addition to some pretty astronomical setup and training fees.

    A lot of that is changing thanks to some bold newcomers, but price really shouldn’t be the main focus when looking at a CRM anyway (though huge fees can be a big deterrent).

    Overall, SaaS has come a long way to providing a better experience on all fronts compared to the legacy on-premise method. Everything’s headed in that direction as it is, and this debate will fade away like the one between VHS and Beta.

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