This article features five questions with Mark Yablonski, chief technology officer at Valogix, a Savvis client, who shares details about his company’s SaaS delivery model and use of cloud computing.
1. Can you give a brief overview of Valogix? Valogix solves the most complex inventory planning challenges for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with easy-to-use, affordable inventory planning and optimization solutions. Using Valogix, our customers:
- Reduce inventory by 20 percent to 60 percent
- Increase productivity by up to 85 percent
- Reduce stock-outs and overstocks, shipping costs and lost sales
- Increase sales by having inventory in stock
2. What led Valogix to cloud computing? Cost, efficiency and flexibility gains for us. We only pay for what we need to service our customers. We can quickly adapt to changing customer demands. In addition, software-as-a-service (SaaS) gives us the advantage of assuring our customers are always using the latest software and continually seeing the benefit of new features and improvements without having to go through an internal upgrade project.
3. How has cloud improved your company’s SaaS delivery model? It has simplified it. We deploy as a software appliance; our software stack is completely configured and ready to be used. When a new version is ready, we load the appliance in the cloud, allocate its CPUs and RAM, then just turn it on. It has eliminated software installers, operating system configurations and conflicts, and all the headaches of trying to install into customer’s IT environment.
There is no purchasing of servers or additional resources to support growth. We just put up another appliance and turn it on and only pay for what resources it uses.
4. What benefits are your customers seeing since you implemented cloud solutions? SaaS frees the customers from technical logistics of the typical software install and maintenance, and puts the emphasis on using the product and its features right away, allowing customers to see ROI and value must faster. Right out of the gate, the customer is focused on assuring the accuracy of their data and seeing the immediate impact of savings to their business.
The customer only needs a web browser to use our solution. When we add an improvement requested by a customer, all customers get the improvement.
5. What advice do you have for other independent software vendors considering cloud? Cloud is the future of enterprise software. It provides an economic model that benefits yourself and your customers.
In choosing a cloud provider, do your research. How much control do you get? How does utility billing work (it should be only what you use)? Who owns your data (your customers should, not the provider)? Are you restricted to only using their provisioned images (you should not be)? How much control do you have over your cloud network and firewall? Do their SLAs match your customer’s?
Read the Savvis case study about SaaS infrastructure services deployed by Valogix.