Equipping Your Business with Software as a Service for 2017

Purchasing your own software and the accompanying hardware can be a very pricey endeavor to undertake. Not only is it sometimes difficult to determine the appropriate materials to purchase, but you also lose some degree of flexibility. It’s no surprise that many businesses are now using software as a service to gain the flexibility that they need in their daily operations.

Top 6 Best SaaS Companies

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best SaaS Companies

SaaS companies sell subscriptions to the programs that business owners need most. Ranging from word processing programs all the way to point of sale programs, SaaS providers can provide software on demand to meet a wide array of needs.

Depending on the unique needs of your business, you may find that opting for software as a service is more cost-effective and meets your requirements better. There is SaaS technology for every industry imaginable, from information technology to the average business that needs to manage their accounting. No program is too small or too obscure to have an SaaS platform.

If your business can’t afford the initial investment to have a system on premises, they may want to consider investigating one of these top SaaS companies. You’ll find a range of solutions that fit into any business model on our ranking of the best SaaS companies for 2017.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best SaaS Providers

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the companies below to go directly to the detailed review section for that software as a service provider):

Top 6 Best SaaS Providers | Brief Comparison & Ranking

SaaS Companies

Popular Programs


AdobeCreative CloudStarting at $29.99
IntuitQuickBooksStarting at $15 per month
MicrosoftOffice 365


Starting at $5.00 per month for Office 365

Free for Outlook

NetSuiteEnterprise resource planningCustom quotes
SalesforceCustomer relationship managementStarting at $25 per month
ShopifyEcommerceStarting at $29 per month

Table: Top 6 Best SaaS Companies | Above list is sorted alphabetically

What Are SaaS Companies?

Perhaps you’ve heard of SaaS in relation to your business, but you aren’t sure exactly how the SaaS business model truly works. What exactly are SaaS companies, and how do they make a profit? It helps to first take time to consider what businesses used to do prior to the current SaaS business model that is increasing in popularity.

In years past, the only option that small businesses had was to purchase the program outright. While this is still an option for many businesses, depending on the platform needed, new SaaS technology began to develop and fill a niche for cloud-based services.

Selling software as a service, these SaaS companies began to use a business model based around selling continual subscriptions to their programs and platforms.

One of the great ideas behind the SaaS business model is that businesses no longer need to own extensive hardware to support their necessary software. SaaS providers store all of the necessary data on their own data centers, which saves businesses when it comes to the cost of both acquiring and maintaining their hardware.

Best SaaS Companies

Image Source: Pixabay

Business owners also love the extreme flexibility that is often found with the SaaS model. Because they have only a monthly plan with the SaaS model, businesses are able to adjust their software needs as their businesses grow. It is easier to customize their software solutions using software as a service compared to other methods of the past.

It is recommended that only small to mid-size businesses entertain the idea of using SaaS companies to meet their needs. According to one source, large enterprises with more complex needs may benefit more from a system that is located on premises versus with an SaaS provider.

You also must have a reliable high-speed internet connection to make effective usage of software as a service through these providers.

SaaS providers are constantly developing new software and issuing updates to previous versions. Business owners will want to consider the flexibility and customization possible with some of these popular SaaS companies at the forefront of the industry today.

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AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

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Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review: Top Ranking SaaS Providers

Below, please find the detailed review of each company on our list of SaaS companies. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these software as a service companies to score so high in our selection ranking.

Adobe Review

Adobe has only begun to sell software as a service over the past few years but is enjoying great success. They are perhaps best known for their development of creative products, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, among others. However, their new SaaS software is rapidly replacing those as their top source of revenue.

Instead of purchasing perpetual licensing, Adobe gradually phased out what was formerly known as their Creative Suite. The new SaaS model rebranded these products as a part of their Creative Cloud (CC).

Shortly after its launch, these SaaS providers had an incredible 700,000 subscribers. This number caused the Creative Cloud to move into the top position for their best-selling product.

While both individuals and businesses can take advantage of their software as a service, we are going to focus on the pricing and features of the business plans. Owners can choose to use these SaaS companies for just a single license for an app they use often or purchase all apps. The cost is $29.99 per month versus $69.99 per month, respectively.

For the monthly fee, the Adobe SaaS platform offers a number of features to business owners:

  • Sync, store, and share assets among team members
  • Put together an Adobe portfolio website
  • Slack integration
  • Reassign licenses
  • Web-based admin console

Keep in mind that they offer a discount on the Creative Cloud SaaS platform for business in need of more than ten seats.

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Intuit Review

Intuit is recognized by most consumers not as one of the new SaaS companies but as a platform for accounting software. While it’s true that you can still purchase their software licenses for popular products such as QuickBooks, many programs are also available as a software as a service.

These SaaS providers have been around for a while and host a number of popular products through their shops:

  • Quicken
  • TurboTax
  • Mint
  • QuickBooks

Dating back to 2014, Intuit began to shift to an SaaS model, with close to three-quarters of their revenue expected to come from software as a service by the end of this year. Their software as a service has already grown tremendously with offerings including QuickBooks and Intuit Payroll.

What should potential business owners anticipate when it comes to the cost of the SaaS platform compared to the old business model?

There are several different tiers of pricing and capabilities offered through Intuit for their small business and accounting software. The appeal of their software as a service, like many others, is the flexibility that it grants to business owners. You can see the pricing for each plan listed below:

  • Simple Start: $15 per month
  • Essentials: $30 per month
  • Plus: $40 per month

The entry level (Simple Start) allows their most basic functions to be completed, including sending invoices, tracking income and expenses, and syncing bank accounts. On the other end of the spectrum, you can also pay bills, view profit reports, track inventory, and prepare 1099s.

Microsoft Review

Microsoft is not always considered by the majority of consumers to be one of the top SaaS providers. While they were considered by some research groups to be “late to the party,” they have come to be known as one of the leading SaaS vendors in the market today. The SaaS technology that they have to offer is incredibly similar to their previous on-premises platforms.

This company has always been known for its development of products to make the creation of documents easier. Used to build spreadsheets, create presentations, or as a general word processor, Microsoft is a well-established household name.

They now sell their software as a service with the Office 365 platform, which hosts all of their most popular programs through the cloud.

What can you expect to pay for their SaaS product?

Plans and pricing vary, based on which SaaS items are most appealing to your business. While the essentials plan does not grant access to the full suite of products, it does give you some convenient capabilities:

  • Business Essentials: $5.00 per month
  • Business Plan: $8.25 per month
  • Business Premium: $12.50 per month

In addition to Office 365, Microsoft is also known as one of the SaaS companies that provide email services as well. Because the email is hosted on the server elsewhere, this service can technically qualify as a software as a service offered by Microsoft. Fortunately, their Outlook tool does not require a monthly fee.

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NetSuite Review

NetSuite has been around as one of the SaaS companies to keep an eye out for since the beginning of the development of SaaS providers. They have a unique offering to present to business owners who need robust software to manage customer relationships as well as manage back-office operations.

Offering software as a service since 1998, it is only in recent years that it has been recognized as one of the major profitable SaaS companies on the market. The year 2009, eleven years after its humble beginnings, marked the moment when NetSuite was able to post its very first annual profit.

They claim to be able to offer the top resource for enterprise resource planning in the cloud. The NetSuite products are so appealing in part because they are an SaaS platform, negating the need for extensive hardware purchases. Not all business owners are familiar with what an ERP software can provide, so NetSuite details what this SaaS platform provides:

  • Financial management
  • Order management
  • Supply chain and production management
  • Warehouse and fulfillment
  • Procurement
  • Human capital management

Pricing is difficult to find for these SaaS providers because they prefer to provide custom solutions to each company. By working their SaaS product in this way, NetSuite can ensure that each business receives a price and program that is uniquely tailored to their needs.

Software as a Service

Image Source: NetSuite

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Salesforce Review

Salesforce is quickly recognized as an industry leader among all of the various SaaS providers competing for the top spot. Best known for a customer relationship management program, this contender for the best SaaS platform allows you to track and engage customers in a more effective manner from start to finish.

SaaS Companies

Image Source: Salesforce

According to one source, the software as a service provided by Salesforce was perhaps most effective because it provided a complete record of sensitive customer data. Users were able to access past purchases and critical information, which allowed the program to become entrenched in the day-to-day operations of many businesses.

One research group places Salesforce at the top of the pile when it comes to customer relationship management software as a service. They compete very closely with Microsoft to maintain their position among all SaaS companies as the industry leader.

What does this SaaS platform promise to do for small businesses?

It provides tools to assist business owners and their employees with almost every stage of engaging a customer. See below for the specifics on what how Salesforce believes their SaaS platform can benefit all users:

  • 44% more leads
  • 37% more closed sales
  • 45% increase in customer satisfaction
  • 52% faster app integration

Much like NetSuite, Salesforce is highly customizable for your unique business. You can purchase add-on services such as SaaS marketing and customer service with your SaaS platform. However, the basic pricing for their software on demand is as follows:

  • SalesforceIQ CRM Starter: $25 per user per month for up to five members
  • Lightning professional (most popular): $75 per user per month for unlimited members
  • Lightning enterprise (most customizable): $150 per user per month for unlimited members

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Shopify Review

Small businesses who are concerned with finding the right SaaS product for their e-commerce will want to take another look at Shopify. The only e-commerce SaaS platform included in our ranking, this is one of the hottest SaaS providers in the industry today. Fox Business analysts have included this stock as one of the top SaaS companies to consider for your portfolio.

This SaaS software is used regularly on some of the most well-known websites: Tesla, Herschel Supply Co., World Vision, Reddit, and more.

What do these SaaS providers have to offer potential business owners who need an SaaS application to manage their customers’ shopping carts? Their statistics and features are a part of what make them one of the top SaaS companies:

  • 99.99% uptime
  • More than four million hits per second
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Integration with other apps, including some that would work as an SaaS application

The website for their SaaS marketing requests that users fill out a request form in order to receive pricing for their software as a service. Fortunately, we were able to find pricing listed for their software on demand through a third party:

  • Basic plan: $29 per month (2.9% and 20p per transaction)
  • Shopify: $79 per month (2.7% and 20p per transaction)
  • Advanced Shopify: $299 per month (2.4% and 20p per transaction)

Conclusion—Top 6 Best SaaS Providers

Small business owners are understandably interested in switching to an SaaS application or SaaS software as a way to move their business forward. With highly customizable programs and low initial investments, SaaS technology has plenty to offer businesses who are hesitant to purchase their software and hardware for an on-premises system.

Those responsible for making software decisions will need to evaluate what type of SaaS product they are in need of. Deciding between an SaaS marketing application or a customer relationship management SaaS platform will help you to make the right decision for your company.

Keep in mind that some of these SaaS providers may be able to integrate with others. Compatibility with one another allows you even greater flexibility in building the SaaS platform that works best for you, your business, and ultimately, your customers.

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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