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Six Key Questions to Ask Your SaaS/Cloud Provider

by Tim Hourigan
Microsoft Dynamics and IT Practice Lead, Armanino McKenna,
May 07 2010

It's often said "The only constant in business is change." For that reason it is prudent to think about the impact of change on your business and your risk mitigation plan to manage it before you sign a long-term CRM or ERP service contract.

Consider basic questions, such as, what has been the pace of change in your industry and in particular on your business the past three-to-five years? Has it accelerated or stabilized more recently? What degree of business change do you expect over the next three-to-five years?

With your answers to these questions top of mind, make sure you are 100% comfortable with your prospective multi-tenant SaaS provider's answer (versus a Microsoft CRM and ERP-centric cloud solution) for the following points:

1.      What are my solution options if I'm not fully satisfied?

Multi-Tenant SaaS Answer: Effectively, few or none. By definition multi-tenant SaaS is strictly a sole-sourced offering. As such, there is no incentive to make it easy for you to migrate to another third party solution and no real incentive to delight you further once you are a contracted customer. You have few options once you are committed and SaaS providers know it.

2.      What other deployment model options are available?

Multi-Tenant SaaS Answer: Likely none. While some other major software providers offer on-premises, partner-hosted and vendor hosted cloud deployment models, multi-tenant SaaS providers offer one and only one deployment option.

3.      Can I customize my solution if needed?

Multi-Tenant SaaS Answer: No. While supported by other on-premises and virtual server based partner-hosted cloud deployment models, the multi-tenant SaaS model does not ...

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About Tim Hourigan

Tim Hourigan, Enterprise Practice Co-Lead and Microsoft Dynamics Practice Partner for Armanino LLP - has over twenty years of business and IT project management and systems integration consulting experience for high-growth companies in the Life Sciences, High-Tech, and Business Services industries. Prior to joining Armanino, Tim was a Consulting Partner at Accenture where he served as both a client partner and the CRM & Billing Capability Industry Domain Lead for North America. His background includes extensive IT strategy, business architecture design and software selection client work.

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