Connect SaaS to Customer Data

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

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

When committing to a public cloud, staffing for new DevOps commitments, and handling new support responsibilities, it’s important to make informed decisions.

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 services 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.

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, you require networking solutions.

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 and dealing with all of the customer-related challenges.

The Problem with 3rd Party-Controlled Networking Solutions

The issue arises when a SaaS application depends on a 3rd party-controlled environment for its networking solution, as this often necessitates changes to a customer’s firewall configurations, runs into overlapping private subnet issues, and requires onsite network engineers for deployment 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 (the SaaS provider AND customer) just want 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.

The Solution: Network-as-a-Service (NaaS)

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.

After establishing these layer 3/4 tunnels, administrators and support teams gain visibility over the entire customer-facing network and can remotely control the ability to push updates, troubleshoot, and remediate networking issues.

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, read our eBook – Connecting SaaS Applications to Customer Data