Why Pick Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for Automating your Business Processes?
Even if you haven’t already started using software solutions and automation to make your business processes run more smoothly, process automation is likely on your radar. Automating things like accounts payable, purchasing, and expense reporting has been going on for years. There’s a good chance your company is already using software like QuickBooks or NetSuite to help manage finances. You might even have automated other processes as well.
But maybe your current software isn’t working as well as it used to. Or maybe your business is new and growing, and you’re looking for a great software solution to get started with automation. Or perhaps you’re working for a well-established company ready to move from paper files or outdated software to something more efficient.
Whatever the reason you’re considering a new automation solution, one of the keywords you’re likely to see when researching is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This type of cloud-based workflow automation is easy to implement, user-friendly, and works great for companies of all sizes.
What Is Software-as-A-service and How Does It Work?
Remember when you first started using programs like Microsoft Word and Excel? Chances are, you bought a copy of the software and installed it onto your computer (or the IT department did). Then, you kept using that same program until it was time for an update. To update the program, you had to buy new software.
If you’ve now started using Microsoft 365, then you have some idea of how Software-as-a-Service works. Instead of making a one-time software purchase, you subscribe to a service that gives you access to the included software. The software updates automatically, giving you the most up-to-date version of the software the whole time you’re subscribed. SaaS software usually uses a transaction-based pricing model rather than a flat monthly fee.
Are There Advantages to SaaS?
The SaaS model comes with a lot of advantages. First, you don’t need to worry about software updates or troubleshooting anymore. Once you subscribe to the service, the software supplier handles all of that for you. SaaS solutions also make automation much easier. Instead of building automation yourself and trying to cobble together a system that works for your company, the software supplier handles integrations.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you want to automate your whole procure-to-pay cycle. You can sign up for NextProcess’ Accounts Payable and Procurement software. We’ll integrate the software with your existing ERP and deliver a streamlined, efficient system that lets you automate your whole procure-to-pay cycle with no software conflicts.
Will Software-as-a-Service Be Easy to Use?
Other big advantages of SaaS come from accessibility and ease of use. Since the software is on the cloud rather than downloaded to a specific device, employees with the right security permissions and login information can access your business process software from any location. This is a huge advantage when employees work from home, split their time between home and office, or travel for work.
There’s a learning curve with any new software, but SaaS programs are generally very user-friendly. A simple, intuitive interface makes picking up how to use NextProcess software easy. During and after implementation, our customer service team is there to help answer questions and train your team to use the software.
Here are just a few of the user-friendly software features NextProcess includes. For expense reporting, employees can snap a picture of paper receipts and upload them to the Travel and Expense software from their cell phones. When making purchases, punch-out and item catalogs make shopping within the Purchase Order system very easy. Automated data entry in the Accounts Payable software frees-up employees and increases accuracy. And if you automate multiple processes, the software modules work together seamlessly to make employees’ tasks even easier.
What About Software-as-a-Service Costs?
Another advantage of using a SaaS solution is that it can save your company money. It’s cost-effective to pay for software on a per-transaction model (as you do with NextProcess programs like our AP software). This ensures you’re not overpaying for services you don’t use. It also means you can quickly scale up as your business grows.
The transactional pricing model also means you can expense your software as an operational expense rather than a capital expense. Instead of having cash leave your company in a lump sum (often a very large sum, depending on the type of software and how many licenses you need to buy) and depreciating the tax deduction, you get a lower annual cost that’s fully tax-deductible in the current year.
You can also save money on related technology and storage costs. With digital financial records stored securely on the cloud, you won’t need to maintain expensive company servers to store those digital files in-house or maintain paper files. You also won’t need to provide employees with high-power computers to run the software. Any internet-enabled device will work.
Is It Easy to Implement SaaS?
In addition to the many other advantages, Software-as-a-Service solutions are the easiest way to automate your business processes. There’s no extra work for your IT department. And there isn’t much downtime at all while rolling over to the new software system. IT doesn’t have to configure the software on individual devices and the software provider handles implementation for your company.
Now, just because the software supplier is taking care of all the implementation work doesn’t mean your company doesn’t get any say in the setup. NextProcess’ SaaS software is highly customizable. We work very closely with you during the entire implementation process to make sure the software is customized to your company’s workflow. This includes building policy compliance directly into the software. It also means you can configure the interface that different employees see based on what jobs they need to do.
For accounts payable, you can usually count on implementation lasting about 60 to 90 days. We don’t consider the software fully set up, though, for 3 to 4 months. NextProcess stays closely involved during those months to make sure our software is learning how to automate your workflow efficiently.
Want A Free Demo?
If you’d like to see how NextProcess’ Software-as-a-Service solutions could work for your business process automation, click here to get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and set up a time to demo our software. You’ll get to see first-hand exactly how NextProcess software would work for your business and customize it to fit your exact needs.