Perhaps the best-known example of software as a service (SaaS), Salesforce.com helps large and midsize companies with sales-force automation and customer relationship management, from tracking sales opportunities to contacts. According to market-watcher Gartner, midsize IT organizations pressed for staff and budgets will see some of the best ROI with it. As with many on-demand apps, larger organizations with more complex deployment needs must work harder to calculate total cost of ownership.
Centive’s Compel, the most widely used choice for sales compensation management, handles the accounting, compliance and reporting aspects of this chore. It also helps you model and forecast commission spending and tweak commission plans to encourage growth. Compel delivers data via an interactive dashboard view to salespeople and managers. This service integrates with Salesforce.com via the AppExchange partnership program.
NetSuite’s eponymous suite of services handles accounting/ERP, CRM and e-commerce processes (including complete care of an online store, if you like). The company also offers the CRM piece separately. The accounting/ERP potential for SaaS has intrigued more people lately, Gartner notes, but on-demand accounting often shows the most ROI at small- to midsize companies that have typical accounting requirements and lack intricate integration concerns.