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What you need to know about software as a product

by Canto  |  January 20, 2021

2 min. read
A CD-Rom with a case.

Software as a product (SaaP) is a one-time purchase of a technology solution that belongs within a team’s MarTech stack. Here we’ll look at what SaaP is and how it works to service your business needs.

What is software as a product (SaaP)?

Software as a product is a license that allows you to download and host a software solution on your server. Although there are no monthly or annual subscription fees, SaaP costs more upfront as a result. Unlike cloud-based services, SaaP works offline and on the intranet, as well as the internet. When a business purchases software as a product they essentially become the host and control all of the tool’s functionality.

Software as a product is a purchase you own and not a rental you subscribe to. Once installed, it is up to a business to ensure software maintenance. SaaP upgrades usually come at an additional cost and IT will be heavily involved from the outset. Internal servers are required to accommodate SaaP as it isn’t cloud-based.

Benefits of SaaP:

  • Controlled security
  • Offline usability
  • No third-party governance

SaaP is static in nature and once you have the product you will need to maintain it. This means you’ll need a dedicated team to keep up with software updates and data security.

Keep up to date

Team workflow can be disrupted if your SaaP solutions aren’t up to date with the latest technology. To update the software, you will need to pay an additional fee to the company you purchased it from. SaaP can become costly if future pricing is not accounted for. Team collaboration and aligning your MarTech to projects and campaigns is an issue faced by SaaP owners as products evolve.

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Software as a service (SaaS) alternative

Software as a service is a monthly or yearly subscription-based solution. These third-party applications are popular for businesses keen to scale and require no internal storage space. Data is stored in the cloud and made accessible via the web. SaaS tools have several benefits:

  • Automatic updates
  • No hardware required
  • Fully scalable

Let’s compare two examples:

SaaP: Microsoft Office 2010 – CD purchase installed on a computer
SaaS: Adobe Creative Cloud – yearly subscription available via the web

When it comes to SaaS versus SaaP solutions the former makes integrating existing systems like CRM and workflow software painless. Productivity and efficiency are also improved as maintenance is left to the owner of the solution, as are licensing and legal requirements. At the end of your subscription, it’s up to you if you renew with a third-party. This encourages software companies to stay competitive. SaaP in comparison has no ongoing fees but there is a cost involved in purchasing updates of software. While data security is in the hands of the owner, so is the need to ensure it’s kept secure.

For more forward-thinking marketing teams looking to keep your business agile as technology advances, consider SaaS as the better alternative.