Wednesday, November 22, 2017
   
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Am I an Enterprise?

When selecting business software and applications, it’s important to consider scale. Why is one application better than another for a given problem?  Software vendors throw around the term “enterprise” quite a bit, and while LongJump is no different, for us, the term has a real meaning. For our applications (everything from our CRM solutions to our Employee Manager) and our Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), LongJump truly supports the notion of an enterprise: a business or organization that features multiple departments. This is critical to understanding the depth of our platform, including our built-in team and role permission management system that offers enterprise-grade security to our highly extensible  application interface. Our business model was built with enterprises of all sizes in mind. From the 10- to 20-person startup to the 20,000 Fortune 500 company, we’ve tried to maintain a critical balance between functionality and affordability because in the end, both spectrums have a thirst for both. The small company is going to need powerful tools if it hopes to grow and a Fortune 500 company is going to mature, deep functionality at an economy-of-scale to support all their constituents.

Obviously SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and PaaS solutions provide that immediate time-to-value. You’re up and running on a complete platform and application space literally in seconds. Your team just logs in and is ready to start working. But certainly there are concerns, as indicated by J. David Lashar in The Hidden Cost of SaaS. Lashar states:

The relatively limited scope for configuring or customizing a SaaS initiative makes for low-cost, fast-paced implementation. However, this limited scope and implementation may not support the requirements, may not include the automations, and may not generate the intelligence (i.e., reports and dashboards) that are critical to the business. In other words, SaaS may actually impede the ability to realize full entitlement to CRM value. The cost is not a direct cost, but rather an opportunity cost in terms of lost CRM benefits, at least for enterprise-scale organizations that can afford on-premise solutions and might therefore be able to achieve greater CRM benefits from the greater functionality available from those solutions.

Certainly it is true that many SaaS CRM providers (and even on-premise CRM providers) have a limited scope in their ability to draw from enterprise sources and connect to the entirety of operations within a business. One reason is that those tools are often left to only certain members of the team. Others have to fend for themselves because of the cost of adding them as users. That’s why a platform strategy is critical, because platforms are extensible and designed to connect multiple applications and multiple departments. The economy of scale allows for a greater reach across the entire enterprise.

For example, LongJump’s SOAP Web Services API provides a direct connection point to a variety of web systems and is key to understanding how even on-demand applications contribute to the enterprise. Many SOA initiatives are locked into exchanging information across certain systems. Rarely do end-users see the benefit to help streamline their processes or analysis.

At LongJump we really believe that if you’re going to implement a PaaS solution, and you expect it to be wide-ranging enough within your multi-departmental enterprise, it needs to be truly affordable today as well as tomorrow.

This means supporting a complete enterprise view for everyone in the organization, not just a priviledged few.

Technorati Tags: cloud computing, enterprise, PaaS, Platform-as-a-Service, saas, soa, software-as-a-service

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