Using software as a service, or SaaS, has become second nature for many companies to do a number of specific tasks and to take advantage of the new cloud marketplace that is beginning to develop. Thanks to a growing number of providers, companies are able to access specifically designed SaaS options or have ones built specifically for them that allow them to tailor applications and uses to the needs of their customers. But, just as with printer cartridges and their ink refill components, a curious dynamic has emerged in the SaaS industry – OEM versus non-OEM.
Banks were one of the first examples of an SaaS platform that was created and modified with a single purpose in mind – mobile banking. The banks didn’t use an existing, OEM option, they created their own, one that a great many SaaS companies learned from and integrated. Many IT companies have been watching virtual hosting and the cloud for some time now in addition to using their services and have developed the skills to create their own SaaS applications should they so desire, and that leads to a simple question – build it or buy it?
OEM options from providers offer off-the-shelf functionality with some customization – with the number of providers hitting the market; they are often willing to tailor SaaS applications to the needs of their clients. But these solutions are inherently limited by the fact that the company using them didn’t design them. In-house solutions will work better and be far more organic but will cost much more to develop and roll out. Right now, neither side has a clear advantage, but businesses should be aware that both options exist for SaaS platforms – buy them off the rack, or create them from scratch.