It all comes down to resources, skillsets, and how campus leadership would prefer their teams to use their time, says Larry Delaney, VP of cashless systems, CBORD. “Even the most skilled individuals have finite capacity. A SaaS solution relieves an individual of the burden of executing necessary time-consuming tasks – like implementing software upgrades and maintaining servers – and creates the capacity for an individual to commit to higher value projects.”
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Even the most skilled individuals have finite capacity. SaaS relieves the burden of executing time-consuming tasks – like implementing software upgrades and maintaining servers – and creates the capacity for higher value projects.
Changes to card system hosting has been in the works for some time, with all the major card system vendors offering some form of SaaS solution.
CBORD offers a full portfolio of SaaS solutions including hosted card systems, access control, point of sale, student facing apps, off-campus merchant programs, and food management and nutritional solutions. The card system vendor has seen significant interest from its existing client base in moving to the SaaS model.
“Our customers are motivated by their commitment to provide more and better services to their students, faculty, and staff – and to do so under the reality of increased budgetary pressure and restrictions,” says Delaney. “With this pursuit in mind, customers are actively exploring how our SaaS solutions can make them more efficient and effective.”
Heartland OneCard, now TouchNet, has also entered the SaaS game with an offering of its own.
“Our latest generation solution, OneCard VIP (Vertically Integrated Platform) operates out of the TouchNet PCI DSS Level-1 service center and provides campuses with a turnkey off-premise campus credentialing and commerce system,” says Fred Emery, Director of OneCard Sales at TouchNet. It leverages TouchNet’s expertise in off-premise integration of campus systems for better performance and management, he explains.
Blackboard also offers SaaS options for campuses looking to move card systems off premise, and they suggest that all signs are pointing to a SaaS wave on the horizon.
“There is a global trend in our industry, and frankly in all others, toward SaaS. There’s just a generally bigger appetite for it because of more awareness of SaaS offerings across the spectrum and they’re becoming more mainstream,” says Staples. “The great news for our clients is that they are free to choose the means by which they consume services, which for many includes a mix of SaaS and on-premise.”