SaaS, PaaS and IaaS: No, these aren't Frank Zappa's triplets. They're actually different categories of cloud services.
Today, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the “cloud”. After all, it's a broad concept, and it encompasses virtually everything we do online. Fortunately, understanding the different categories of cloud services can help you make smarter software decisions and ensure you're opting in to the service that's right for you.
The following definitions and explanations of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS can help call center managers figure out which type of service provider would best fit their company needs.
SaaS: Software as a Service
The best-known type of cloud service is SaaS, or software as a service. In this model of cloud service, a provider manages the software and deploys it to third-party users.
Common SaaS applications include Google Apps and Dropbox. Inexpensive, simple to use and easy to scale, SaaS applications typically operate on a subscription-based business model and are the access point for many businesses as they move to the cloud. For call center operations, many would benefit the most from utilizing a SaaS call center solutions provider.
A SaaS is an “Out of the box” experience, for example, companies can easily sign up for a call center software like Convoso and then immediately start running and operating their call center that same day. This is important as many call centers using a PaaS (like Twilio) will have to build on top of the service. Therefore requiring a call center to potentially spend an excess on building their own platform. This money is likely spent on something a call center SaaS would already provide, like an UI or reporting capabilities.
PaaS: Platform as a Service
PaaS stands for platform as a service. While these types of applications function on a less comprehensive level than SaaS systems, these types of systems are still popular among call centers and other enterprise level companies. Instead of managing a service for third-party use, these applications offer a platform for the development and deployment of a service. Typically, a PaaS can be used as an API or foundational piece that you help build something on top of. A PaaS, unlike a SaaS, is nearly always dependent on further development for the service to be useful to your business.
PaaS systems enable users to ask for additional resources on an as-needed basis rather than investing in a large package right off the bat. This allows users to focus on scaling their businesses rather than dealing with servers.
While a PaaS (like Twilio) is a popular application among call centers, going with a PaaS model to operate your entire call center can be extremely time consuming and expensive. Meanwhile, a call center software that acts as a SaaS comes ready to use. It’s important to note that a PaaS is for you to build on top of and while this type of system can be beneficial in the long run, for many call centers there is a clear advantage to using a SaaS. As they are ready to use immediately and require no development on the user's end.
Ultimately, the best option for a call center looking for endless customizations would to be to simply build atop of a PaaS system.
IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service
Infrastructure as a service, or IaaS, is considered the building block of all cloud services. Made up of automated and scalable resources and enhanced by comprehensive cloud storage and networking capabilities, IaaS systems allow users to access a network that's completely self-provisioned, available on-demand and easy to monitor.
Unlike PaaS and SaaS systems, IaaS applications offer cloud services through an API or dashboard, which in turn allows users to enjoy direct access to the storage and servers on their plan. This is similar to a traditional IT layout but with much more scalability and functionality.
Ideal for large-scale data processing, IaaS applications allow companies to build a virtual data center on a cloud-based system, which means having the ability to enjoy many of the same technologies of a traditional data center without having to manage it.
By far the most flexible model in current cloud computing, IaaS allows users to automate the deployment of their servers as well as their networking, processing power, and storage.
An IaaS is a wonderful option for companies looking to build off of another company’s infrastructure to get going. While there are many pros to using an IaaS, the downfalls can be extremely troubling at times as well. Going with an IaaS provider leaves companies at the mercy of unpredictable downtime and reliability, as these systems rely solely on that company's network and infrastructure. These specific events have resulted in notorious outages for businesses across the globe.
However, to combat unpredictable downtime and reliability, Convoso’s SaaS model is built upon its own infrastructure. At the rare time of an outage, Convoso’s system has the ability to leverage an IaaS which will immediately eliminate any potential downtime. This solution is made to provide Convoso’s customers with double the security & reliability within our network. This allows for Convoso to bolster its industry leading 99.99%of uptime and constant flexibility to take on new technology.
Understanding Different Call Center Softwares are Key for Better Results
Whether you need a fully scalable system or something simple solely dedicated to providing you with a tool to outsource your frustrating management duties, odds are that a SaaS call center software will be the answer for you. SaaS models allow the most flexibility for your company as you can focus in on what actually matters to your business rather than worrying about the technology infrastructure that houses your call center operations.
While these tech-sounding monikers may seem intimidating, understanding them is actually quite simple and can help you find the best call center software for you and your unique applications.