You have several choices to make when selecting a CRM system. One of the first decisions you must make is an on-premise or on-demand solution. On-premise systems are typical in the A/E/C industry. One purchases the software upfront and houses it on a local server. You own the system and are therefore responsible for customization, upgrades and maintenance. An on-demand or Software as a Service (SaaS) system, on the other hand, is cloud based and deployed over the internet.
A SaaS solution is licensed from the provider, such as Cosential, to individual users. Licenses may be read only or full read/write. Licenses run from $2-$60 per user per month. This is contrary to an on-premise system which has high upfront costs, often as much as $100,000, for the software. The on-premise system then has the additional costs of servers, maintenance, and electricity.
Updates, maintenance, and customization are automatic and at no additional cost with SaaS because it’s cloud based. An on-premise system charges for each of these. Customization of an on-premise system is often cumbersome and laborious.
A cloud-based CRM is available anytime/anywhere. You can access it from the internet or even your phone. No longer are you glued to your desk to be productive. SaaS goes with you to help you win more work.
Finally, implementation and return on investment are much shorter with a SaaS application. In just a few months vs. ½ to ¾ of a year you’ll be up running with SaaS. This will allow your staff to be more efficient faster.
In summary, the advantages of SaaS vs. On-Premise include:
- Accessible from anywhere with an internet connection
- No local server installation
- No upfront software costs
- Software updates happen dynamically with no user cost
- No system maintenance (backup, updates, security, etc) fees
- No IT staff required
- Shorter implementation time
Tip: When interviewing prospective CRM vendors, ask them what CRM they use. Cosential uses Cosential!
Stay tuned for our next installment which discusses the hidden costs of an on-premise system.