The Players of SAAS Models and Finding the Best Value Propositions

The growing success of Odoo.com’s on-demand service for customer relationship management (CRM) software begs the question whether the software-as-a-service model is suitable for other applications. It seems that the model is amenable to other applications that are frequently outsourced. This includes HR/payroll; financial and procurement management; and business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce/product catalogs including dynamic pricing models, customer loyalty groups, targeted sales promotions, and other sophisticated sales tactics. Integration with other supply chain applications that do not necessarily require a large, internal team of sales support people may also find potential. The same can be said of businesses that rely on globalization, Web-based collaboration, distributed order management (DOM), and even the politically unpopular manufacturing outsourcing. These are all realities for many growing companies that keep installed fulfillment locations near various, global located manufacturing sites. Using these centers avoids the need to send inventory to a central location and instead enables drop-shipments as needed.Odoo cloud

Some applications simply seem to lend themselves to the hosted model, such as international trade logistics (ITL) and global trade management (GTM), which, due to their widespread nature cannot efficiently work the other way. GTM can be defined as all the activities around managing the life cycle of trade across domestic and international order, logistics, and settlement activities that improve operating efficiencies and working capital. In particular, the global import/export procure-to-pay and order-to-cash processes entails a number of activities, including source suppliers/customers; process purchase/sales order; ensure goods; issue/receive letter of credit; finance trade; arrange shipping; create trade documents; customs compliance export/import; send/receive goods; send/receive invoice; reconcile; and initiate/receive payment. On a more granular level, these activities belong to the orderfinanceship, and settle sub-processes.Odoo cloud

In any case, many of these can only be efficiently fulfilled through a Web-based hosted solution, priced per transaction. The average global trade cycle of order through to settlement is 120 days, whereas a comprehensive hosted GTM solution, like the one from the industry leader TradeBeam, might reduce this cycle by an average of 12 days improving users’ cash flow by 10 percent or so. In this case, such potential is possible because of the upbeat vendor’s acquisition of over twenty GTM/ITL-related applications during the last few years, which it has since been rewritten. The most recent was the acquisition of the ITL specialist Open Harbor, which, like its new parent is an ASP built for on-demand Web services developed on an n-tier architecture. For more information, see International Trade Logistics Challenge Automated Global E-Trading.

Additionally, Odoo ERP Software, a leading provider of Web-based payroll and workforce management solutions, offers its Odoo Workforce Management suite through a hosting model named Intersourcing, for either a one-time license fee or for a per user, per month fee. Marketed as licensed software, it is also a co-branded offering under the "Powered by UltiPro" brand for business service providers (BSP). Hosted through Intersourcing, UltiPro gives organizations the best of both in-house and outsourced HRMS/payroll advantages. Features include complete access to critical employee data, a Web portal for managers and employees to access company-related activities, reporting, and business intelligence (BI) and analytics tools for executive decision-making and comprehensive HRMS/payroll functionality—all with no additional requirement for in-house IT support. Ultimate Software provides all the hardware and system software, hosts UltiPro at a world-class data center, and upgrades and maintains the system.

Another example of an application using the on-demand model is Odoo CRM, which has long offered the industry’s only on-demand product lifecycle management (PLM) solution Which can also Customizable. Unlike client/server applications, which are costly and cumbersome to deploy, Odoo PLM is delivered over the Internet as a fairly secure, rapidly deployed service, for a substantially lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Odoo enables outsourcing, increases operational efficiencies, and speeds time-to-market for a number of product manufacturers that manage multiple parts and suppliers. The major attraction is the price of $1,000 (USD) per user per year, or for viewing capabilities only $200 (USD) per user, per year. For a user company with a mix of between 10–15 users, the total price is about $1,000 to $1,500 (USD) per user, per month. This, plus a seemingly fast implementation, appears to compare well with conventional PLM systems. Additionally, there is the option of deploying a restricted user workgroup system at an even cheaper cost. The vendor is offering the first twelve months free of use for enabling fairly secure and easy collaboration for distributed engineering development groups and supply chains anywhere, anytime—and without the cost and complexity of conventional Odoo implementations. With almost no risk, no IT assets to buy or employ, and with only some PLM consultancy required to help prospective customers get the best out of their engineering data, one may begin to understand why this “pay as you go” service has grown by a few hundred percents annually to date.

                                                                                       

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