Everyone has heard of ‘SaaS’ – meaning ‘Software as a Service’ – and it seems at times that you can’t move without seeing yet another tech vendor launching a new SaaS version of their legacy product.

However, for some time now, we at CloudMargin have felt that the ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) label entirely mis-states how modern service providers, in the financial industry especially, should think about how to meet the ever changing and complex needs of their clients.

In an environment where the migration towards SaaS solutions is fast becoming a stampede, simply deploying your platform in the cloud is no longer enough to differentiate you from the ‘pack’.  From the first day of implementation, clients of SaaS providers should demand (and be accustomed to) the very highest levels of support and not just on the technical side.  Vendors should be offering, and clients demanding, Software with a Service (SwaS), not Software as a Service. In a SwaS model, vendors can see what their clients are doing and see when they’re having trouble and proactively advise them on what can be done. This is a far cry from traditional software support that relies on clients’ logging a call with a helpdesk – definitely something we all hate.

In many respects however, software providers’ focus on client service is not an end in itself.  By listening to the needs of their clients, firms can institute a perfect positive feedback loop to offer SwaS. Software vendors should listen to their clients and the market at large, develop a solution in line with their needs and then deploy those developments to their entire client base.  The vendor that adopts this approach will then benefit from the bright ideas and initiative of others…as will their clients.

SaaS vs SwaS

To help differentiate between the two terms, SaaS & SwaS, I have included a small example based around the CloudMargin offering.

SaaS: Our ability to deploy a highly connected, functionally rich collateral management platform in a matter of weeks is a function of what we have built and a SaaS deployment model.

SwaS: The ability to offer a platform that exceeds expectations, meets all of the clients needs but also adapts to the changing requirements of those clients – all the whilst offering help and assistance along the way to use the platform effectively – that is Software WITH a Service.

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