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Dedicated SaaS for Quality and EH&S: Can it be Done?

Tim Lozier
by Tim Lozier on Tue, Jul 27, 2010

SaaS as a decicated environment

With all the industry abuzz about Software as a Service (SaaS), many players are entering the market, throwing their hat in the SaaS ring. Traditionally, we know that SaaS resides in a multi-tenant capacity. The reasons behind this have been twofold:

1.  It's easier to manage.

2.  It's cheaper to keep everyone in the same boat.

While this theory has prevailed for many years (and still is a prevailing theory), I have my own answers to these reasons:

1.  You can have a dedicated SaaS environment.

2.  It's just as cost-effective to do so, and

3.  It makes the customer much happier this way.

I added the third reason to this, mainly because in the past, the customer was held to the multi-tenancy environment, whether they liked it or not. This resulted in a reluctant acceptance of the SaaS model..."Yeah, I'm sharing a database with others, but at least I don't have IT overhead." 

The model, or rather the technology, has evolved beyond multi-tenancy, but very few vendors will tell you this, nor will they change their model (see original two reasons to illustrate why).  I'm here to tell you that in the case of Quality and EH&S software, you can have a dedicated environment, while operating in a SaaS model. With the advancements of cloud computing and virtual machines, having full-blown, dedicated environments for each customer is no longer a challenge. Here's just a few reasons why having a dedicated environment for your SaaS solution is key for your success:

1.  Simply put, it's dedicated: Let's face it - no one wants to share.  Sharing may be good for your kids in school, but when it comes to business, data is your commodity in these environments. Any potential data integrity issues resulting from multi-tenancy, while slim in this day in age, is a risk. Ask yourself, would you rather have your data in a multi-tenant environment, or a dedicated environment for the same cost?

2.  More Flexibility: When you sit on a  multi-tenant environment, you are bound by limitations within the platform. Since everyone shares the platform, configurations need to be limited, so that everyone can use the common platform. As a result, your flexibility becomes limited.  When you are dedicated, there's no limitation - configure the system to your wildest dreams. You can innovate, create the system to your exact liking, and you are not bound by "what's best for everyone".

3. Bandwidth: Any time you run and Enterprise application over an Internet connection, you are concerned with how quickly the system will respond. If you are sharing the environment, your bandwidth may suffer if some other tenant is hogging all the bandwidth downloading large files. When you are dedicated, you are the only one taking advantage of all that horsepower. Furthermore, in many cloud computing environments, the system will recognize your bandwidth limits and automatically boost your "horsepower" as you go. 

4. Dedicated Administration and Support: This is in the sense that support updates are determined by you the user, not a schedule. In many multi-tenant environments, you are told by the system when an upgrade will be done. The last thing you want to hear is that, "The system will be down between the hours of...and..." - exactly when you are having an audit. When you are dedicated, you can determine when upgrades and updates are done. This puts productivity where and when you need it, not when the system tells you can be productive.

5.  Data Retrieval: As we said before, data is your commodity in these situations, so the ability to get it out is very important.  Let's say SaaS is no longer for you, what happens to your data in a multi-tenant environment? Chances are - nothing. It goes away (or sits in the shared database gathering dust). Most often, your data is in a shared database, and to get the data out is painful and arduous. In a dedicated environment, all data in the database is yours, so there's no sifting through the tables to pick out your's all there and you can "cash out" with your data much easier.


So the model is changing, and not all SaaS offerings are there yet, but as the cloud becomes a reality for infrastructure and more companies move into these high volume, low cost environments, it will become easier to produce SaaS solutions that are dedicated to you, and my third reason for SaaS will be for everyone:

3.  It makes the customer much happier this way.

For more about EtQ's SaaS solution (yes, we are dedicated) check us out at


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Tim Lozier
Written by Tim Lozier
Tim is the Manager for Marketing and Strategy at EtQ, Inc.
Written by Author

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