The world is pacing fast. Every day we come close with new developments and new areas to grow in. This means that virtually every day we have the possibility to meet and learn new things. For example, we all know that there is such a thing as SaaS — software as a service, and there is enterprise software. These two might seem similar to an un-knowledgeable eye, but at closer inspection it turns out that they have quite a lot of differences and even a few similarities.
Even though this is a tough topic, we are going to dive right into it to understand — what are these two, what is the difference between them and what support styles and methods are we to choose when dealing with them?
🤩 Oh my, how exciting it is!
In this article, we'll cover:
Enterprise Software vs. SaaS — Aren’t Those the Same?
SaaS vs. software — the eternal battle known to everyone. Or is it? Are they different enough to be fighting for their own piece of market or are they virtually the same thing?
In reality, SaaS and enterprise software are not the same. It is true, they both deal with implementing software solutions into businesses, but they do have differences that make them useful for different businesses and in different fields.
Before implementing a new software solution into its structure, any business needs to analyze and decide what it needs — SaaS for enterprise or enterprise software.
But, saying that there is a difference is easy. It is much harder to really spot it. So, let’s dive in deeper! We’ll start with looking at each of them separately.
What Is Enterprise Software?
Enterprise software is a type of software that focuses on solving business issues and tasks. It helps businesses get the information they need to operate, bill, plan projects, conduct accounting tasks and manage customer relations. For example, enterprise workflow software helps establish and automate processes inside the business.
Enterprise software development, management and maintenance are not easy. They require a lot of time and planning themselves which means that the team behind it should know everything there is to know in the field to ensure that the software is working properly and suits every client’s expectations.
Who can benefit from the most utilized features of enterprise software? Startups? The companies that have been in the market for decades? Those operating online only? The answer is all of them.
Absolutely any company can find enterprise software that will be beneficial for it. After all, businesses have spent around $210 billion on enterprise application software in 2020 so far. Businesses that implement this type of software into their structure are saying that they see process time reduced, collaboration level growth and data systems being optimized.
Good examples of enterprise software are CRM systems, project management tools, automation for marketing systems, business intelligence systems and so on.
What Is SaaS?
SaaS or software as a service is a way of delivering the service through the cloud, meaning that it can be accessed from any place and from any hardware. All that is needed is a machine and internet connection. The vendor here serves as the host of the cloud and gives the users a way to access the application on a subscription-based plan.
SaaS is so popular that about 60% of users are now interested in web-based cloud products that they can use from anywhere and at any time without being tied to one piece of software.
Perfect examples of SaaS are Dropbox, Slack, Mailchimp and so on.
Enterprise Software vs SaaS — What Is the Difference?
Modern businesses have to work with and manage a huge volume of information and data in order to ensure a smooth run of operation. Automation, workflows, communication with customers and analysis of the client base are all essential parts of the business processes, without which operation is almost impossible. That being said, it is easy to see how enterprise software and SaaS can influence the fate of the business and what they can mean for it in the long run.
But a business needs to make a choice — which one is going to be better for it at the moment and in the long run. Thus begins a battle of enterprise software vs, SaaS.
After all, knowing what is enterprise software and what is enterprise SaaS it might seem like it is easy to understand which one a company needs to pick. But it is not as simple as one might think. So, what is the difference between software for enterprise and SaaS for enterprise?
1. The ability to be as customizable as possible
Winner: enterprise software.
Enterprise is much more customizable. It is all due to the fact that the customers buy their piece of software and are free to use it any way they see fit. And customization falls right into this point. In its turn, SaaS offers quite limited customization possibilities, if any, because of its cloud nature, which means that users do not own what they use and as a result cannot really customize it.
SaaS operates under a subscription model, meaning that you pay while you use. You do not buy the software along with all unnecessary features and quirks that you might not even need and use. You also do not need to maintain the licenses or buy additional packages when it comes to improvements that you never asked for. This means that you never have to pay for something you do not use in your business processes.
Winner: enterprise software.
This can be explained the same way as the customization possibility. Due to the fact that SaaS users do not own but rather rent the solution and due to the fact that it runs in the cloud, its functionality falls short of what enterprise software can offer.
What do you need to start using SaaS? Usually just to sign up for the services. Maybe to enter your credit card details for the payment to be done on time.
What do you need to start using enterprise software? You need to make sure that your machine can run it just fine, buy the license, install, sign up, make sure it doesn’t consume too much of RAM (yes, Google Chrome, we are looking at you) and so on. So many steps. Imagine if you need to do it for every member of your team. How time- and resource-consuming! Now convert it all into a business budget and now you’re just plain losing money! Unacceptable.
As you can see, when it comes to choosing between implementing SaaS or enterprise software, it is every business for itself. But do not forget that no matter how convenient a solution of your choice seems, it is still a piece of software that needs to be supported and maintained.
Enterprise SaaS — Is It Real?
Business software as a service — what is it? For sure, we have talked plenty about how SaaS and enterprise software are different. But the real magic happens when these two get fused together and turn into enterprise software as a service.
What is enterprise SaaS?
Enterprise software SaaS can be very well explained on the example of different cloud-based CRMs like, for example, Salesforce. It is a system designed to support and help companies run various business services. It is also subscription-based and is hosted in the cloud. And, just like any fusion it has both — advantages and disadvantages of both SaaS and enterprise software.
So, in case you were wondering — SaaS for enterprise is real and quite widely utilized these days, And here is where we come to the main topic of our discussion: what does support look like for both of them?
Enterprise Software Support
Customer support for enterprise software is what makes all the difference here. After all, the users of enterprise software might not have a deep understanding of all technological matters and as a result need a lot of explanation and empathy from the support team’s side.
The product itself might also be complicated and requires a lot of knowledge from the support team members’ side as they will have to resolve the tickets fast and efficiently. Support tickets will surely vary in difficulty, urgency and the readiness of the customer to talk and listen. Their resolution will require time and effort.
In other words — supporting enterprise software is not an easy task and it takes a true professional to do so.
Support for SaaS
Supporting SaaS is slightly different. As we have already mentioned, it is a software based in the cloud, so apart from dealing with the difficulties tied to supporting the software itself, a support team will also have to deal with the cloud-related issues, which means they will only have to deal with more complicated issues. That will only add to their workload.
We have already discussed the support needs of the SaaS industry, so we can safely move on.
Support for SaaS and Enterprise Software — What Do They Have in Common?
With all the differences and advantages of one before the other, SaaS and enterprise software do share some similarities, even when it comes to support styles and techniques for both of them.
- 🥰 Both require customer centricity
As we all already know, both SaaS and enterprise software are quite difficult. It means that in order to efficiently support them, a support team must not only be fully set up, but it also must be fully customer-centric. It will make sure that no matter how difficult a customer ticket is, the team is still going to resolve it all the while maintaining a professional attitude towards the customer.
- 📚 Both require a knowledgeable team
When providing customer support, knowledge is the main asset of the team. Without getting a proper knowledge of the matter and without constant checking and maintenance process, it is impossible to have the same level of support day after day. It is especially true for industries as complicated and demanding as SaaS and enterprise software.
How can one maintain the same high level of knowledge, especially when the team is big? Well, it is easy if you have your inner processes set up and if you conduct regular QA and tests that showcase the level of knowledge of your support team. Without that, providing the best support for the industries is simply impossible.
We at SupportYourApp are always checking the level of our teams’ knowledge and conducting regular tests and update meetings to make sure that all of us stay in the know.
- 🚅 Both require speed
Speed is one of the defining features when it comes to third party customer support. Median support answer time is almost 2 hours. Taking into account that SaaS and enterprise software users usually deal with pressing matters due to a very specific nature of the product, this time must be as low as possible for each of the communication channels.
Moreover, first iteration time is not the only thing that must be low. Resolution time as well as the number of iterations also matter as they show real efficiency of the support team — the faster the better.
‼️ BUT! Never sacrifice quality for the sake of speed. Always make sure that the answers are not only fast, but correct as well.
- 😉 Both require empathy
Empathy. Some crave it and some need it without even knowing about it. But regardless of the customer’s understanding, empathy in SaaS and enterprise software is crucial. Customer support team must understand what the customer is going through and what they require right here and now. They are agitated, they want a solution to be given to them at this very moment. They want to be heard, understood and helped. Combining all of these is the best way to ensure that your support team is going to provide the best service when it comes to SaaS and enterprise software.
- 👍 Both require a good support team
What do you get when you combine customer-centric and empathic approaches, high level of knowledge and swift answers? That is right, you get the best support team possible. That’s just simple math!
How Can Businesses Find a Perfect Support Solution for Any Software?
How to find a perfect support solution for your SaaS or enterprise software solution? There are two ways a business can go. The first one is building an in-house team. But for a complicated product that might be hard to put together, especially taking into consideration that a vendor will have to pay not only for work. Idle time, sick leaves, vacations, hard- and software. All of this takes time and resources. Plus, there is a need to manage all of it 24/7.
On the other hand, one may consider giving software support to a team of professionals that for sure knows how to provide support for both SaaS and enterprise software. In this case, SupportYourApp is just what you need as we have a decade of experience in providing customer support even for the most difficult of products. Providing customer support for SaaS and customer support for enterprise software is always interesting and challenging, so it is a perfect opportunity to grow and develop for us as well. And that is just what we are looking for every day.