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    Software as a Service

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    To: Mr. Wilson, CEO

    From: Worker

    RE: New Service and its Scalability

    I want to start off by saying that from the very first day that I had the idea for the new service offering that I am proposing, that it was designed to be highly scalable and also be able to integrate well within an intrapreneurial environment. The service is a SaaS (Software as a Service) based online job application system. The service is a software application that runs within a datacenter that we have contracted with to provide datacenter services with regards to internet access, rack space, etc. We will purchase the server hardware and have it installed within the datacenter. Our network engineers and systems administrators will be responsible for troubleshooting and maintaining these servers and the software stack installed upon them. The software stack will be comprised of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), Apache Web Server, Tomcat server, multiple Java Virtual Machines (to run the Java application that we create), and MySQL database server. This system can start off small with very minimal features and only support a limited amount of States, due to labor laws. As time goes on, money earned through the sale of yearly subscriptions to use the product can be put towards development resources to increase features and expand the amount of States that we can offer services in. In essence, the software will scale.

    The first thought I had when I came up with this idea, was how do I use what I already have at my disposal to help bring this idea to market with the least amount of resources expended so as to save the company money and minimize the amount of risk. Every company has an IT department these days, which includes some servers and a network. It is probable that we have our own datacenter or currently rent space in one. We can buy a couple of new servers or even use some older ones that we might have and install RHEL or CentOS if we want to save a little bit more money. The advantage of RHEL is that we would receive product support should we need it and I think it is a good idea considering the cost is very minimal compared to a comparable Microsoft server operating system. We already have some systems administrators and some network engineers that could assist with the setup and ongoing operations of these servers since they will be using a very typical software stack. My software engineers can then create the software using Java, Rhino, Jelly, and Javascript. Once it is finished we would just need to install it on the server. We can run multiple versions using a separate JVM for each and we could run 20 to 40 JVMâ??s depending on the server hardware, database size, and resources required for each company that we sell the service to. We could start out by using the system in-house with our own HR department and continue to tweak it to the point that it is viable for sale. Using so many in-house resources that are already available is a very inexpensive way to develop this idea and minimize risk. Our current operations could really benefit from using a system like this and the advantage is that it can now be rented out to other organizations.

    Scalability is essentially a model/function that is able to continue to function properly when workload begins to increase (Investopedia, n.d.). If a system is said to scale well then that means that it is able to, at a minimum, maintain its level of efficiency/performance when there are higher demands set upon it (Investopedia, n.d.). One of the issues I have always had with boxed software that you buy off the shelf is that often times it is not very scalable. It will work for a single purpose usually and if your company outgrows it you will need to find another solution that could end up costing you a lot more money. Instead we could start off small and offer the very minimum features required of a job application system. We could charge based upon process users, meaning users that use the system to perform some action with job applications; such as a hiring manager or human resource personnel. We would also charge based upon features used. This way if a company did not require advanced features they could just use and pay for what they need, but in the future if they ever do need those features due to growth, etc then they can have those features turned on and begin paying for them. So essentially a company would pay a yearly fee based upon feature sets and process users. All new versions of the software would be applied free of charge, with a minimum of two new versions a year. The other important idea is that not only is the system scalable in terms of meeting the needs of the small business and being able to increase what it can do based upon their increasing needs, but it is also scalable on the backend as well. As a company decides to have more users and more features using the service the amount of resources (i.e. CPU cycles, memory, database storage, etc) will also increase. We can move their database and application software, or their instance, from one server to another. So as we increase the amount of companies that use our service we can increase the amount of physical servers we have and move their instances from one to another. We could even scale up to the point where a customer could have their own dedicated server and even balanced nodes operating off of one database that is housed on its own physical server. The sky is really the limit in terms of scalability. This service was designed from the ground up to be a highly scalable web-based offering.

    Scalability is important in many ways, but is very important when it comes to innovation. Whether that innovation involves intrapreneurship or entrepreneurship. The more scalable a service or product is, the easier it is to minimize the risk of failure and decrease the costs involved to bring it to market. We can bring a very small offering to market for a very small investment using many of the resources we already have and essentially test the market, but should the service become very popular in a short period of time, it would not need to be re-tooled in order for it to handle the increased demand. It could scale very easily to meet any demand that is thrown its way. I have already discussed many parts of the product and in many ways it kind of gives way to the development process itself. Since this is a web-based application that is housed within our datacenter and on our servers, our costs to the organization will be very minimal. We would need to purchase a few new servers or repurpose some old ones and install open source software that has no cost associated with it. We then would need to have a few software engineers to work on the product development, along with some HR personnel and personnel familiar with labor laws for Federal and each State that we are initially targeting. I really want to impress upon management that the costs associated for this project are minimal, while at the same time the risk of failure is also minimal since the service can be launched in a very minimal state and scale as needed. I really think that if I can show all of this that I have a good chance at getting approved.

    For full credit, you must address the following:

    - Decide on the industry in which the new product/service SaaS (Software as a Service) will be implemented and why.
    - Explain how the new product SaaS (Software as a Service) will differ from the competitors.

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    Solution Preview

    Decide on the industry in which the new product/service SaaS (Software as a Service) will be implemented and why.

    The industry in which the new product namely the online job application system will be provided will be implemented will be the human resource outsourcing industry. The reason why the Software as a Service will be implemented in that industry is that online job application system belongs to that industry (3). In addition, the HR outsourcing industry has a strong demand from most small to medium sized companies. The reason is that customers cannot get the advantages of using HR outsourcing if a firm decides to do it by itself. Let us consider the online job application system. It requires the use of servers and a network. Individual large companies have in-house resources similar to those found in data centers but these resources are not available in most medium to small ...

    Solution Summary

    Software as a Service is discussed very comprehensively in this explanation..