HR Technology – What’s under the SaaS hood and why you should care?

Snake SaaS Hood!

Something sinister hiding under your SaaS hood?

Who cares what engine is in the hire car, who cares if the oil needs changing, who really cares if the radio is a bit faulty, who even cares the breaks need servicing, or the tyres have a bald patch – erm, yes those bits we really do care about.

Thankfully there are laws, and standards in place to avoid this.  Sadly, the same cannot be said about the SaaS (Software as a Service) technology industry.

Dovetail Software partners with Amazon Web Services to host the Dovetail Employee Engagement Suite (Dovetail EES). We took a strategic decision to host with Amazon, who have been recognised several times as the clear leader by Gartner in Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) category, as we knew as a company we were experiencing accelerated growth, as well as wanting to maintain our rapid innovation approach to product development.

For any SaaS application, there are certain key areas that a customer will want peace of mind on, I see these as:

– Security

– Performance and Scalability and,

– Pace of Innovation

It is therefore critical for prospects and customers to fully understand and be aware of any technology partners their vendor is selecting, as they will likely have a direct impact on any or all of those three.

We chose Amazon because they meet and exceeded in all of those areas.


I’ll let Amazon explain their security model:

“With the AWS cloud, not only are infrastructure headaches removed, but so are many of the security issues that come with them. AWS’s world-class, highly secure data centers utilize state-of-the art electronic surveillance and multi-factor access control systems. Data centers are staffed 24×7 by trained security guards, and access is authorized strictly on a least privileged basis. Environmental systems are designed to minimize the impact of disruptions to operations. And multiple geographic regions and Availability Zones allow you to remain resilient in the face of most failure modes, including natural disasters or system failures.

The AWS virtual infrastructure has been designed to provide optimum availability while ensuring complete customer privacy and segregation. For a complete list of all the security measures built into the core AWS cloud infrastructure, platforms, and services, please read our Overview of Security Processes whitepaper.”

Through our partnership with Amazon, our data center certifications and supported standards include:

– SOC1/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402

– SOC2


– PCI DSS Level 1

– ISO 27001 International Traffic In Arms Compliance

– FIPS 140-2

Dovetail Software is also certified with the EU and Swiss Safe Harbor Framework.

As you can see, we take security seriously enough to partner with experts in this field. When you are evaluating your vendors, make sure you take this part seriously too.

Performance & Scalability

As the Dovetail EES product is relatively modern in comparison (just 7 years old now) to legacy applications we have had the fortunate opportunity to experience multiple technological changes, along with world wide economic changes.  Many of the legacy on premise vendors, whose software is dated in the 90’s didn’t have that luxury, and have pretty much stagnated.

What this means is that we developed Dovetail EES with a global mindset.  Why go SaaS just for one country, we recognised that a typical Dovetail customer is going to be operating in multiple countries, across multiple languages and time zones, often with a large employee population.  Through our partnership with Amazon, we have been able to design a product that meets the needs and demands of a global business.

If a customer is entrusting us with their data, not only do we need to keep it secure, we need to make sure that data is available to our customer, as and when they would expect it to be.

Dovetail EES leverage’s AWS technology to provide world class performance and scalability.  The Dovetail EES architecture has been designed to be a fault tolerant and high availability enterprise class application.  As a result Dovetail EES customers benefit from near unlimited performance capabilities, and an always available application.  You will find that our SLA availability is often far superior than what could be expected from an organization’s own internal/ outsourced IT department.


What I believe really sets apart a real SaaS vendor, compared to a vendor simply hosting their on-premise software, but calling itself SaaS is the speed of innovation, and how the vendor delivers the innovation to the consumer.  A real SaaS vendor will push updates constantly out to the customers in easy to consume packages, causing minimal disruption to normal business operations.  Enterprise SaaS vendors will typically maintain between 2 and 10 updates per year.    If your so called SaaS vendor is advising a 2-4 week upgrade, and to add insult to injury, asking you money for it, then you are not benefiting from a real SaaS product, and certainly not a customer vendor partnership I’d ever entertain.

Our customers benefit from our SaaS model, and we benefit from the AWS IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) model.  It’s a domino effect.  As AWS gets better, our infrastructures improves, and our customers take a direct benefit.

Innovation is king in today’s modern technology.  We see it all around us with: mobile phones, tablet devices, web browsers and various other devices, and this will continue to become the norm.

The innovation aspect really is key.  I see more and more RFP’s asking for some amazing features, most often they are already on our product roadmap.  Since we can evolve the product so many times per year, it is quite easy for us to accommodate hundreds of features within a 12 month period.  Your traditional vendor in comparison, will be either doing custom code, think $$$, or won’t have the pace or agility to grow with their customers.

In Summary

Dovetail EES is sitting on the number one cloud infrastructure available today, was built with a global mindset, is top dollar secure, is always available and fast, and it just keeps getting better and better.

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