This year sees us make the move to a SaaS (Software as a Service) model, which will give our customers full access to software on-demand via a cloud-based system accessed over the internet.
Many of us are already familiar with the ‘cloud’ for storing files and photographs and securely backing up our smartphones and other devices. Where once there might have been apprehension about ‘being in the cloud’ (people preferring to see the flashing lights of data being uploaded to manual servers), there’s now been a clear shift and it’s widely accepted that pretty much everything is going in the cloud. For Elite Dynamics customers, it’s not one small cloud, it’s Microsoft’s cloud – a company spending billions each year to be the best at what they do. Data is more secure in the Microsoft data centre (cloud) than it is in your server, which might have a firewall and anti-malware protection that you’ve not renewed for three months.
For Elite Dynamics customers, SaaS will provide full, on-demand access to your software, i.e, EliteParks, minus any infrastructure or hardware costs such as paying for servers, licences, ongoing maintenance, virus protection and upgrades.
To give an example, a holiday park hosting servers on-site has to firstly buy the physical server and the licences, then manage everything from backups, firewalls and broadband, to air conditioning to keep it cool. Upgrades to technology can be costly and will likely involve a wait, as they’ll need to be scheduled in at a time when a resource is available – likewise with plugins or add-ons, which may also result in additional hardware or bandwidth costs as users increase.
Compare this to a holiday park operator on SaaS. There’s no hardware costs (servers) and no server software licence costs. Upgrades, product enhancements and subscriptions are automatically and instantly available as part of their service level agreement. It’s a simple and painless process. Any responsibility for hosting, maintenance and security is removed from the holiday or residential park. Immediate real-time Microsoft upgrades are applied, ensuring Elite customers will always have access to the very latest technology available. This will keep our customers at the forefront of technical advancements, facilitate scale to meet future demand and enable business growth to stay one step ahead of competitors.
For smaller holiday parks in particular, considering a SaaS model could equate to some quite significant annual cost savings.
In essence we’ll be offering our software to customers as a complete service, not just as a product. When the latest version is available, Elite customers will have the opportunity to be on it. When there are upgrades to be made, Elite customers on SaaS won’t face any restrictions or development costs. It’s as simple as downloading an app on a smartphone. When there’s new products, technology or functionality added to EliteParks, all of our customers can benefit. When additional platforms and software becomes available; such as the Power Platform and Power Apps, Elite customers can utilise them straight away. We’re taking our customers to the global Microsoft cloud, where we can leverage everything available. We’ll be the first to give our customers access to the latest technology, improve functionality, customise both the user experience and customer journey, and guarantee seamless, efficient integration with the rest of the Microsoft solutions.