Connect SaaS Applications to Customer Data

Network-as-a-Service is the easiest way to connect SaaS applications to customer data sources

Delivering a SaaS application from the cloud requires a rethinking of tech, team, and processes.

There are some obvious decisions to be made like which public cloud you will be committing to, how to staff your new DevOps commitments, and handling of new support responsibilities.

But there are also less obvious choices like how to handle the networking elements of your new SaaS product. Legacy applications transitioning to a cloud delivery model often struggle with this one.

While some SaaS applications enjoy the luxury of producing and controlling the data they rely on, applications in industries with decades of legacy infrastructure investment do not.  As they move from on-premise license-based software to cloud-delivered SaaS, software companies serving banking, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail will remain dependent upon data that they do not own and cannot centralize in the cloud.

In these cases, networking solutions are needed to provide a persistent, real-time connection between your multi-tenant public cloud application and a wide variety of customer data environments including data centers, public clouds, branch offices, and retail locations.

Solutions like VPN and MPLS may seem like the obvious answers at first. But initial challenges with speed of deployment soon turn into configuration, management, and support struggles. And after 10-20 installs product teams throw their hands in the air with the frustration of scaling their customized configurations.

The problem is that when a SaaS application is dependent on a 3rd party-controlled environment the networking solution typically requires changes to a customer’s firewall configs, runs into overlapping private subnet issues, and requires onsite network engineers to deploy and support. When updates or troubleshooting needs arise, application providers and their customers both lack the time, resources, or desire needed to maintain these networks.

Everyone just wants (and needs) the network to work with as little effort as possible.

Instead of having modern application infrastructure rely on legacy networking tools, network-as-a-service has become a more efficient way to handle SaaS connectivity to remote customer data.

With network-as-a-service, software-defined network nodes are used to build encrypted tunnels between a SaaS application’s multiple VPCs and a customer’s environment. These networks can be deployed with simple plug-and-play configurations and eliminate the need for onsite expertise or configuration.

Once these layer 3 /4 tunnels are established, administrators and support teams have visibility over the entire customer-facing network and control the ability to push updates, troubleshoot, and remediate networking issues remotely.

Connecting SaaS applications to customer data is not a straightforward networking challenge supported by most networking products. With challenges around cloud complexity, customer environments, and the need to have everything optimized for long-term support network-as-a-service has stepped up to meet this important and often overlooked need.

To learn more, download our eBook – Connecting SaaS Applications to Customer Data