I just read Stan Swete’s Workday Innovation blog piece on what SaaS actually means (you can find it here). In the piece Swete ends up cribbing from SystematicHR’s simple and short definition: SaaS means a hosted service on a single code base.
Because we host and because we incorporate literally every single client customization into core engineering and take it all forward in our general releases, by Swete’s definition NetDimensions has always been a SaaS provider. In fact, we may well have been the first ever SaaS talent vendor.
But we’re special. We seem to be able to work technology magic other companies struggle with (it must be the Hong Kong air). We not only host, but we also provide licensed software for third-party hosting and for our clients’ on-premise implementations (some clients will never be able to buy externally hosted services).
I’m pretty sure this kind of flexibility on a single code base is unique. I don’t know of any other SaaS talent vendor who does this.
So for us there’s no ideological rift. There are no SaaS vs. License discussions at NetDimensions. We do both. We do both in the same way, at the same time and we do it for all of our clients.