Do you need to get SaaSy with IBM Analytics?

Published 21st March 2019

Justin Thomas  - Technical Director

IBM have a strong SaaS offering across the Analytics product range, with SaaS options available for Cognos Analytics, Planning Analytics and Controller. But when is SaaS the right option and what is the alternative when you’re pursuing Analytics in the cloud?

Why SaaS?

We need to buy IBM SaaS because we have a cloud-first strategy within the business” is an increasingly common statement that we hear, and its one that needs to be challenged.

IBM’s SaaS model offers many of the benefits often attributed to cloud solutions such as flexible payment terms, shorter Time to Value, Increased Mobility, reduced technical administration overhead and much more. 
All of these are fantastic benefits of course!  And for some the solution will be a perfect fit.

However, when you're considering the SaaS model, this does come at a cost, and I’m not talking about financial cost.  What you can often lose with the SaaS model is flexibility.

You can buy add-on bundles within IBM Cloud to increase your capacity and you’re able to link some of the products such as Controller and Planning Analytics at the back-end which will help many businesses acheive their goals but the fact of the matter is, that the IBM SaaS solution follows a somewhat cookie-cutter style approach leaving little space for the kind of flexibility that some clients are looking for.

What is the alternative?

How about a bespoke cloud-based solution that has many of the benefits of IBM SaaS but also includes so much more? 

A platform that allows you to lay out your requirements and have them built in from the ground up!
Something that allows monthly payments, is flexible and is still managed by experts that understand the IBM product suite as well as the needs of your business?

This is what we have createda and we call it araCloud.  A fully flexible, cloud platform for IBM Analytics.

When new customers come to us, we take the time to understand their needs.  Without doing this, how can we possibly provide a service that is tailored specifically for them?

You can bring your existing licenses, combine products into a single environment, just as you do within your current data centre. 
We can even link our platform directly into your own datacentre so that you can allow other systems to interact with it just like you do today.

We started building our own cloud platforms for IBM Analytics customers at the beginning of 2017, having considered many different providers including Microsoft Azure and IBM SoftLayer, we settled on Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the home for our own offering.

The sheer number of options available on AWS is mind-blowing and the ability to augment a customers IBM Analytics solution with additional services provided by Amazon gives us an unrivalled ability to solve additional problems that IBM SaaS customers might find more difficult.

Of course, there are some practicalities around this, some standards that we must build around, so that we can provide a great customer service.  But importantly, we can customise almost everything!

Which is best?

This completely depends on your needs and budget.  For many customers, the IBM SaaS approach will give them most of what they need, what it doesn’t give them, they might be able to live without.

If costs are the driving factor behind the decision to move to cloud, perhaps IBM SaaS will be the way to go.  It’s difficult to rival the vendor when it comes to optimisation of costs.

With araCloud, we find our customers choose us because of what makes us unique.  Our people, our personal customer care and our ability to build a solution around their specific requirements.

That’s not to say our solution will always cost more than IBM SaaS, if you factor in bringing your own licenses, then it can possibly offer a savings as you will only expense will be the computing power and the support services.

Just like that suit bought off the shelf, it may well do the job of making you look smart, but the tailored three-piece from a family owned store will not only make you look good, but you’ll also feel good too.