Sometimes, technology terms can be a little overwhelming for the non-techies out there.
One such instance of potentially confusing tech-speak is "SaaS," or the concept of storing your data in "the cloud."
So what on earth (or not on earth) is the cloud exactly, you might reasonably ask yourself.
And what does "SaaS" mean, anyway? Are they the same thing? Should my agency be using it? Is it safe? Will I ever stop asking myself questions?
Well, pose yourself rhetorical questions no more - you've come to the right place.
Athena Software hosts the Penelope case management system for hundreds of health and social service agencies just like yours around the world in, yep, "the cloud."
This simply means that your confidential client data is hosted on our servers and not on yours.
We generally refer to it as SaaS, or Software as a Service.
This is a term used for web-based software like Penelope, where the system is accessed via the internet, as opposed to installing an application or program on the computers of each staff member who needs access.
So, why should you do this?
Well, among the primary reasons are two of our oldest and dearest friends - time and money.
To explain: instead of your organization having to purchase and provision servers, build and manage secure facilities, perform regular maintenance, as well as take care of backups, disaster recovery and other complex (and expensive) I.T. tasks required to manage your own servers, we take care of all of that for you.
We also provide you the web address for your secure database, so that all you and your staff need is an up-to-date web browser!
Sounds great, but you might need a little more to go on than "they said it saves us time!" to convince your organization to go with the SaaS model when selecting software.
Again, you're in luck.
Here are 5 benefits to hosting your case management software system in the cloud.
1. Your data is safe!
Our clients are entrusted with safeguarding the personal and confidential information of millions of people worldwide.
The ultimate goal of our Software as a Service offering is to make using Penelope as easy, efficient and, perhaps most importantly, secure as possible.
When your data is hosted with Athena, you can rest easy in the knowledge that we have meticulously deployed a vast number of technical, physical and administrative safeguards to protect against unauthorized access to our facilities.
Our data centres feature world-class security, performance and uptime, as well as an array of processes built to reduce risk and minimize the disruptive impact of any hardware or network issues, all designed to keep your data safe, secure, and always available.
Also, you always own your own data and it never leaves the country in which it's hosted.
2. SaaS is secure
With the cloud model, we take care of complex server maintenance, capital costs, hardware, backups, firewalls, updates, the list goes on.
All your staff need is a web browser like Google Chrome or Firefox and an internet connection to securely access your organization's data anywhere you can connect to the web.
That means it's available on mobile devices outside of the office, too!
We implement data security, integrity and protection strategies that are driven by our relentless attention to detail and commitment to excellence in all aspects of service, as our recent ISO / IEC 27001:2013 certification will attest.
3. Guaranteed uptime
Athena provides a 99.99 per cent uptime guarantees (with generous credits for any periods of unplanned downtime) as well as clear Service Level Agreements that define response times and escalation paths.
You don't need to worry about your system being inaccessible for hours, days or (gulp) weeks at a time - the Software as a Service model means Penelope is always on and ready to use!
4. Available on a subscription model
All software and services are available on a subscription model so you only pay for what you need at the time, allowing you to scale according to your own timeframe, requirements and budget.
With the subscription model, your upfront costs are much lower and spread out over time.
5. Simple, all-in pricing structure
Your “all-in” subscription fee includes access to the software, technical support, fixed file storage space, and many other benefits.
Custom tailored solution packages can be built to suit your requirements beyond our standard offerings.
Come to think of it, five benefits just doesn't seem like enough to really get at the true value of hosting your case management software in the cloud.
Here's an infographic that details the benefits we've already mentioned, plus many, many more.
If you're interested in learning more about how Penelope case management software can help transform your nonprofit or social service agency today, contact us today and an evaluation specialist will be in touch!