Cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers are replacing plenty of services that many companies used only to enjoy if they bought or had the software made. It was a lot more difficult back then, and costlier. With SaaS, companies can save on a lot of resources and perform their tasks with more speed and reliability, thus enhancing their productivity and profitability.
When you enter into a relationship with a SaaS vendor, however, it’s not as simple as “plug in and forget”. Meta SaaS notes that there are some fundamental considerations when it comes to SaaS vendor management, some of which are critical for the survival of your business and the pleasure of your stakeholders.
You can hire a third party to help you with this role, but make sure they are reliable and offer the solutions you need. Here are a few ideas on the best practices in dealing with SaaS vendors, to help you figure out which company to trust.
Formal agreements covering the services you need
Don’t sign a contract without including the service level agreements, or SLAs, that you need. For example, you may want to add an SLA regarding estimated up-time. You may also want to cover your vendor’s response time if you have concerns with their service. Signing that contract without your addenda may just be disastrous for your company later.
Total control over the use of custom software
Many SaaS vendors readily offer custom software. What they may not tell you, however, is that – though you paid for the custom work – they will make the software available to other customers. For some clients, this is not important, so long as the software works. For many others, though, keeping the software proprietary is a big issue. If you are the latter, then make sure you have a formal agreement with your vendor that they cannot distribute something you paid for, at least not until you’ve recouped your investment or you receive licensing fees for your idea.
There are other considerations surrounding your relationship with a SaaS vendor. Make sure to do your research before choosing the third party to help you manage them.