As SaaS continues to grow leaps and bounds as a major marketing, sales and administrative tool for enterprise businesses, new radical SaaS companies are taking over the market with innovative, customer centric ideas and products. Where on one hand smart companies like ThinkFree Online stormed the market with online office productivity software, Emergence Capital Partners is now concentrating on creating data centric SaaS products which will collect and make smart use of data about and for their customers, and not just look for the flashiest tools.
Trade gurus are predicting the future of SaaS and how it might develop in the future. Some of them are as follows:
Software rather than being less centered on particular institutions, organization or companies would be more and more centered on users. Good examples are products like GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC etc, which are designed and developed for individuals or customers who could be part of any organization. This ensures transferable skills and faster grasping by end users. An instant recipe of success!
Costs will go down, Quality will go up
W. Edwards Deming predicted that the ability to support a reliable, scalable service at a low cost is a bigger and bigger advantage. Cloud will bring down the costs of sustainability. With increased competition and almost the whole world turning towards the web, motivation to provide better quality products at lower costs will only increase.
Customer Support taking the front seat
With products living online, the customer support will be the voice of the SaaS Companies. They will become the first line of defense and the company will have to concentrate on making them as resourceful as possible. Having a strong customer support aligned, for the attack will now be an Advantage Point!
Networked Channels for Software Services
All SaaS, Social Media, Online Software Applications have one thing in common – they all need indirect sales channels to grow. To survive the frequent storms the industry sees so often, it is important to build and maintain trust amongst each other. SaaS vendors will dedicate more resources for building partnerships with other SaaS vendors. A trend towards unified channel development initiative will be seen. It needs unity to make the market believe they are here to stay. Sharing of sales channels will be seen soon. Best practices will be developed and followed for long term partnerships amongst SaaS vendors. This is the only way Software service industry will live longer and grow stronger!
SAAS products will begin to use more and more video for training, support, documentation and so on. It’s cheap and easy and more interesting to watch. Text-based tools are being replaced by Audio and Visual material.
SaaS for SaaS
SAAS companies will start outsourcing more and more parts of their own operations. This is important because they can get the same kind of leverage from full-service hosting providers that they provide to their customers. These kinds of arrangements will also lead to natural SAAS aggregations of applications into end-to-end partnerships.
SaaS companies will move increasingly towards making their applications “cloud compatible”. Grid computing can be highly beneficial in bringing down costs per user. The grid middleware vendors, grid application vendors, utility vendors and SaaS vendors will all join forces to bring down the maintenance cost and provide complete interoperability.
Marketing will take a more prominent role
The strategy for SaaS companies will shift more and more towards marketing their product. The technology though essential will take more of a back seat. More money will be spent to acquire customers through various channels. Social media, ads, online and television marketing will take priority.