19 Dec How to Choose an XaaS Vendor: Top Questions to Ask
In a world of constant digital transformation, it can feel like there are too many terms and acronyms for anyone to reasonably track. From SASE and SD-WAN, to IoT and CPaaS, it’s no surprise many business technology buyers end up overwhelmed.
One of the most common trends we’re seeing right now, is the rise of “aaS”, or “As a Service” offerings. Leveraging the power of the cloud computing landscape, “as a service” solutions make it easier for companies to accessible flexible and scalable solutions for their business. You can purchase everything from a contact center to security on a subscription basis.
XaaS, or “Anything as a Service”, is the broad umbrella term used to define anything that might be offered using this business model. Right now, the market is growing at an exceptional rate, set to reach a value of $2,384 billion by 2028.
But how exactly do you choose the XaaS solutions you need?
Choosing and XaaS Vendor: The Basics
The first step in choosing a XaaS vendor is knowing exactly what you need. The term “XaaS” refers to all services offered as a service. This includes “Contact Centre as a Service” as well as “Unified Communications as a Service”, and even “Software as a Service”.
Before you can start looking for a solution, you’ll need to know what kind of technology you need. Some of your options might include:
- HaaS: Hardware as a service
- DaaS: Desktop as a service
- DBaaS: Database as a service
- StaaS: Storage as a service
- PaaS: Platform as a service
Most major companies, including market leaders like AWS (Amazon Web Services), Google, and Microsoft offer some form of XaaS. Each pillar of technology has its own unique features to offer.
It’s also worth knowing what the benefits of XaaS solutions are. The most obvious advantage is affordability. You can pay for exactly what you need on a subscription basis, and scale your features up and down as necessary, with no initial expenses. XaaS is wonderfully cost-effective, and it provides you with the agility to grow at your preferred pace.
You also get flexibility with XaaS. You can access your tools anywhere, thanks to the cloud, which opens the door for hybrid work.
Questions to Ask when Choosing a XaaS Vendor
Once you know what flavor of XaaS you’re looking for, and you’ve defined the benefits of switching to this business model, the next step is exploring your options. While the exact questions you ask your XaaS vendor may depend on the kind of technology you’re buying, some will be relevant for every options, from CCaaS to UCaaS.
1. What’s Your Uptime Guarantee?
One of the biggest risks of switching to an XaaS model, is there’s always a risk you could be left without access to essential tools if your technology suddenly becomes unavailable. Downtime is an issue that no cloud provider can prevent entirely. However, most XaaS vendors offer a “Service Level Agreement” or SLA for peace of mind. This means if your downtime goes beyond a certain level, you’ll get some form of refund.
Ask about your vendor’s availability guarantee, as well as what kind of solutions they have in place to protect against downtime. Many companies will have failover strategies and backups in place to keep your crucial systems running as much as possible.
2. Where Will My Data Be Hosted?
When you’re dealing with services in the cloud, you’re also managing a consistent flow of data back and forth to a specific location. Knowing where your data or service is going to be hosted can be important for a number of reasons. First, it gives you an insight into what your performance is going to look like. Data hosted nearby is easier to access.
It’s also important from a compliance perspective. Some companies in certain industries will have data sovereignty requirements to consider. Outside of finding out where your data is hosted, you should also learn about the securities and provisions in place to keep it safe. Most vendors offer end-to-end encryption as a basic service.
3. Are Your the Provider?
This might not be a question you think about asking straight away, but it can be an important one. As XaaS solutions become increasingly popular, there are a number of resellers out there who essentially provide the service offered by another company.
If you’re dealing with a reseller, this could mean you don’t get the same level of support and technical guidance as you would when working with a vendor directly. In some cases, resellers can actually offer a lot more support, because they have dedicated teams specifically for looking after customers. Check what kind of support and guidance you’ll be getting from any vendor.
4. How Scalable is the Service?
One of the biggest benefits of XaaS services is how easy it can be to scale your service up or down. Businesses can easily scale services by switching their chosen plan and coordinating with an XaaS partner in most cases. However, certain vendors will have more limitations when it comes to how quickly you can make changes to your ecosystem.
Look at the flexibility of the environment, whether your vendor can adapt your package to suit you, and whether the right integrations are available to keep all of your technology in the same ecosystem. Make sure you can upgrade or downgrade your plan whenever the situation calls for it.
5. What are the Fees
This is probably the most significant question to ask for most companies in search of a XaaS solution. You need to know you’re getting the service you want for a price you can afford. While using a XaaS company generally costs less than buying hardware and hosting your own data, some vendors will definitely cost more than others.
Make sure you get a clear view of all the costs, as hidden fees can be overwhelming at times. Evaluate things like the cost of migrating data to another environment, and the extra price you might have to pay for premium support.
Choosing a XaaS Provider
XaaS companies are becoming more popular in regions all around the world, used by thousands of companies on a daily basis. As the XaaS space evolves, it’s important to know exactly what you need before you start searching for solutions.
While XaaS models can provide companies with greater price flexibility and agility, not all providers are the same. Take your time to research your options and ask the right questions before you dive in.