Sales Performance Management Best Practices Blog

Is NetCommissions a Multi-Tennant SaaS/Cloud application ?

Posted by Jerry Hegarty on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 @ 17:03 PM

Flexible and proud !

If you are considering a business process automation solution such as NetCommissions, you are probably wondering about the best method for deploying the technology. An emerging trend is to deploy the solution in a hosted, Software-as-a-Service, mode where the vendor manages all elements of the infrastructure, database & application freeing  business users to focus on managing and improving the process.  Keep in mind that this hosted approach has (is) also been referred to as ASP (Application Service Provider) or On-Demand services as well. As you dig deeper and research SaaS to explore if it is a fit for your situation, you will probably come across references to various forms of SaaS deployments that are bound to obfuscate the core business decision.

Product evaluation teams that are in the midst of an evaluation process often ask vendors such as NetCommissions if a particular SaaS solution is a multi-tenant or not.  The reason for this line of reasoning is often puzzling and may highlight a need to define terms when discussing hosting methodology.  Is the team looking for the lowest cost solution possible and view the requirement of hosting strategy as the dominant cost driver (BTW: it’s not). Is the team worried about the scalability of the solution and feel that having many companies sharing resources such as a shared database as a litmus test for meeting whatever scalability criteria the firm has?

NetCommissions Cloud Solution

Interestingly, we view the question a bit differently; while many in the marketplace who would have you believe that SaaS delivery of software is synonymous with “a multi-tenant’ hosting methodology, we say let company needs drive any requirements related to deployment methodology, not the vendors desired cost model.

Let’s start with some basics;

  • Sales compensation is a heterogeneous process; the needs of different industries and companies within each industry very significantly. Sales strategy and the compensation plans that reinforce that strategy along with the data which support the compensation plans reflect individual corporate and competitive strategies which, by definition, are unique.  

  • With a competitive global landscape that is constantly shifting, your sales performance management system needs to be able to morph and keep pace with the changing sales strategies & plans.

  • Flexibility is a core need if your sales incentive management software is going to be a tool that helps your company and sales force out execute your competitors.

  • Vendor definitions of Multi-Tenant need to be clearly defined, what elements of the solution are truly shared; Infrastructure? Databases? Application?

Sales compensation requires SaaS deployments to provide sufficient flexibility to keep pace with changing business requirements. How?

  • Flexibility & the ability to adjust should the need arise.

    • There are times when it may be desirable to automate some of the activities or processes related, but not central to, Sales Compensation. Is it possible to add unique automation to these activities or does your vendor force you to ‘get in line’ and add these requests to a feature list that will be prioritized by a centralized developers and rolled out to all tenants? What if you are not one of the ‘big fish’ in the pond, will your requests be heard and acted upon in a timely fashion?

    • Deployment flexibility.

      • A SaaS deployment may be embraced by the current management team, but what if you would like to bring the solution in house at some future date? Can you ?

      • What about upgrades? Are you forced to schedule around the vendors upgrade schedule, or can you work with your vendor to schedule such activities to suit your own schedule?

All this while fully matching the uptime, security certification and price of multi-tenant solutions. So why is there so much buzz about multi-tenant SaaS?  the primary reason we see is that vendors who have embraced this strategy may be able to save a little money related to managing its infrastructure, so it’s in their best interest to promote it vigorously. Otherwise, the added flexibility of hybrid SaaS approach provides you with much more flexibility for a process that demands it.


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Topics: EVP/Sales Leader, CTO, CFO/Finance Leader, CEO