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Managed SaaS vs. Traditional SaaS: How to Choose the Best Option for Your Organization

SAAS is red letters on a blue background with differing orientation works about cloud computingWith the end of September’s National Preparedness Month, incident response professionals may get questions from colleagues about how their organization responds to natural disasters or other major disruptions.

Communications is an especially important element of disaster response. Small businesses may find calling trees sufficient, but larger enterprises and government agencies often depend on advanced communications and information technology.

Organizations have three options for deploying incident response communications infrastructure:

  • Deploy and manage their own infrastructure
  • Deploy infrastructure provided by a third party and manage it themselves
  • Use a full-service provider that manages deployment, infrastructure and support services

The first option offers the greatest control over selecting hardware, software and overall management. This is a good option for very large organizations with specialized needs that cannot be met by commercial incident response systems. Few organizations fall into this category.

The second option — using a traditional SaaS model — allows companies and agencies to leverage the benefits of software as a service (SaaS). Instead of installing and managing hardware, clients can use the SaaS provider’s infrastructure, but with the burden to configure the system and manage data themselves. This is an appropriate option for companies and agencies that have the in-house expertise to address data quality issues, provide support to employees, train users and troubleshoot day-to-day issues.

The third option — using a managed SaaS model — is designed for organizations that seek a reliable, low maintenance emergency response system. Managed SaaS providers not only manage the communications and emergency infrastructure, but they also help with data loads, data quality, training and ongoing support. This is the best option for organizations that want to focus on other aspects of emergency response and leave the technology infrastructure to specialized professionals.

OnSolve’s managed services use a partner model that builds on the third option, with professionals that have the knowledge and skills needed to provide highly available, scalable and reliable emergency response communications and information services. The partner model does not stop with supporting backend technology. Deploying an emergency communication system requires substantial up-front work that ranges from loading data to training employees. Because we work with our clients through all phases of the deployment, clients do not have to dedicate IT staff to become experts in our systems. Instead, clients can focus on higher value incident response planning and policy formulation.

Configuring software and loading data is the beginning, not the end, of providing an incident response communications system, so we help clients promote adoption of these services with promotional material like brochures, banners and reference guides.

Our internal team of professionals are ready to work with clients to promote the best practices they have developed from working with a wide range of incident response professionals and satisfying a broad spectrum of communications requirements. When clients need assistance, they can turn to 24/7 client support.

When it comes to infrastructure, incident response professionals can choose from a range of services, from a complete do-it-yourself approach to partnering with a professional service provider that offers a fully managed solution. If your goal is to provide reliable and full-featured incident response communications, partnering with a managed service provider is the fastest and most cost-efficient option.

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