A lot of people are asking us what KaaS is, so we wanted to take the time to tell you.
Back in school, if you had a weak subject, you had a couple of options. You could, if you had the money and the moxie, just pay someone to deliver the work for you. Or you could seek out a tutor who would fill in the empty spots in your knowledge and walk you through the subject until you got it on your own.
As you can guess, the first option is called ‘cheating,’ but it’s the standard approach to knowledge delivery in enterprise software contexts. You have a gap in your knowledge—for example, you don’t know how to configure a module—and you pay someone to come and do it for you. Of course, the expertise goes right out the door with the expert.
The second option is closer to KaaS. In this model, the expert gives you something enduring—a video demo, a PDF, an ebook, etc.—that you can learn from. The benefits of this system are tremendous. You keep the learning, you build your organizational IQ, and you pay less than you would pay someone to fly in and do the work for you on site.
The KaaS model is, unlike knowledge delivery, a just-in-time model. Knowledge delivery isn’t designed to be that way. You can’t call in IBM Global Services when you want to know how to toggle a single feature in SAP PLM. The big guys are designed to deliver big, top-down projects, not to help you with the nagging, practical questions that come up day after day. If you have some kind of help contract with a vendor or consultant, you can take a small problem to them—but know that you’re paying them a vast sum of money just to be on call for solutions that can be delivered more easily by KaaS. Would you want to pay an entire hospital to be on call to treat you for a mild cold? Wouldn’t it be cheaper and easier to start treating a cold only when you got one, simply by reaching for some appropriate medicines? At least you could take these medicines home and re-use them the next time you felt sick; try taking the hospital back with you and see how far you get.
The really cool thing about JIT KaaS is that it can help all software users in an extended business process whenever and wherever they need help. For example, say you’re an all-SAP shop with a process that goes from R&D to shipping. During pre-implementation, you were focused on going live and now that you’re in production, there are all kinds of smaller—but still important questions—that you have throughout the cycle:
This is where JIT KaaS comes in. It has something to offer everyone in the process above. As soon as you have a question or problem, we can solve it. We can mobilize more quickly, because all our resources are in the cloud and can be dynamically assembled to answer questions and provide solutions as they are requested by you, the SAP user. The big consultants and SIs can’t be as quick, because they don’t have idle resources; everyone is tasked to the maximum, meaning delays in getting back to you. Think of the cloud as a kind of massive grid computer that always have CPU power available, whereas the consultants and SIs have a fixed CPU that gets easily maxed out.
Hopefully, this blog entry has given you an idea of the power of the KaaS proposition. If you want to see how it works on the ground, check out this link to learn how UMass is using cumulusIQ.
By: Demir Barlas