Which is Better: SAAS or On-Premise?
When it comes to implementing an Agency Management System, you're faced with the question of how you want to access the system. Do you want to access the system via the internet (meaning that the software itself is hosted by the vendor) or do you want to have the software resident on your own hardware locally? There are advantages and trade-offs to both options.
Hosted by the Vendor (including SAAS or Software As A Service)
This is by far the most popular option for most services today, which explains why so many software companies offer this model as the only option. With this model, the software and its associated data/information are managed centrally by the software vendor and are accessed by users via a web browser. The benefits are substantial:
- The software vendor hosts and maintains all the IT infrastructure, makes sure the system is always running, ensures the data is secure and is able to solve any issues quickly since the system is located where the Tech team is.
- The agency's IT staff involvement is kept to a minimum which makes for quicker deployment and lower costs for the agency
- Software updates are automatically applied by the vendor so the agency is always using the latest version of the software and benefitting from the newest features and functionality immediately upon release
- The agency isn't saddled with new hardware costs or capacity constraints due to the size and operating requirements of the system
Hosted at the Agency (also called On-Premise)
Even with all the benefits a SAAS model offers, there's a reason why On-Premise options still exist. With this model, the software is loaded and configured on the agency's local hardware (or sometimes at a hosting provider that the agency uses) and the associated information/data is managed directly by the agency. Users access the system either directly or via an intranet connection with those servers. This model is popular with many agencies for the following reasons:
- The monthly licensing cost is usually less than a SAAS option since the agency is providing the hardware and responsible for maintaining the system, handling upgrades, managing data security, etc.
- The agency controls the level of security applied to the system and associated data. Some accounts may require security measures beyond what the software vendor is able (or willing) to provide
- On-premise software can be customized easier than SAAS software which is important to many agencies
- Since the agency is using it's own IT team for implementation, the agency has more control over the implementation process
- Depending on how the agency sets up system access, users may be able to connect to the system while offline
So what's the best option?
By far the easiest solution would be the SAAS approach because it's as close to a plug-and-play situation as you'll find for an agency management solution. But as mentioned above, the SAAS model may not work for your agency because of client requirements, holding company (or other ownership) constraints or a host of other circumstances. Which brings us to the best option...
The BEST option is to go with a provider that offers BOTH options.
Some agencies start with an On-Premise option and eventually transition to a SAAS provider, while others go the opposite direction due to account wins, mergers, etc. Don't put your agency in a situation where you have to change your agency management system just because you change where it's hosted. The best systems give you both options which keeps your future options open.
Advantage's AQUA Agency Management Software grows with you by giving you whichever option works best for your agency. The enterprise-level software is specifically designed for advertising agencies and marketing companies and enables the agency to automate time-intensive tasks in accounting, billing, project management, digital asset management, creative proofing, media planning and buying, and client relationship management. Robust and customizable modules are fully integrated to streamline processes, ensure accuracy, and deliver excellent management reporting.
Keep your options open by scheduling a free online demo of the AQUA Agency Management Software today. We customize the demo to address your particular needs and answer all your questions. It's time well spent.