SAAS: Considerations of Buying vs. Building

Should my company buy enterprise software or build it in-house? The decision to build your own software systems is a complex one. It requires a decision-making process that businesses are familiar with: Should I hire in-house employees or outsource the work? Just like outsourcing, there are some perceived limitations. In today’s SaaS landscape, a platform is almost always a better business decision than building one yourself, as long as you can find the right partner for the job.

Consider this scenario:

  • You have a specific software need.
  • You have a desire to build it.
  • You have technical know-how OR you can outsource to build you a customized solution.

Perceived pros of building:

  • We will save money in the long-run.
  • We will own the software.
  • We can customize it however we want.
  • We will avoid recurring fees.

Four Things to Consider When Determining Build vs. Buy

Recurring costs.

Even if you develop your own software, you will incur recurring costs such as, data center, VM or server costs. Even if you use cloud services like Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure, you will incur fees to support the software that you build.

Additionally, some plugins that your development efforts use may require license fees. Many of the plug-ins used to embed functionality require annual fees for updates and support.

If you’re using your own data center then you will need to incur added costs associated with power and bandwidth to run your software.

Core competency.

Is software design and development in your core competency? If so, is designing and building your own platform going to yield you the ROI to justify the development time and costs?


Building your own platform isn’t a one-time job. Technology is constantly being updated, new firmware releases are being deployed, devices are being upgraded and technology standards are constantly changing. Every time a change happens, especially with network infrastructure equipment, you will also need to test full functionality prior to deployment of an update. There is constant maintenance involved. Finding a partner that is committed to excellence will offer you a competitive edge with regular feature and functionality updates, and allowing your team to focus on what matters most.

Opportunity cost.

There is basically zero opportunity cost involved with buying software. When building in-house, your teams will be distracted from pushing the primary business objectives forward. Instead, lean on trusted partners to meet your SaaS needs.

GoZone has developed several platforms that are used globally to provide comprehensive user data and detailed analytics. We use a tightly developed integration with virtually every brand of enterprise-grade WiFi access points and network gateways.

There are some great reasons to partner with GoZone for your WiFi analytics needs instead of trying to build it on your own:

  1. Time to market. Our platforms are ready to go to market today.
  2. True white label. Our platforms are fully white labelled including domain URL’s, graphics, plan options, 3rd party integrations, mail servers, and customer support knowledgebase.
  3. Cost. Our costs are flexible and we offer fixed-rate and usage-based bulk pricing. For the cost of a VM, you can have your own solution in a matter of days.
  4. Constant updates. Our development staff is constantly adding new features, making changes as the hardware and other technology changes. Ask to see our platform release notes.
  5. Custom features. Yes, our team will create custom features that are specific to you. Ask your rep for details on creating a statement of work for time and cost estimates.
  6. Uptime. We proudly maintain 99.99% uptime.
  7. U.S.-based. Our HQ, support and development teams are all based in the United States.
  8. AWS infrastructure. Our platforms are built using the latest infrastructure technology at Amazon AWS data centers.
  9. AWS HA services. High availability and scalability are paramount to us. We leverage many of AWS’s advanced technologies such as managed RDS, Elastic Search and Kinesis.
  10. People. Our team lives and breathes WiFi analytics – it’s in our DNA. Our team becomes an extension of your team.

If you’re interested in speaking with our team about a partnership, let’s talk. We’re here and ready to help you tackle your next big move.

Author: Todd Myers, CEO, GoZone WiFi

I’ve founded and built tech companies since the late 1980’s. As a forward-thinking entrepreneur, I almost NEVER had the “bleeding edge” software tools I needed to help me fulfill my missions. I didn’t have the luxury of buying, so I hired top-notch development and engineering teams to build what I needed. With that in mind, we always built knowing that it could benefit others as well, so several of my companies have white-labelled our software platforms so others could benefit as well.

I founded GoZone WiFi with the same philosophy and I’m happy that many leading service providers use one of more of our three powerful platforms to help fulfill their missions. Even with the mass adoption of SaaS and “cloud-based” services that are available, I run into a company that is thinking about building versus buying. I wrote the following article to help those companies take pause and consider the long-term commitment that they’re making.

The #gozonewifi team lives and breathes WiFi data and analytics. #wifi is in our DNA and we are constantly improving and producing quality feature sets for our customers. Most importantly, we are solving problems and are passionate about it! #saasbusiness #wifimarketing #wifihotspot #analytics #wifisolutions

Recent Posts

Smart WiFi Suite Enterprise Feature Matrix

  • Enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure
    Scaleable platforms on the Amazon AWS cloud provides carrier-grade uptime.
  • Multi-Location Data Views
    An aggregated view of your data giving you visibility to all of your locations or drill-down to specific locations.
  • User Access Control
    Allows your administrator to control and limit access, features and data visibility among users.
  • Advanced Captive Portal Engine
    A complete toolset to design and build dynamic captive portals, guest flows and custom privacy controls. Includes our Touchless Menu features.
  • Guest Forms, Vouchers and Payments
    Collect guest data, surveys, on-line or offline payments and offer different access levels.
  • Customized login methods
    Choose how guests are able to access your network including social login, emails and SMS login, advertisements or a combination.
  • Data Export
    Full guest profile export to CSV allowing you to use collected data in third party systems.
  • Detailed Location Data Analytics
    Analyse detailed information about your locations like busy days, busy times and location comparisons.
  • Demographics and Device Information
    Make informed decisions based on detailed demographics and perform location comparisons.
  • Data Sync to other systems/API
    Save time populating other systems as guest profile data can be sent to external systems on timed intervals.
  • Triggered Campaigns
    Engage with your guests without the manual work by creating personalized email, SMS or Twitter campaigns.
  • Coupons and Loyalty
    Increase spend and promote repeat visits by creating incentives for guests or their friends to come back.
  • Import external data
    Bring in contact data from other systems to consolidate your marketing efforts into a single comprehensive platform.
  • Contact segmenting and lists
    Build contact groups to send personalized messages to your guests based on automatic segmentation and your own critera.
  • Scheduled Campaigns
    Communicate with your contacts to drive awareness through email, SMS or Twitter.
  • Traffic Counts and Statistics
    Monitor your venue and events with real-time and recorded traffic counts and patterning.
  • Heatmapping and Traffic Flows
    Visualize crowd density and how people flow in, out and through your venue to see where people congegrate.
  • Alerting and Reporting
    Create automated alerts to help control crowds or to monitor abnormal trends.
  • Intelligent Landing Page Builder
    Simple to create pages that support multiple campaign types and can easily be modified and re-purposed for other venues or events.
  • Campaign Management Tools
    Offer your advertisers options to suit their advertising needs such as A/B testing, ad weights, flexible scheduling and more.
  • Reporting and Attribution
    Analyse detailed information about the campaigns and creatives to get the best campaign targeting.

  • Access

  • Insights

  • Automation

  • Contacts

  • Presence

  • Advertising

You should receive a text shortly with a link to view a sample Guest Flow.

Take a look at the sample we just sent you, and feel free to reach out if you’d like to learn more.

Custom Splash Page Builder

A custom splash page helps give a captive portal the branded look it needs to stand out from the crowd and give guests the peace of mind they’re accessing the network associated with the venue they’re visiting.

WiFi Payments and Vouchers

Offer premium guest WiFi access and promote WiFi upgrades with comprehensive payment and voucher modules. Payments can be used to offer guests varying speeds of WiFi access, while vouchers are great for venues that want to utilize a captive portal that also requires a voucher code for WiFi access.
WiFi payments and vouchers

Guest Plans

Venues can now offer multiple levels of guest WiFi access with our Guest Plan feature. Guest Plans are defined by specific upload and download speeds and session time limits. Brick-and-mortar businesses can offer guest WiFi access and promote WiFi upgrades with our new payment and voucher modules.

Versatile Form Builder

Create and display custom guest surveys on any splash page of your guest flow. Collect feedback and gather additional data points to create smarter marketing.

Enhanced Guest Flow

Guest flow gives venues complete control over the guest WiFi experience. Guest flows help keep a visually pleasing captive portal experience by preventing clutter of multiple marketing assets. Keep it simple, or turn your WiFi into a digital billboard.
WiFi splash page with survey social login

Integrated Ad Spaces

Ad Space Integrations is a powerful feature for venues who want to promote products, deals and specials, online shopping, loyalty programs and other signups, or third-party advertisers all on a pre-authenticated Splash Page.

Increase impressions and clicks for advertising opportunities by showcasing AdSpaces before requiring a guest to connect to WiFi.

Have an app that needs more downloads? The URL redirect function will navigate guests to the app store specific to their device as soon as they click on the advertisement/call-to-action button.

No more will guests have to wait to connect to WiFi to reach interactive ads. Ad Space Integrations takes Ads4WiFi smart advertising tools and places it our smart marketing environment powered by Marketing4WiFi.

Hotspot Scheduler

Determine the specific days and times that WiFi is available to guests. Hotspot Scheduler offers smarter WiFi control by allowing venues to run their guest WiFi during business hours.