The “as-a-service” model of cloud computing provides services over the internet. It is a trend that continues to gain traction across the globe as these offerings are being made available in the pay-as-you-go business model. The most common and familiar models are Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). A newer concept, Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS), encompasses everything provided as a Service.
XaaS (also referred to as Anything-as-a-Service, sometimes) reflects how organizations across the globe are adopting the as-a-Service method for delivering everything to the users over the internet rather than providing locally or on-premises within an enterprise. XaaS is built on the theme of how to take any IT function or business function, productize it, and add multiple layers of services to it. Payment for these services can be made in a flexible consumption model rather than an upfront purchase or license. Companies look to integrate their products and services into a single package, commonly known as servitization. The mix of offerings allows organizations to provide greater value than standalone offerings.
Examples of XaaS models include Storage-as-a-Service (SaaS), which provides data and backup storage systems in the cloud. Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS), which provides access to a database platform through the cloud, Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS), which guards organizations against Ransomware and Denial of Service attacks, Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS), and Network-as-a-Service (NaaS).
Organizations choose the XaaS model as it reduces the cost and simplifies deployments. Using the services provided on the cloud, an organization can reduce the in-house Infrastructure (servers, hard drives, network devices), which reduces equipment space, power, and cooling. Utilizing cloud services rather than an on-premises technology shifts Capital Expense (CapEx) to Operational Expense (OpEx) for the business.
What is usually included in XaaS?
Several services constitute the XaaS collection. A few of them are as follows:
SaaS or Software-as-a-Service refers to applications that are offered to businesses over the cloud. In a typical contact centre ecosystem, cloud-based telephony systems play an important role. The most significant capability of these phones is their ability to function without telephone lines or wires.
Cloud phone systems can be managed and maintained centrally by your cloud service provider. This saves you maintenance and upgrading costs over the long haul. Since these cloud phones operate over the Internet, they’re accessible from anywhere.
For example, if you maintain a remote workforce, your employees will not need special equipment to connect to these phone lines. They may use their smart devices and operate from the comfort of their homes. Moreover, cloud service providers stay on par with compliance and security regulations. You should note that these regulations differ from location to location. Your service provider will regularly update compliance and security protocols based on the industry requirements.
Communication-Platform-as-a-Service enables you to add real-time communication features to your applications. This eliminates the need for you to maintain a separate application for various mediums. For example, consider the example of a contact centre that runs on a traditional communication system. A customer contacts the agent who thinks providing a live demo is the best way to guide the customer. Using a traditional communication system, the agent will have to disconnect the audio call and reconnect with the customer over a video call. The customer may not be happy about this process as it involves waiting time.
However, with CPaas your agent can easily switch from audio to video without disconnecting the ongoing call. Furthermore, CPaaS offers contextual inputs to your agents that help deliver seamless customer experiences. So, they can review a caller’s transaction history while chatting with them. These inputs help your agents provide customised and personalised customer experiences, thereby improving satisfaction.
The BPaaS market was valued at USD 3.84 billion in the year 2019 and is estimated to grow to USD 17.90 billion by 2027. This indicates a CAGR of 22.9% for the forecast period. BPaaS or Business Process as a Service refers to business process outsourcing. This service is delivered over the cloud. It primarily focuses on providing organisations with the people, technology, and processes required to run efficiently on a cloud-based model. Like other cloud-based services, BPaaS also empowers companies to pay-as-they-use and scale up and down capabilities. For instance, you own a contact centre and have opted for the BPaaS service model. Since the model facilitates easy scaling of capacity, you can simply expand your phone lines during peak times by notifying your provider to do so.
Also, as it is based on the pay-as-you-use model, you will need to pay only for the resources you may have used. This proves to be pocket-friendly when compared to a flat monthly fee. These capabilities of BPaaS allow you to accommodate fluctuating business needs and thereby, stay on par with industry trends.
Desktop-as-a-Service is a cloud offering that provides virtual desktops to end-users over the Internet. This service is also charged as per the pay-as-you-use model. The first advantage of DaaS centralised accessibility. Most cloud service provider hosts the infrastructure, network resources, and data in the cloud. Virtual desktops can then be connected through any of your devices. This cloud-based service encourages the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model. Considering a cloud telephony environment, your workforce can connect to this centralised system from anywhere and through any device. Moreover, as business-critical information is saved on the cloud, it is maintained securely by your cloud service provider. Even if your employee loses their device, you needn’t worry about the risks that come with locally stored data. Your cloud service provider takes complete charge of backup and disaster recovery.
In the case of a conventional telephony system, it may be difficult to restore business-critical information after a crisis. However, when using DaaS, your cloud service provider maintains a data backup that supports business continuity even after a major disaster. Yet another advantage of DaaS for businesses is the technology’s capability to scale up and down with shifting IT requirements. You may easily increase the number of users accessing data over the cloud if need be and then scale down when the requirement is met.
With the digital revolution all over the place and the world adapting to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), businesses are seeking new business models and flexible technology platforms. The combination of cloud computing and global internet access with high speed and high bandwidth provides a perfect environment for adopting the XaaS model. XaaS is sure to drive business and dominate the future of cloud computing. To understand and know more about how XaaS could make a big difference with 5G and cloud, watch the webinar here. For a better reading on what and how XaaS can be offered in the best possible methods, read our blogs on XaaS. STL’s very own Network Software Platform provides the ability to create XaaS services over it.