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Aplus.Net and the Future of the Software Development Marketplace.

Today's software marketplace is more dynamic than ever. Innovators are rapidly bringing new developments to the consumer, who are in turn quick to seize the latest opportunity and the best value. Brand loyalty is taking a back seat to convenience as consumers get more and more selective.

And, since much of the traditional business world remains bogged down in decades-old practices, truly innovative companies have an unprecedented opportunity to take control of the market. The question is, how to take advantage of all the new advances in a market where the rules are constantly changing?

To answer that question, we take a look at Aplus.Net as an example of an established Internet solutions and software development with a forward-thinking business model designed to lead the way into the future.

Old Model Vs. New Model

Consumers are becoming very frustrated with today's drawn-out product development and deployment cycles. These models are simply no longer geared to today's marketplace, where consumers literally have a world of companies to choose from. Competition has exploded, and for the software developers and vendors, innovation and streamlining have gone from good ideas to absolute necessities.

The old model is this: A company buys software and incorporates it into its own infrastructure. The software is expensive and often requires a lengthy product development cycle. After waiting through this period, the company must then struggle through the period after the initial launch when all the glitches are ironed out and patches introduced. And, although the software has been purchased, the company often relies on the original vendor for support and direction.

Software as a Service, or Saas, is the new model. Simply put, Saas can be defined as software deployed as a hosted, Internet-based service. Saas provides the ability to consume software applications as services, as opposed to products. It's a smart, more consumer-focused way to align your offerings, giving consumers greater software functionality and connectivity. It's also the natural result of current marketplace forces that are striving to make things as convenient as possible for consumers.

In other words, Saas is the best way to meet the requirements of a marketplace in demand of a new business model. And companies that understand and embrace this fact will have better prospects in the future.

Saas: The Way of the Future

Saas will change the way software is built, sold, bought, and used. Instead of treating software as a product to be bought, Saas involves thinking of software as a service to be rented. As a new business model, it defeats the old model's problems by treating the customer as more of a partner, and not just a consumer. Since the company pays to use the software, it has a more active relationship with the developer, who takes a greater role in helping the company install, use, and manage the software. This developer/provider has a greater responsibility for the software's availability, maintenance, scalability, recovery, and more. So a company can be more confident in making its purchases, knowing that if there are problems ahead the developer is obligated to solve them as quickly as possible.

It may not seem like a huge shift in logic, but it's a big change for most companies. Since older, bigger, and better established companies have longstanding foundations with the old model, it's hard, and maybe not even desirable, for them to change over to a Saas system. But for the newer, more dynamic and innovative companies, Saas is the way of the future.

Aplus.Net: At the Forefront

Fortunately, the Saas model fits nicely into the business practices already utilized by Aplus.Net. For two decades, Aplus.Net has been in the business of providing small- and medium-sized companies with the means to become self-sustained, self-sufficient online businesses. Aplus.Net's history of providing comprehensive and integrated solutions naturally positions the company to be at the head of the Saas movement.

Aplus.Net has long understood that, once they've signed up with you for web hosting, consumers are compelled to stay with you as their partner if you also offer the other components they need. It's much easier for them to buy web design services from their web host. Aplus.Net created its web design services with this in mind: It was never an afterthought, but an equally important component to the big picture of online success. And although web design isn't software, it's a good analogy of how Saas can work in practice, and how Aplus.Net is in sync with the wants and needs of its customer base. That's where the real advantage lies: Meeting consumers' needs with freedom and flexibility, and, with increased connectivity and functionality, enabling them to do bigger and better things.

So Saas isn't just the latest business fad but a very viable business model for the future. Aplus.Net is taking that model very seriously, incorporating Saas and the idea of the “long-tail” into its new product development. Currently in an intense reorganization and development phase, Aplus.Net is gearing up to launch a new platform that will help transform the web hosting and ecommerce marketplace into a more innovative, exciting, and consumer-friendly forum. And as today's radically changing marketplace moves forward, look for Aplus.Net at the head of the pack.

In other words, Saas is the perfect way to complement the Aplus.Net motto: 'Everything for your business online.'

About Aplus.Net
A recognized industry leader since the Internet's commercial start in 1995, Aplus.Net specializes in helping small businesses build an online customer base with a comprehensive range of services that includes web hosting and design, dedicated servers, online marketing, e-commerce, domain name registration, and much more. Aplus.Net has been awarded many honors for excellence, including the prestigious CNET Editors' Choice Award, and has been featured in top U.S. business publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Black Enterprise, and PC Magazine. For more information about Aplus.Net, please visit www.aplus.net.

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