SAAS v/s Dedicated Web to Print Solution

Any new technology starts selling at high price due to the research and development cost involved at the initial stage and the absence of revenue, which normally starts only after the technology is adopted by users. Although there is always good marketing to sell a bad product, many developers create havoc for users, claiming that if they do not use new technology they will be thrown out of the market, which might not really be the case!

This is what is happening with “Web to print” technology. All digital and offset printers are struggling hard to understand ‘what is it?’ and ‘why is it important?’, and ‘how does one go about using it?’

Most printing companies setup their own IT department to deal with new technological competition from the so-called “Web to Print Store front.” Many of them go to a third party by paying a one-time huge amount and getting control of dedicated web to print solutions with the source code (which they do not know how to edit). Some want to adopt the technology quickly and are opting for a monthly fee model without considering if the monthly fees cover all the aspects of web to print shop or will need additional efforts and training.

Lot of questions might crowd your mind. What is the right approach? A One-time Heavy Investment on dedicated web 2 print solution or a SAAS based Monthly Plan? What are all the things you need when you want to set up a real, practical and usable web to print e-commerce site for printing?

When you want to operate a Online printing Store front, it is very important for you to understand you really need:

  • A server with sufficient hosting space where you can host your printing e-commerce site / web to print shop
  • Connecting Store front with a Payment Gateway to accept online payments
  • Online Editable web 2 print designs with regular updates, which you can offer to your visitors
  • Facility for you to upload your own unique designs regularly
  • Give dedicated areas for your corporate customers so that they are not mixed with retail clients
  • Facility to provide online proofreading
  • Complete back office operations after the order is printed

These are a few of the many important features, which you will require on a regular basis when you opt for SAAS (Software As A Service) web to print model. Vendors use this Monthly cost they charge to maintain all that is required for your storefront to run smoothly. Unlike dedicated solutions where you need to set up your own IT department and manage everything on your own, vendors offering dedicated solutions provide you support but at a heavy hourly cost.

When you choose a monthly fee based model, the developer handles all the other activities including managing and maintaining the server as they provide these services to many printing companies. Good vendors keep updating royalty free web to print designs at no extra cost. They use a Multiple Payment Gateway because they deal with multiple printing companies all over the world. It is their full-time business to ensure that the web to print Store front for their client works 24×7. Any new investment they make for adding up more features is distributed amongst their multiple customers, and hence you do not pay anything more besides the pre-determined monthly fee.

You need not be bothered about anything except the printing orders that you generate using the Store front. And yes, the normal cost of a monthly plan is not very heavy and can be considered as another regular utility bill like telephone, electricity, and internet charges.

When a technology is new and requires regular maintenance, it is always better to use it as service instead of making a huge capital investment and setting up a full-fledged department to manage it in-house.

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