How much does a channel management solution cost?
With so many options available, price ranges can vary depending on size and scope of your channel needs. Pricing is highly configurable for each customer based on channel transaction volume, number of channel partners, number of application modules, implementation scope and other factors.
Entomo’s cloud-based SaaS model enables companies to accelerate their time to value while laying a solid and extensible foundation for growing and optimizing all of their channel investments. Learn more about our customer’s ROI.
SaaS vs. On-Premise Software
Channel management solutions come in two types of technologies:
- SaaS or cloud-based solutions; and
- On-premise software.
Entomo is a SaaS solution. SaaS-based solutions are typically the more innovative and cost-effective solutions on the market today, even for core enterprise applications.
What is SaaS?
Software as a service (SaaS) is transforming information technology today. Gartner defines SaaS as “software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider delivers software based on one set of common code and data definitions that is consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at any time on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription based on use metrics.”
In effect, SaaS is leased software fully maintained by its creator and not hosted on your premises. SaaS apps run in the cloud and do not require capital expenditures on hardware, networking and other support infrastructure.
Here are seven reasons why SaaS solutions continue to outperform on-premise solutions in terms of initial and continuing cost, deployment, security and support.
Lower Cost of EntryWith SaaS, you pay for what you need, without having to buy hardware to host your new applications. Instead of provisioning internal resources to install the software, the vendor provides all the hardware and implementation services and performs much of the work to get their software working for you. The time to a working solution can drop from months in the traditional on-premise model to weeks, days or hours with the SaaS model.
In addition, the pricing structure for a SaaS solution is typically very flexible depending on your needs. There are two components to the model: implementation and monthly recurring fees. In a SaaS solution, the implementation fees are dramatically lower than an on-premise solution due to the configurability of the SaaS model vs. the custom coding and dedicated hardware needed with on-premise solutions. The monthly fees, which are all inclusive of maintenance and service, are typically lower as well. Having this two-bucket approach to pricing enables the customer to negotiate how much capital expense is incurred via implementation fees and what operational costs will be with monthly fees. It is not uncommon for a SaaS provider to completely waive the implementation cost in lieu of slightly higher monthly fees and extended contract, thus eliminating any capital expenditure.
This flexibility in pricing can make a big difference in the ability for sales or marketing to afford, budget and get approval for a channel-management solution or tool. Finance generally likes the monthly fee model because the IRR (internal rate of return) on investment is very favorable to the company.
Pay As You GoSaaS software gives you the benefit of predictable costs both for the subscription and to some extent, the administration. Even as you scale, you can have a clear idea of what your costs will be. This allows for much more accurate budgeting, especially as compared to the costs of internal IT resources needed to manage upgrades, maintenance and address issues for an owned instance.
Reduced Time to Value/Rapid DeploymentIn the SaaS model, the software application is already installed and preconfigured. In the case of Entomo, best practices for channel management are built into the software / solution and can be rapidly configured with customer-specific requirements to deploy quickly. This brings a rapid ROI and enables Sales, Marketing and Finance to get immediate benefits without long wait times or steep learning curves.
SaaS Vendor is Responsible for Upgrades, Uptime and SecurityUnder the SaaS model, since the software is hosted by the vendor, they take on the responsibility for maintaining the software and upgrading it, ensuring that it is reliable and meeting agreed-upon service level agreements, and keeping the application and its data secure.
SaaS has been building its case for rapid user acceptance and training for years. Forrester notes in its report, The ROI of Software-As-A-Service, “SaaS solutions typically offer seamless, automatic, frequent upgrades as part of the ongoing subscription charge. Because these upgrades happen more frequently and therefore incrementally than on-premises solutions, they typically have significantly reduced testing and end user acceptance and training costs.”
While some IT people worry about security outside of the enterprise walls, the likely truth is that the vendor has a much higher level of security than the customer's enterprise itself would provide. Many SaaS providers have redundant instances in very secure data centers in multiple geographies. Also, the data is being automatically backed up by the vendor, providing additional security and peace of mind. Because of the data-center hosting, you’re getting the added benefit of at least some disaster recovery.
Lastly, the vendor manages these issues as part of their core competencies—let them. Save your IT staff time for work on the systems they know best.
Higher Adoption RatesAccording to Salesforce.com, because the software is accessible via familiar web browsers, SaaS apps tend to have lower learning curves and higher adoption rates. This can be especially significant given the high cost of on-premise software development and implementation vs. the low cost of entry for SaaS. No one wants to invest a lot of money in custom developed software or off-the-shelf software that users don’t care to adopt. With channel management, it’s vital to have an intuitive application that users are comfortable with. Sales people want to be in the field selling—not in training. Marketing and finance want to make critical decisions with the data not spend time gathering and manipulating it.
Integration and ScalabilityMost SaaS apps are designed to support some amount of customization for the way you do business. The Entomo channel management system was designed from the ground up with scalability and flexibility in mind. Customization is rarely required due to the extensive configurability of the Entomo SmartHub®. Entomo has been integrated via various methods with a wide variety of ERP and CRM systems. With a highly integrated solution for Salesforce.com, the CRM can be used for more than opportunity tracking systems, and can be leveraged as a channel-management platform as well. One of the terrific aspects of integration is that all types of data can be automatically sent to and from the Entomo SmartHub®, making it one system of truth for your channel information no matter how complex your channel gets. Now a salesperson in the field can check inventory, see incentive programs, check partner sales, get approval, send it and receive confirmations, all in minutes.
There is no need to invest in server capacity and software licenses. Simply adjust the subscription.
Work AnywhereSince the software is hosted in a private cloud and accessible over the Internet, users can access it via mobile devices wherever they are connected. This includes checking customer order histories prior to a sales call, as well as having access to real-time data and real-time order taking with the customer. For road warriors, the ability to access the software and data when they need it can change the nature of a sale.