This goes to Salesforce, Google Apps and every other vendor on the cloud computing market who is offering a Software-as-a-Service solution. When do you try to provide a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that is based on a REAL pay per use base?
We all here a lot about the benefits of cloud computing like flexibility, scalibility and pay per use. That means you only pay for the resources or the service you actually use. Using Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions you really pay for what you use. For example per hour or per gigabytes. Well, using common SaaS solutions you do not pay for what you use. You pay per user and this per month or per year! Ist this pay per use when you pay per user even when the user do not use the service 3 days a week? NO, this is not pay per use.
Good examples for the big players on the cloud computing market are Salesforce or Google (Apps). Google offers two plans for using “Google Apps for Business”. An annual plan and a flexible plan. The annual plan means you pay $50 per user account per year AND you have an annual contract – duration 1 year! The flexible plan is – like the name – more flexible. You pay $5 per user account per month and you do not have an annual plan. But you have to pay even when your employees are, for example, on vacation!
Salesforce is just as bad! Looking on their Sales Cloud – Group offering you have to pay $15 per user per month and “All per user products require an annual contract.” So again, you have to pay for a service even when your employees do not use it!
But not only Salesforce or Google Apps go this NOT pay per use way! If you take a look on the whole SaaS market each vendor is offering this model! So, please tell me, where is the real SaaS pay per use model? Where is the real flexibility? Cloud Computing means that I just pay for the service when I am using it! Does that mean that Salesforce, Google Apps and any other SaaS vendor do not offering cloud computing services?
Offering a service over the internet using a webbrowser is not cloud computing per se!
During my research for an article I found an idea every SaaS vendor can use to offer a real pay per use solution. The idea comes from HP and is called SAPS (Application Performance Standard Meter). HP uses it to make a precise daily billing for the SAP systems they are hosting for their customers. On the base of SAPS the resource consumption of every SAP system is measured every five minutes. It’s comparable with a power meter. This requires two measured values: the required processing power and the input / output throughput. With a built-in matrix, the collected data is converted in kiloSAPS-hours and kiloIOPS-hours (IOPS = Input / Output Performance Standard). The customer receives an accurate breakdown of the resources he uses, and an exact assignment to the respective SAP system.
Right this is for SAP systems, but it shows that it is possible to make a precise daily billing for each resource a customer is using. The SaaS vendors just need to do it!