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SaaS Managed Services Guide: What You Need to Know

26 July, 2021
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If your company is like most others, you use Software as a Service (SaaS) applications all the time. Maybe that’s Microsoft Office 365 for creating office documents or DocuSign for digital document signing. Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps you’ve been using a SaaS app like GoToMeeting or Zoom for video calling. You might be deploying SaaS, too, for core business functions such as enterprise resource planning (ERP).

SaaS applications run in the cloud and can be easily accessed from any device outfitted with a web browser. The advantages of SaaS are many, including lower upfront costs than your company would pay for traditional on-premises software.

However, on its own, SaaS has its limitations. Off-the-shelf SaaS applications tend to leave little room for individualization. You should consider managed SaaS (MSaaS) instead if your organization can gain from customized configuration, personalized support, and other specialized services and tools to help you get the most from your applications.

When SaaS Alone Isn’t Enough

If you’re already deploying SaaS, you know that these cloud-enabled applications offer flexibility and affordability. Because SaaS applications are browser-based, the applications will run on any operating system or hardware within your organization, including Windows PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones. SaaS also removes the need for investing in additional hardware, such as servers and network switches, or in purchasing multi-year licenses for on-prem software.

Instead, SaaS is billed on a monthly subscription basis, so that you only pay for what you need. SaaS is also highly scalable, so you can add or subtract users to the service and adjust your plan accordingly.

For some business functions, in fact, an off-the-shelf SaaS application may be just fine. But core business processes like CRM and ERP often call for more customized solutions.

MSaaS vs. SaaS

MSaaS combines the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of SaaS with personalized attention. SaaS managed service providers will configure core software, custom-build new features, and provide a menu of other options to meet or exceed both your business and technical requirements.

How does managed SaaS work? SaaS and MSaaS are both downloaded immediately. SaaS, however, is standard software, whereas MSaaS is configured individually to each account.

Users of managed Software as a Service usually own a license that includes the software in addition to ongoing support and upgrades. In contrast, with SaaS services, support is usually either nonexistent or limited to a certain number of hours per year. What’s more, the cookie-cutter support of self-service SaaS providers doesn’t recognize how businesses differ in their objectives and challenges.

MSaaS providers, on the other hand, focus on support tailored to your business’ specific needs, with dedicated professionals who will collaborate with you to customize your solution to reach your goals. When you need it, a managed SaaS provider will bring in specialized talent from development and project management teams for even greater customization.

Different Types of MSaaS Providers

When you’ve seen one MSaaS provider, though, you haven’t seen them all. Some MSaaS providers offer highly specialized value-added MSaaS offerings that compete against SaaS services in their respective niches. TruQC, for example, specializes in reporting apps. CallFinder, another MSaaS provider, offers cloud-enabled speech analytics.

Some other MSaaS providers, such as GSI, offer MSaaS services for a broad range of core enterprise SaaS applications. GSI’s MSaaS services are an expanding piece of its 15-year tradition of offering a wide spectrum of business, functional, and technical consulting services for NetSuite, ServiceNow, JD Edwards, Salesforce, BMC, HubSpot, and other enterprise software.

GSI's services are performed by experts with deep knowledge, extensive global implementation experience, and many certifications and awards.

Specific MSaaS Services

Virtually all MSaaS providers focus on customizing SaaS to meet individual business needs. With that said, specific services vary a lot among providers. Here are some key services from GSI.

Remote Workforce Consulting Service

With its extensive experience in cloud-enabled enterprise apps, GSI can guide you in creating a remote workforce plan, deciding which technology solutions to use, managing remote assets, and much more.

The rise of the remote workforce also raises new cybersecurity concerns. GSI can advise you on questions around whether or not your virtual private network is secure enough, the best ways to roll out security patches to remote users, and how to provide adequate antiviral and endpoint protection to work-at-homers.

Building Supply Chain Resilience During a Crisis

During the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers and warehouses that can’t implement work-at-home environments have needed to make adjustments such as altering existing shift schedules, dealing with shipping delays, and sorting on an aisle-by-aisle basis to meet workplace health regulations.

GSI has helped companies make new configurations in the demand planning, forecasting, and manufacturing planning requirements aspects of their ERP apps to stay in step with changing business circumstances during the crisis.

IT as a Service (ITaaS)

The global pandemic has also been particularly challenging to small and midsized businesses, which are often without the internal IT resources required for mobilizing, supporting, and monitoring a mainly remote workforce. As the pandemic wanes, it’s expected that many employees will continue to work remotely.

GSI offers ITaaS to enhance existing IT organizations by supplying the hardware, software, and support they need in exchange for a monthly fee.

Custom Development

When an off-the-shelf software offering doesn’t completely meet your requirements, it’s sometimes necessary to build a new app. You might need to integrate either the new app or an existing tool with multiple systems used by your organization. GSI has years of experience to effectively manage custom development and app modernization projects.

Meanwhile, GSI continues to enhance its own MSaaS offerings on an ongoing basis. For instance, to improve system monitoring in its MSaaS service for JD Edwards software, GSI has integrated LogicMonitor into its service.

Learn more about GSI

GSI, Inc. specializes in providing a broad spectrum of business, functional, and technical consulting services for NetSuite, ServiceNow, JD Edwards, BMC, HubSpot, Salesforce, and other enterprise applications. We also offer an extensive array of cloud/hosting solutions for Oracle Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and private cloud.

GSI combines its deep application and industry experience with advanced A.I. and automation to deliver cutting-edge intelligence. This advanced intelligence combined with our outstanding people allows GSI to deliver Service Excellence every single day.

GSI’s comprehensive suite of solutions include AppCare, a 24/7 managed service; GatewayNow, an affordable, fully managed instance of ServiceNow ITSM; GENIUS AI, an Application Intelligence Platform (AIP) for creating application health and user experience monitors; GENISYS, a solution for modeling, measuring and maximizing system performance; gShield, a comprehensive security solution; RapidApproval®, a Salesforce AppExchange solution for streamlining the approval request process; RapidReconciler®, its inventory reconciliation software, and JDE Cloud9, a complete cloud-based hosted service. GSI consulting services are backed by its signature 100 percent guarantee. Founded in 2004, the rapidly growing company is headquartered in Atlanta with locations nationwide. GSI, Inc. has been named to Inc. Magazine’s Inc.5000 list of fastest-growing companies for two consecutive years.

Contact GSI to learn more about our NetSuite consulting services or the features in the latest release (NetSuite 2021.2)  and how we can help support your unique needs. 

Shawn Scanlon

Shawn Scanlon lives in the Metro Detroit area where he has lived with his wife since 2000. He's been designing and implementing ERP solutions for over 20 years and is one of the principals at GSI. When he's not working on expanding the business, you can find him playing with his kids, golfing, skiing and enjoying life.

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