This is the age of software as a service – commonly known as SaaS. Most literally, this means that software is delivered in ‘turnkey’ fashion and hosted centrally rather than through a transfer of license ownership with the software being hosted behind the using company’s firewall. This use of ‘service’ as a description has more to do with delivery, as software access is drawn on demand rather than being handed off like a possession.
To let the comparison between products and services end here, however, limits the total potential value derived from technology. Chances are, your SaaS solution provider also has actual ‘people’ services, some of which can be made available through consulting-style statements of work and some that are accessible as part of a user support agreement.
These services, and the professionalism and experience of the people who deliver them, has a direct effect on the success, adoption, and results generated from your procurement technology. To help you see the difference, let’s play… ‘Product or Service?’
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