Technology & Innovation

Etisalat’s Business App Store: a go-to platform


10 Aug 2021

Our world is now awash with strange sounding new digital names and terminologies. But the real big deal is not so much on these new words but its impact to us. They are big and powerful tools as we move forward in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the rush to digitalisation amid the pandemic.

SaaS (Software as a Service) Etisalat Business App Store is a software that allows data to be accessed from any device with an internet connection and a web browser, without the need for downloading it. Software vendors host and maintain the servers, databases, and the code that makes up an application, in this web-model, experts explained.

SaaS is actually one of the three main categories of cloud computing solutions. The other two are—Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Best examples of SaaS that we all commonly use are the free email services from Gmail and Yahoo. They provide the software without us downloading it and access is available anytime, anywhere—and the best part—it’s free.
In recent years, SaaS has become an important marketplace tool enabling businesses to survive and g, primarily because it provides greater flexibility to customers, and it works on specific verticals to differentiate products or services.
SaaS has many benefits, firstly it does not require one to install anything because it runs on a cloud server. Second, it offers automatic software updates that does not require actions from the user.
Third, SaaS apps are easy to use. Users just need to create an account to access it and pricing are structured to suit every business need. Fourth, almost all SaaS providers offer easy integration with other software with option for customisation.
Here’s a clearer picture of an example of SaaS in the pandemic era—Netflix.
Netflix the very addictive movie platform is considered as a SaaS company because it sells its software to consumers to be able to watch its licensed videos on demand. Its SaaS is based on a subscription plan paid on a fixed rate or a monthly or annual basis. Thus, it becomes SaaS marketplace.
WordPress is technically SaaS product but it becomes an integral component of a marketplace for many businesses using the software to market their products or services.
Fintech solutions and other financial tools also rely on SaaS in securing payments for online purchases.
But this pandemic, the biggest user of SaaS appears to be the healthcare sector, without which we would be seeing more chaos and difficulties in accessing healthcare and health crisis possibly getting worse.
So how does SaaS integrate into the global healthcare system? According to a 2019 survey of, SaaS are commonly used for patient portal; telemedicine; mobile communication; ePrescriptions; scheduling, and billing.
Using this method, hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers reduce their IT and operational costs, man-hours and other resources such as hardware space, apart from lightning the load of their HR and finance departments.
By outsourcing legacy IT operations to SaaS programs and vendors, organisations such as those in the healthcare sector also reach out to communities on a wider scale and serve patients remotely.
In our new normal, more and more businesses, whether they sell products or services, opt to engage customers on SaaS as marketplaces. Empowering their websites with SaaS tools that build a marketplace. Often, they attract customers or sellers with a useful “free tool.”
In general, SaaS enabled marketplaces can be B2B, B2C or C2C (Customer-to-Customer), and the SaaS component can be offered to the demand and/ or supply-side, regardless of whether or not it is a business or a consumer, according to the Institute of Data Marketing.
Smart technologies continue to evolve and the pandemic is not likely to get away in the foreseeable future with new strains of the COVID-19 virus mutating at every opportunity. Both people and businesses have to adopt quickly or stagnate.
As they say, innovation breaks the status quo, creating new ways and opportunities in a world where the only constant is change.