The move by software vendors to become SaaS providers is all about transformation; of your business model, remuneration policies, sales and marketing strategies, and of the product itself. But one of the biggest changes is ensuring the quality of your service. In effect, the goal posts have shifted dramatically and maintaining (and often times improving) that quality of service becomes critical to your brand value. Your customers want to push that infrastructure pain onto you and receive an SLA back; are you ready to accept that challenge and the opportunities and risks that presents.
Consider that in the past, as a software vendor, you focused on what the software did, how it worked for the customer, and how it was used. The customer took care of the back end and everything else once it was deployed. Now, as a SaaS provider, while the way that the software functions is still important, you also have to focus on the performance, availability and accessibility of the underlying infrastructure.
Your role of support is extended to include the lifecycle of the application, from end to end. Because you now own the infrastructure, you have to ensure that you’ve got the skills and resources to ensure your customers are getting the performance and availability that they need – therefore ensuring your own brand value.
In terms of the skills needed, you have to consider both your support and operations structure. How do you answer support questions from your customers? How available are you to take calls? When are you available? How do you test the infrastructure and the application? What monitoring and reporting metrics are in place to measure that quality of service?
Then, looking at your infrastructure, is it built around performance, availability and accessibility that will deliver the quality of service for your software that your customers now expect, and how does this scale as you successfully grow the business?
But you’re not an infrastructure expert. That’s okay. You can collaborate with a hosting provider that has that expertise that can add to your offering. This is where providers like Pulsant can add tremendous value – we’re working with a number of ISVs so we have the resource, experience and expertise to help with the transition, advise on the commercial model and how to scale with the success of your business regardless of where you are in the process.
As a SaaS provider, you’re being judged and measured on the quality of service end to end, and not just on the software. At the same time, you want to remain focused on your core business and drive innovation. So choose a partner that can support you, the end-customer experience, and ultimately the growth of your brand value.
For more information on the road to SaaS enablement, take a look at our infographic