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What is SaaS?

SaaS image on computer

This article on SaaS is another in our simple basic “what is” series written for beginners or novices. It is not an indepth, tech dissertation.

Uengager: SaaS- Cloud Based Subscription Software

There is a wide range of UX SaaS tools, fully scalable for most businesses. A cost effective alternative to software purchase. However, not all small or even larger organisations are comfortable using them. Image:Finance Online

  • SaaS: subscription based software model opposite of purchase to own
  • SaaS software: usually available on a trial basis
  • SaaS products are continuously updated by developers


SaaS: Abbreviation for Software as a service, also known as SoD; “Software on Demand.” SaaS, “subscription” not “ownership” based model. Users rent Apps as and when needed. Users do not buy software.

SaaS V/S traditional software

Initially choices running an application on your computer were few. Either shop on line or from a computer store as a CD which you installed onto your machine. Windows and Mac OSX, Microsoft office, and Apple I-life are familiar examples.

Payment included a “licence,” generally only valid for the machine you installed it on. If you had two machines, it was difficult to share the software.
If something went wrong, you reinstalled via the original disk, subject to the condition of the disk. Careless storage caused scratches resulting in loading failure. The disk was now useless.

There was no “Trial” period, refunds were out of the question, once purchased it was yours for life.
The developer provided security patches and updates. For a limited time. Once that expired you were either stuck with an out dated and potential insecure piece of soft- or you upgraded- for a price.
Upgrades often consumed more memory, trying to run several applications at the same time could seriously slow down most average home computers.
Generally, CD based software worked well, but not without issues.

If we describe conventional software as a “concrete” product, then SaaS is “abstract”.


Where are SaaS workloads
Where are SaaS workloads

A good analogy is the difference between buying and leasing a car.

Rather than pay a substantial upfront fee, SaaS users pay a small monthly rental. Users become “members” of the App developer.

woman surfing on tablet
woman surfing on tablet

SaaS enables you to begin work on one machine, log out, later log in on another machine at a different location and complete the task.
SaaS is scaleable, enabling fragmentation; users can tailor some products, paying only for what they use.
Many SaaS products are available on limited free trial basis.

Membership entitles users to automatic updates and security patches ensuring that when ever they log in they are using the latest, most secure version.

In short, SaaS products never date. A SaaS account can be long or short term, easily terminated or reactivated.


SaaS and the Cloud

SaaS developers store their Apps on the “Cloud”, [What is Cloud computing?] accessed directly through a secure connection, not the computer’s hard drive, consuming less memory. No need for a DVD player. Most SaaS products only need an average speed Internet connection to work extremely well. SaaS overcomes many short comings of CD based software.

Looking for objective, business orientated latest news, views articles re Marketing, Tech or Social media in China?
Stay up to the moment with what’s hot with Chinese consumers.
Try our free Aim2D media site.

Initially cloud storage had issues and problems around security. However in the past 3 years, these have been largely resolved and whilst, nothing on the Internet is 100% secure, SaaS is extremely well protected.
Today many popular SaaS Apps are cloud based; Gmail, Box, Microsoft Office 365.
Businesses in particular are seeing the cost and productivity advantages of SaaS services and shifting- a growing trend.

Prediction of companies running on SaaS
Prediction of companies running on SaaS

SaaS Security

How safe or secure is SaaS?
The answer is in two parts.

Situation 1/ Data security in case of technical mishap or server crash?

Overall: Very safe. As a cloud operation everything is held on multiple machines- if one fails, another kicks in.


In the beginning, critics painted the cloud as weak in combating cyber crime, safer to hold your data on your on HDD. That was fair comment- at that time.
Today however, many heavyweights, such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have thrown their weight, money and technical expertise behind SaaS and cloud development. Cloud security and encryption is rock solid- as safe, if not safer than your PC hard drive.

Situation 2/ Security begins at home

We urge you to back everything up weekly at least, keep important data on a separate drive- not C or home drive.
This applies to your home or office machines also.

If you move a lot of data daily, back up more often and never, ever keep sensitive or secure data on line.

Always remember: no matter how clever, advanced technology becomes, Internet criminals quickly find a way around it.


“For more detailed data, facts and statistics how SaaS is disrupting and changing the face of Internet business this 2019 SaaS Report makes great reading.”

SaaS + You + Uengager

As we suggested in our intro, not all businesses in China are comfortable using SaaS. Not all know if they should or could. Many are aware of SaaS tools and their advantages, they simply do not have either the time and human resource – sufficiently trained and experienced people to run the programmes effectively and efficiently

Uengager easily solves this.

Because Unegager has been involved in China marketing since pre digital times – 2003 to be precise – we not only fully understand the China landscape but are seasoned, battle scarred marketing specialists. Unlike many brands, we do not have other aspect of our business that also need our focus or attention

Options, options – you need options?

We understand that. Which is why we are not boxed thinkers. Working with Uengager gives you options – -not some one size fits all scenario.

You already have a competent China marketing team?
Might need a little brushing up on today’s SaaS tools ?
Need support on how best to deploy?
No worry.


We can work out an updating programme for them. Your place, your times. We also offer an Angel coaching or mentor system where we work alongside your people, in real time work situations. [This works best in smaller firms]

Starting from scratch?

Our graduated programme maybe what you are looking for. We work with you to develop a programme that suits your business needs, initially taking the lions share of the work. As your team becomes more experienced and proficient, we gradually withdraw until they are flying solo.

“Of course, we can also be on stand by for minor glitches or support.”

The bottom line

As a business you will understand the concept and importance of: “the bottom line.”
But it is equally important to your users, your consumers also.

Time is money-for you – and customers
They don’t want to waste it figuring out how to use your site.

There are many SaaS apps you can add to your page to improve your customers UX.
Help visitors achieve their aim quickly and smoothly.

A superior User Experience isn’t just good for them, it’s good for you too. A friendly first time user welcome and induction strengthens your brand, increases customer retention rates, builds customer love and loyalty.

Using Uengager and SaaS on your Chinese langauege corporate or SME site provides valuable feedback, in English vital to your CRM and helps *customer onboarding.

*Articles coming soon.

How can Uengager help you use MarTech in China?

No two brands, companies or organisations have exactly the same needs or wants. Below are our most common services, but if there is something you specifically want, talk to us. We will create a bespoke situation just for you.

Baidu Optimisation – SEM

Baidu may look like Google or Bing, but under the hood it is a different beast. Eg: Baidu still recognises keywords.

When most people think of website optimisation they tend to associate it with SEO. Setting off arm bells. Rightly so.

However, it is important not to confuse the name- which became synonymous with cheats, liars and crooks, with the actual scientific process.

But if we look at it from the perspective of CEO -Customer Experience Optimisation- then it begins to make sense to ensure your website performs at its best. Yes?

Training, Coaching,

Many companies believe they take it seriously, but oft just “pay lip service” by limiting it to their customer support staff.

But, to be successful in China, or anywhere, a brand needs to portray a unified image and message throughout its total consumer interaction.

That means having the entire staff on board, from the cleaning lady to delivery drivers down to the C Suite and CEO- maybe you!
It must be company wide- or not at all.

Talk to Everlyne about a training or update program tailored to your team, your budget, your needs.

Social Media; WeChat, Weibo

Chinese use social media for almost all everyday situations from booking tickets, paying accounts, ride hailing, shopping, travel, entertainment news and relaxation.

Mobile is the GOTO medium of choice, WeChat the current platform of choice.

Social Media could be your main branding, sales CRM and data tool in China. Introduction to *WeChat Operation.~

Marketing, like many things in China is in a state of constant flux. It is difficult for in house teams to stay ahead or even up to date. Uengager can help.

Are you interested in current, breaking China business, marketing and tech news? Do you want more than the shallow, sleazy, salacious stories you read in western media? Follow us on Aim2D and always be up-to-date with today’s China.

Hello, Nihao, I’m Everlyne, I began Uengager as a SaaS MarTech company back in 2017. I am also a key note speaker, lecturer and KOL on MarTech in China.

In 2003 I co-founded WPBeijing Marketing Studio with Englishman Peter Bic, now known as Bicyu / Aim2D. I am CEO of both companies, facing customers.

I love to talk about and help people understand the amazing ways MarTech and SaaS can work to strengthen your business engagement with Chinese consumers, so please, drop me a line below, or give me a call.

Everlyne 于宜杉-Uengager CEO

于宜杉- Everlyne:

Published by The Bic

Bicyu is a NZ registered, British owned MarTech business based in Beijing providing marketing, tech, education and information services to European, NZ, Australian, UK, African, and Asian firms doing business in China. We work with local ones too. We've been here doing this since 2003. We also incorporate Aim2D and Uengager in our small brand list.

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