Software as a Service (SaaS): A Different Way to Think About Digital Signage Software

January 20, 2009

“Software as a service”. “On-demand applications”. “Application service providers”. “Cloud computing”. If you’ve spent any amount of time online lately, you’ve probably heard some of these terms. But what do they mean exactly?

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Simply put, they’re referring to a new and increasingly popular way to use software: through the Internet.

The way that most of us are used to thinking about using computer applications is the traditional “boxed software” approach: you buy a program, install it on your own computer, and use it exclusively on that single computer. When your single licensed copy of that software becomes outdated, you purchase the updated version, install it on that same computer, and so on.

By contrast, a program delivered “as a service” is installed on the Internet. You don’t have to install anything on your own computer. So instead of purchasing a single “boxed” version and installing it on a single computer, you purchase a subscription to the program, which gives you access to it, at any time, via the Internet. Your license allows you to use any computer on the planet – as long as it’s connected to the Internet – to access and use the software.

It’s a different way of thinking about using software. And once you try it, the many conveniences of this Software as a Service (or “SaaS”) approach become obvious, quickly. If there was one word to summarize the advantages of this new approach, it would be “easy.”

To begin with, you can say goodbye to all your installation, deployment and upgrading hassles.Since you’re not physically installing anything on any of your computers, you don’t have to experience any delays when you want to use the latest version of the program.

And most importantly, you’re no longer tethered to any one single computer. Since the program you’re subscribing to is installed on the Internet, you can log in and access it from any computer that has an Internet connection. Anytime.

That’s why we’ve built the Rise Display Network as an SaaS. It’s a great fit for digital signage applications, because it enables you to get up and running quickly. It’s completely scalable, from one display to a virtually unlimited number of displays. It has a low initial cost. You don’t have to reinstall anything on every one of your network’s computers every time a new version is released – which is often, because we’re always updating the features in Rise Display Network. And you don’t need any special hardware, IT experts, or programmers to make the program work. Just fire up the web browser on any Internet-enabled computer, anywhere in the world, to gain instant and full access to the Rise Display Network.

What do you think?   Lend me your insights on Software as a Service for digital signage applications.

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Ryan Cahoy is the Managing Director of Rise Vision the owner, developer, and operator of the Rise Display Network. Learn more at www.risevision.com