Buyer’s Perspective Regarding SaaS Offerings


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A recent article in eWeek gives us insights into our customers’ perspective when they are contemplating purchasing SaaS offerings (“Taking Measure of SAAS Reliability”, eWeek, January 19, 2009).

Specifically, the article includes a section sub-headed “Questions for the provider”, which include:

– “Make sure the SAAS vendor you’re evaluating provides information about the uptime and performance state of each of the discrete services it offers…”

– “When it is time to discuss reliability with the SAAS provider, SLAs (service-level agreements) … are a natural starting point.”

– “You should discuss with the SAAS provider how its architecture deals with surges in load, and how it is prepared to scale to additional customers without affecting your application reliability.”

– “…You should find out about software update schedules…”

– “…Find out to what extent the vendor’s application takes advantage of client-side execution…”

– “…Make sure to ask the SAAS vendor whether its application makes any provisions for offline data access.”

An additional sub-head entitled “Testing for yourself” suggests tactics for buyers to see proof:

– “…It’s important to test the SAAS services for yourself, beginning with demo accounts…”

– “Beyond the anecdotal accounts of application performance and availability from the pilot group, some SAAS services … include page render time counters.”

– “There are also some services, such as and, that keep tabs on SAAS services and offer reports on the uptime…”

eWeek is targeted at IT management. It is always interesting to see what buyers are reading…!

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Peter Cohan
Have you ever seen a bad software demonstration? Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of Great Demo!, focused on helping software organizations improve the success rates of their demos. He authored Great Demo! - how to prepare and deliver surprisingly compelling software demonstrations. Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.


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