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Posted 30 Nov 2007

Guide to Starting SaaS Operations

, 30 Nov 2007
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Software as a Service: How to set-up the infrastructure, network, procedures, etc. to delivering software on-demand


Faced with intensifying competition, as well as a desire for more stable revenue streams and stronger customer relationships, software companies are increasingly turning to the Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery model. Adoption of SaaS is driven in part by end-users, who benefit from access to any application, from anywhere, on virtually any web-enabled device; better licensing and cost control; and assurance that the most recent version of the application is in use. SaaS is built on the legacy of the ASP model, but modernized and enhanced by today's robust web services integration capabilities, increased bandwidth and bandwidth availability, and more mature infrastructure.

As a strategic offering, SaaS has already shown that it can:
• Open new markets, revenue streams, and distribution channels
• Provide a stable, recurring revenue model
• Afford consolidation of development and support efforts around single versions of code

Now, software companies are facing the complex issues involved with building the service delivery capabilities necessary to support SaaS offerings. Building an SaaS infrastructure is a complex undertaking, requiring a committed team and a focused effort. End-users demand 100% uptime, appropriate Service Level Agreements, and 24x7 call center support. Meeting those demands requires 24x7 application and systems management, hosting, networking and security infrastructures, disaster recovery capabilities, change management policies and procedures, and more.

The Steps
1. Understand your business objectives and definition of a successful outcome
2. Select and staff your services delivery team
3. Define and understand the infrastructure needed to deliver your SaaS application
4. Select your hosting facility and Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
5. Procure the infrastructure and software required to deliver your SaaS application
6. Deploy your SaaS delivery infrastructure
7. Implement disaster recovery and business continuity planning
8. Integrate a monitoring solution
9. Establish a Network Operations Center (NOC), Client Call Center and ticketing system
10. Design and manage Service Level Agreements
11. Document and manage the solution

In this white paper, we describe this high-level, step-by-step methodology for successfully starting operations with SaaS.

About the Author

John Rowell is Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering and co-founder of OpSource, Inc. OpSource is an expert in delivering applications on-demand and software as a service. Every day the company delivers hundreds of applications to millions of users and supports billions of transactions.

Over the past decade, Mr. Rowell has held senior management positions with leading hosting, telecommunications, and Internet services companies. He has extensive experience building, operating, and managing complex global IT infrastructure systems that are able to scale to meet dynamic business requirements. Prior to co-founding OpSource, Mr. Rowell led a team of over 500 people as Vice President of Operations for Metromedia Fiber Network (MFN). He was responsible for the delivery of managed services and the operation of the MFN data centers in the Americas, supporting leading enterprise customers including BP Amoco, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Paramount, and Sony. He joined MFN through the acquisition of SiteSmith, where he was Vice President of Operations. Before joining SiteSmith, Mr. Rowell was Director of Enterprise Services for UUNET Technologies, where he led the team responsible for the design, implementation, and ongoing support of large-scale enterprise environments in an outsourced model. Clients included AutoNation, Disney, The Go Network, Levi Strauss, Marriott International,, Sony Playstation, and Symantec. Mr. Rowell holds a B.S. from the University of Alabama and attended the masters program for engineering management at George Washington University

To learn more about OpSource, please visit


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GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
Paul Conrad29-Jan-10 18:06
memberPaul Conrad29-Jan-10 18:06 

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