Building Successful Businesses with the SaaS Model

The SaaS - Sales As A Service - method is a software delivery method that allows access to data from any device with an Internet connection and a web browser. Most often, the software company provides it on a hosted platform.


Customers access SaaS through web browsers or APIs. They do not need to configure or maintain the software themselves. In short, the SaaS model offers users a ready-to-use solution and they only have to pay a subscription fee to use the SaaS tools.


SaaS sales redefined the traditional business model of selling software. Today, SaaS companies are everywhere, even if we do not identify them as such at first glance. Think of Netflix, Dropbox or Zoom, for example, to understand the dimension and scope of this model.


SaaS, then, is a software model in which an external provider makes applications available to users over the Internet and users can change the configuration according to their needs.

Software as a Service (SaaS) allows users to connect to and use cloud-based applications over the Internet. Common examples include email, calendars and office tools (such as Microsoft Office 365).

Typical SaaS scenarios:


If you have used a web-based email service, such as Outlook, Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail, then you have already used a form of SaaS. With these services, you log into your account via the Internet, often from a web browser. The email software is located on the service provider's network, where your messages are also stored. You can access your email and stored messages from a web browser on any computer or device connected to the Internet.


The examples above are free services for personal use. For use in an organisation, you can rent productivity applications, such as email collaboration and calendaring; and sophisticated business applications, such as CRM (customer relationship management), ERP (enterprise resource planning) and document management. You pay for your use of these applications on a subscription or usage level basis.


Benefits:

  1. Few barriers to entry: With the Software as a Service model, businesses get the advances and features of traditional software models, without the ongoing maintenance and large upfront costs (licensing costs are lower or free). In addition, SaaS is already installed and configured, which means businesses can get up and running more quickly.

  2. High accessibility: SaaS applications are available from any computer or device, anytime, anywhere, through SaaS cloud computing. With Internet availability everywhere, SaaS platforms tend to have high adoption rates, along with virtually no need for training.

  3. Lower upfront costs: As mentioned above, SaaS platforms have lower upfront costs compared to traditional software. Because they are subscription-based, the costs are much lower. When SaaS providers manage the IT infrastructure, both hardware and software costs as well as labour costs decrease.

  4. Effortless upgrades: Because the provider manages all upgrades, SaaS platforms eliminate the need to download and install the application. The SaaS provider also handles availability, so customers do not need to add hardware, software or bandwidth as the user base grows.

  5. Seamless integration: SaaS systems allow companies to regulate software requirements on an ongoing basis, based on their business needs and customer demand. Many SaaS providers also offer customisation so that each company can meet individual needs. In addition, many provide application programming interfaces (APIs), allowing integration with existing applications.


Building successful businesses with the SaaS method:


Because SaaS is different from traditional software, it is important to treat it differently. To have a fruitful experience with SaaS, keep these steps in mind:

  1. Track product usage: since the SaaS model provides data and statistics on your customers, you should make the most of it.

  2. Don't stop after SaaS: since SaaS takes a lot of the work out of the beginning (e.g. installation and ongoing maintenance), it is important to continue to implement attractive offers and develop strategies within the marketing plan.

  3. Avoid relying on a traditional strategy: the internet is constantly changing. Therefore, it is always a good idea to change your service and launch new iterations instead of sticking to the slower pace of traditional software releases.

  4. Connect with customers and use feedback to improve future product interactions.

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