You decide to do a bit of online research for a simple, straightforward, pre-school management software for your childcare business and out comes a mix of technology jargons describing the product. Cloud-based Preschool Management Software. SaaS Childcare Centre App. Now, what does it mean for you, the customer?
Don’t worry, we’ll not get into geek-speak mode and ramble on about the technical details of cloud-computing, remote servers and the software delivery model side of things. We will focus on what the ‘cloud’ and ‘SaaS’ dishes out for you as the end user of a childcare software.
Let’s look at the ‘cloud-based’ part first.
What exactly does a ‘cloud-based’ preschool management software mean for you in plain English?
1. You don’t need to install or download a software to access the service
All you need is an internet connection and a subscription to the software.
You don’t need to download or install any software. Which means, your access to the tool is not restricted to a device, say a laptop or desktop on which the software is installed.
You create an account with the software provider, get your username and password and you use these login details to sign into the account at any time, from anywhere in the world, using any compatible device - desktop, laptop or tablet with an internet connection. More or less like how you use your email account.
2. You get to access your data in real time
A cloud-based software allows you to access live or real-time data from anywhere in the world, anytime you need. Any updates made in your account will be immediately visible to all the users who have access to your account. Think Google Docs.
If you need a more specific example, imagine you are on holiday or away for a conference and you need a quick look to see the number of staff and students present at your nursery on the day. If you have subscribed to a cloud-based preschool management software , like Cheqdin you can sign-in to your account from where you are and immediately see live reports of the number of staff and students present in each room, in addition to all the updated reports and data at your centre - in real time.
3. All your data remains intact even if your device is damaged
With a cloud-based childcare centre software, all the information you enter into the system, say the daily diaries, reports, invoices, photos and videos are stored not just on your tablet, laptop or desktop alone. It is also automatically backed up and saved in a secure virtual space provided by your software provider, which means you can be confident of getting back your data intact even if the device you use is damaged or stolen.
SaaS – What is it all about?
Saas (Software as a Service), SaaS is a cloud-based software business model that most of the modern software providers now use across the globe. Unlike traditional software businesses which sell copies of their software to customers, the SaaS model works by selling licenses of their software to the users on a subscription basis. The subscription packages generally depend on the level of service and the number of users expected.
For the customer, the buying process can be described as similar to that of buying a product from an e-commerce website, meaning, you can visit the provider’s website, have a good look at the software and its features, choose the plan you would like, pay for it right there and get access to the software immediately. You are not bound by location or time of the day to buy or upgrade your software.
Let’s now take a look at some of the benefits a SaaS childcare centre software offers, over and above the ones we discussed for cloud-based software:
1. You decide to buy your software at 4 a.m.? You can.
If you are one of those people who prefer to sit up at unearthly hours to work in peace, a SaaS model gives you more flexibility to make your purchase decisions at your convenience. You don’t need to wait around for regular business hours or a sales executive to take you through the process.
You have the option to dip your toes in, get a feel of the product and complete the purchase journey yourself if that’s how you like to do it. However, if you think you need any assistance, you will still have the option for that (but remember to check their customer support hours before you pick up the phone).
2. Multiple users can access the software at the same time
You can give access to multiple users. For example, your nursery manager or the class supervisors of each room can simultaneously access the software from tablets, laptops or desktops, input information, take pictures and videos and share information with the parents immediately.
3. Software updates are free
With traditional software, the way to upgrade to a new version of the software you are using is, buy a new software and install it on your chosen device all over again. A SaaS model childcare centre software allows you to access the latest versions of the software with minimal to zero disruption of the services. All you need to do in most cases is run a free software update on your device like you update the software on your mobile phones.
4. Easier to upgrade your package
Upgrading your software to a different package with more features is much easier than with traditional software as you can again complete all the steps yourself through the provider’s website and get access to the new services almost instantly.
You can essentially spare yourself the back and forth calls to the customer support agent, and complete the process at your pace, when it suits you.