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Web-Based Software v. Saas v. Cloud; PCRecruiter enables customers to choose their best fit

Written by Nora Snyder on . Posted in Topics

Host PCRecruiter in our cloud or your own!

A common misperception among solution buyers has developed because the terms “Web-Based Software”, "SaaS" (Software as a Service) and "Cloud" are often used interchangeably, but they often mean different things.  It's helpful to understand the usage differences between Web-Based, SaaS, and Cloud when selecting software systems; the differences can be meaningful.

Defining Web-Based Software v. Saas v. Cloud


A “Web-Based” system is software delivered to end-users via a web-server, over a network using the TCP (Internet) protocol. (A network protocol describes how information is moved between devices on the network; the Internet protocol is a worldwide standard).  Virtually any software can be enabled to work over a browser, and can be marketed as web-based, so the term may also mean that a system uses native web technology, which delivers HTML and objects directly to the browser rather than some kind of remote control for users to operate non-browser usable applications on a server.     

Compared to the (preceding) software model that required software to be installed on each end-user’s computer or device, delivering software from a single computer (the web-server) over the public Internet (or a private network running the Internet protocol) offers huge savings in technical support and enables much greater performance (because one very fast computer is less expensive to buy and support than many computers), and greatly simplifies mobile access for end-users. These advantages are so compelling that today nearly all business systems offered or under development use the web platform for their basic architecture.

There are effectively (at least) four portions of any Web-Based software solution;

  1. web-server/storage infrastructure
  2. Internet connection
  3. actual software code, which is installed on the web server
  4. data administration/ software maintenance services

Almost any device can operate a webserver.  Every new Microsoft Windows equipped computer may perform as a web-server, but so can various coffee pots, digital cameras, and automobiles among other devices that can also serve web pages in our connected world.  PCRecruiter runs on Windows servers, but the concepts are the same on any web server.

Larger organizations typically possess all of the elements needed for a given solution except for the software code, which is either licensed for use by a software vendor, created by the organization itself to meet a business need, or rented. Smaller organizations may lack one or more of the required parts, and larger organizations seeking cost savings and flexibility may prefer arrangements where they do not need to provide ANY of the four parts, even with capacity to provide all four.

SaaS and Cloud:

The result is the now realized market opportunity for SaaS vendors to provide solutions where they provide all four portions.  That's marketed today as cloud vendors.  The term "cloud" arose from the graphic used on flow-charts symbolizing the Internet, which was shaped like a cloud. SaaS vendors all use the cloud, but organizations can use the cloud too: the so called "private cloud" which is just a fancy way of saying company-owned datacenter/networking arrangements. There is also a hybrid approach which is becoming more common: SaaS vendors create the software, but they use a second vendor (often Amazon, Google, or Microsoft) for cloud service, which covers the web server/storage and Internet connection. So in reality, there are "private clouds" where the organization can own/license everything, there are public clouds where either vendors or organizations can run systems but not manage infrastructure, and there are vendor clouds where the vendor does it all.

SaaS has great market momentum because of its ability to deliver high-function (and relatively low-cost per user for complex systems) to organizations regardless of their technical situation. Because of that momentum, many desirable software systems are no longer designed to be available for you to run on your own equipment- they can only be used in the SaaS model.

From a vendor standpoint, it's much more difficult to engineer systems to be customer installable and to then field support them. It's somewhat less profitable in many instances because of the lack of dollar margins associated with hosting and maintenance services and lack of recurring revenue for the whole solution (rather than a small % typically charged for maintenance fees).

Vendors (and Wall Street) also love SaaS because business process software tends to have relatively high potential for customer “lock-in”, which is a reflection of the barriers to selecting and deploying a replacement solution. SaaS vendors generally also have more expertise with their own software, which may lower their service costs as compared to the costs experienced by organizations supporting licensed software.

At Main Sequence, we always start by asking: what's best for our customer?

Each organization has its own balance relating to the four parts of web-based software solutions. SaaS vendors naturally may find it in their best interest to overstate the difficulties, costs, and risks of self-hosting a Web-Based solution, while larger or more dynamic vendors such as the ERP providers (SAP, Oracle/Peoplesoft, Dynamics etc.) and other highly software-centric providers may seek to offer a balance of SaaS and license options to ensure complete market coverage. Main Sequence is in the latter, larger, dynamic category.

Looking at user count as an independent variable, if there will be many users over a long timeline, licensing may be substantially less expensive over the lifecycle for solutions that offer that model. For shorter terms and lower user counts, SaaS may be much less expensive. This pricing behavior is likely to persist because SaaS vendors have limited incentive to separately price hosting and database administration services from the software itself, although the growing hybrid model may force changes in that direction.

Fixed v. Variable Costs

The key driver is fixed v. variable costs. If you already own and pay for three of the four required elements (everything but the software code), you may have mostly a "fixed cost" business case. Paying a vendor margin on stuff you already have is a hard way to save money. If you do not have the other three elements, it may be a variable cost case with a steep early curve, so your particular case might show extreme differences in total lifecycle expense, or your maybe your case does not favor either model.

Other significant decision points about delivery model may include the need for change control (e.g. separating your path from that of the SaaS vendor), specialized needs for unlimited real time interaction with the raw data, differential taxation treatment of licensed software compared to hosting services, availability and security considerations, your DBA and tech capabilities, and other localized factors such as privacy laws.

Self-Hosting Option

Regardless of the overwhelming market hype, self- hosting is entirely a reasonable thing to do to if your situation is suitable and the application software that you want is available for license. The important part to understand is that regardless of who provides the four parts, the end-user experience will generally be the same or very similar if they are using the same or very similar software code; delivery, infrastructure, and maintenance providers are typically indistinguishable to end-users if they perform equally well.

Saas Option

Main Sequence offers a top shelf SaaS solution, where we provide all four elements. We also offer PCRecruiter for license, which you can run on your own infrastructure or use on a public cloud such as those offered by Amazon or Microsoft. You can arrange to move between models to best suit your needs at any time during the lifecycle.

As with many other aspects of PCRecruiter, few competing vendors are as committed to VERSATILITY in their offerings.  Main Sequence sales consultants</a> can help you compare the various options- always with your best long-term interest in mind rather than a preconceived narrative from a vendor who only does it one way or another.


May 15-17th Representatives from Main Sequence Technology will at the CIETT 2013 Conference in Toronto

Written by Nora Snyder on . Posted in Events

PCRecruiter connects with global staffing trends at CIETT 2013 Conference in Toronto.  Reps from Main Sequence Technology will at the CIETT 2013 Conference in Toronto May 15-17th to demonstrate how PCRecruiter addresses challenges facing our global industry. We are looking forward to sharing the event with human resource and staffing professionals from 34 countries, if you are attending, we hope to see you there!

MST Sponsors Recruitment Survey

Written by Andrew Rothman on . Posted in Industry, News

Software Advice has launched a survey to help determine which recruiting channels deliver the greatest bang for the buck to HR departments and recruiting agencies, as well as to provide employers with a clearer picture of the recruiting landscape as it stands now and where it’s going. Read more here –

Main Sequence Technology / PCRecruiter is pleased to support this effort and encourages all those in the talent sourcing and recruitment industry to add their voices to the survey pool:

start survey

Benefits of Recruitment Process Software

Written by Blogger on . Posted in Topics

Recruitment Process OutsourcingAs an employer, you will be required to hire new employees from time to time. It is therefore important to familiarize yourself with the important aspects of the recruitment process. You need to understand the fact that the recruitment process proper planning. Since this is a crucial task, it should be done effectively.

At times, this process can become strenuous and time consuming. But you need not to worry because the new technology can help you perform this task quickly and without a hitch. With the implementation of the new recruitment process software, your hiring process becomes simple and effective. This software is designed to help you complete the entire recruitment procedure without a hitch.

Today, businesses are facing intense pressure to offer quality results in the shortest time possible. Conversely, the recruitment process has become a big priority and pivotal to businesses’ success. It is thus important to ensure that your recruitment system comes with wide and integrated functions that can help you get the needed talents without a hassle. To achieve this, you need to incorporate the latest and more effective recruitment process software.

Thankfully, there is a wide variety of recruiting software in the market today. It is thus very easy for you to find a good program to make your recruitment tasks successful. However, you have to be careful when you are purchasing your software because some are not very reliable. There are some unscrupulous software developers whose main aim is to make a quick buck from innocent customers. Therefore you have to exercise caution so that you do not fall prey to the inept developers. Choosing the right recruitment process software can have a major impact on your business.

Making sure that you get the right persons for the open positions in your company will help you realize your objectives. Qualified employees also allow you to reduce the operational cost, improve business profitability, enhance staff loyalty, and increase customer satisfaction. Choosing adaptable recruitment process software from the right software developer is important because it will help you to organize your recruitment process and monitor applicants throughout the selection process.

Another benefit of choosing the best recruiting software is that it allows you to streamline the entire hiring process without breaking your bank. In fact, many companies have adopted this process since it enables them to make savings on the recruitment process.

What is more, it reduces the amount of time spent selecting and interviewing candidates.
Additionally, the recruitment process software developers offering spontaneous online entry applications will offer enhanced applicant experience plus an optimistic relationship with your business. Another reason why you should consider using this recruitment solution is that it helps you to reduce the number of hard copies you receive from the applicants.

It can be very strenuous to go through large volumes of applications. The recruitment process software comes with features that will help you to pick the right employees by matching their credentials with the requirements. Nevertheless, you have to ensure that the program you purchase is user-friendly.