Jump on board our ‘SaaS Enablement Road-Trip’ to see how partnering with Pulsant could help your business evolve its service offerings and maximise your revenue potential...
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The opportunity is there: according to the IDC, the market for SaaS and cloud software will exceed $100 billion by 2018
As an ISV, your business has traditionally focused on developing applications to be consumed by individual customers.
Transitioning to a SaaS provider is a game changer, in that by transforming to becoming a SaaS provider, you take on the responsibility for application infrastructure and the user experience it delivers. You must now consider aspects like cloud supportable code, multi-tenancy, multi-site system availability and maintaining performance. You need to design your applications and architecture around this new model — and you’ll need help in making that transformation in a smooth and efficient way.
Cloud computing has had a major impact on the IT industry, in particular the way your customers will expect to be paying for services.
You need to create a business model aligned to consumption based charging as larger upfront payments become a thing of the past, with a clear view of how this will impact your cash flow and day to day operations.
You’re now selling what is effectively a service instead of an application, typically resulting in the need for significant business process evolution.
This requires a mind shift from an operational approach, adjusting to the fact that you’re a service provider that has to deliver against SLAs. Customers will also expect you to be able to prove a level of service maturity and performance that you may struggle to demonstrate without the support of an established hosting provider.
In line with changing revenue models, you also need to consider how you pay your sales team.
You will need to adjust commission schemes to reflect new contract structures, such as per-user-billing, growth over the term and flexible consumption. Your sales team will also need training on the new application architectures and how to sell the benefits of a Software-as-a-Service solution to your end customers.
In addition to changes in operations, you will need to amend your go-to-market strategy.
This includes re-thinking your overarching marketing strategy, promotional campaigns and target audiences. You may also want to leverage joint marketing activities with strategic partners.
SaaS will grow nearly 5x faster than traditional software – IDC
It’s all about your brand. As your organisation grows, your approach to service delivery needs to evolve accordingly, through the implementation of more mature processes and policies.
Performance, availability and support are three pillars your reputation rests on. Disruption to any one of those pillars will have a knock-on effect on your business, with the net result being lost customers and/or revenue. Ensuring customer satisfaction through your quality of service is essential to maintain the trust and foster the relationship with the end customer.
The aim of almost every business is to drive revenue growth. In order to do this, in an increasingly competitive market, you must have the ability to address a wider target audience.
You may also wish to consider your ability to address new markets and even expand into different regions. Expanding your portfolio by offering a broader range of hosted application models and even a complete set of IT services, will help differentiate you from your competitors and drive additional revenue.
As a SaaS provider, you’re taking on more of the responsibility and the subsequent risk, when it comes to helping customers ensure data security, privacy and regulatory compliance.
You need to consider everything from where data is being held, what layers of security are in place around that data and what certifications and best practices will solidify your offering to your customers.
In addition, you need to fulfil the demands of your customers who are expecting increasing levels of transparency. You must ensure compliance and demonstrate that compliance openly by providing the ability to audit/review all components of the SaaS platform, from application to the underlying infrastructure.
You can better manage and de-risk your cash flow by taking advantage of smarter commercial models from the hosting service providers that align more to your pricing strategy — such as OPEX-based pricing and ‘per user’ charging.
This contributes towards ensuring you have predictable costs that you can readily explain to customers and even use as a selling point. Importantly, under these commercial models, the service provider also has a vested interest in your success because it directly affects the success of their business as well.
Remaining focused on your core priorities will become increasingly important and you can’t afford to be burdened with managing and maintaining supporting infrastructure no longer fit for purpose.
So what do you do? Choosing the lowest cost option can often cause unwanted problems in the long-term. You need to find a provider that offers the right platform, scalability and the levels of service to support your offering, thus ensuring you have the essential time required to develop and innovate your service offering and customer experience.
Implementing business intelligence and analytics capabilities will help optimise your service offering and unlock a number of new revenue streams.
Use operational analytics to proactively improve your customer experience by tracking demand cycles, platform usage, faults and support tickets.
Track user behaviour, aggregate user metadata and integrate external data sources to enhance your offering and deliver a more effective and targeted service to your customers.
In addition, why not look to provide your customers with a chargeable BI and analytics service within your platform, thus strengthening the value of your offering.
As a service provider, we feel our key differentiators are our agility and business outcome approach to all our customer engagements.
At Pulsant, we’re small enough to make fast decisions and not be constrained by overbearing processes BUT we’re large enough to have a sound financial base, well-established support model and attract quality people. Add to that, we’ve got the experience, the staff, credentials and enterprise-grade technology to ensure we can deliver the right solution, complete with flexible SLAs and pricing models, which map specifically to your business objectives.
We’re focused on developing and maintaining relationships with our partners — all with the objective of helping you accelerate and grow sustainable revenue by leveraging our broad set of complementary partner offerings.
As part of our partnership philosophy, we offer sales incentives, sales collaboration, extensive training on our proposition, joint marketing campaigns and collateral, and support throughout the relationship.
In addition to having both a dedicated Hosting Compliance Team and a compliance practice within our Professional Services division, we’ve got the credentials to support you and your customers.
From PCI compliance and CSA Star certification for cloud, to ISO 27001 and ISO 9001. We’re also a Digital Marketplace supplier. Our 10 UK-based datacentres (owned and operated by us) feature state-of-the-art infrastructure, resilient utilities and high levels of site and server security.
We have worked with a variety of ISVs and SaaS providers to develop their multi-platform software portfolio, in order to help them address the challenge of “one size does not fit all”.
We’ve got a comprehensive portfolio of hosting solutions, both private and public, which can be used individually or collectively to create a range of reference architectures for your software services.
In addition, Customer Connect, our software defined network platform will assist you and your customers in seamlessly connecting to the different service options.
This ultimately enables you to offer your clients a number of options for consuming cloud based instances of your software, dependent on their specific budget, security and compliance requirements.
Organisations are increasingly looking to consume their entire IT service from a single supplier.
Expand your target market by taking advantage of our broad portfolio of solutions, thus enabling you to augment your SaaS offering with additional IT services, including:
Pulsant has a strong Professional Services practice ready to help your business transition and develop as a SaaS provider – including IT strategy, platform architecture & security, compliance and licensing.
Perhaps most importantly, we have the capability to assist you with the often complex and daunting task of transforming your code and application architecture to function as a SaaS platform in the cloud.
In addition, why not offer our advisory services to your end customers in order to help them on their wider transition to cloud services – SaaS, IaaS or PaaS.