SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It means software that is hosted on the provider’s servers instead of servers in-house. So, when an LMS provider say they have a SaaS LMS, they’re really saying we offer a cloud LMS. Cloud meaning accessed through the internet, available on demand, anytime, anywhere.
How does it work?
The client subscribes to the software rather than licensing it outright and running it on their own servers. They then pay a fee, either by subscriber or by monthly usage to the provider who maintains the software program and provides technical support to the client. The provider runs back-ups, does server maintenance and security upgrades, and provides IT services that support the clients usage of the software, while the client runs their organization.
What are the benefits?
In addition to being able to say you’re “on the cloud,” there are other benefits to SaaS (Cloud) LMSs including:
• Lower initial costs and reduced in-house support
Because you aren’t purchasing hardware and hiring IT support staff to go along with your software solution, your up-front costs are lower than they would be if you simply purchased an LMS that was not hosted elsewhere.
• Faster deployment
Because the SaaS provider has an entire team of IT professionals, your deployment time is vastly reduced. Even with customizations, the provider has the advantage of having more techs available with specialized skills and full training on how the LMS works, what’s needed to implement customizations, and how to get your SaaS LMS up and running. Taking this on by yourself could be a hassle, as you first have to find skilled IT staff, and then they have to learn the LMS. Once they know the software, then they have to figure out how to customize it for you. Do they know how to integrate your AMS with your LMS? How long will it take them to learn? Software as a Service skips those hassles and makes deployment a breeze.
• An ability to focus on the organization’s core business, instead of spending resources to support yet another system
Because you’re not spending your time and resources on managing and implementing the LMS, you’re free to expand your association membership or organization’s learning objectives. You have time to focus on creating the right learning content and developing marketing strategies to build your eLearning programs.
For more great information, check out our resources page.
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