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Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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6 responses to “SaaS Needs a Value-Add”

  1. Chris Savage

    Another big difference between between SaaS/s and SaaS/v is that SaaS/v solves problems that add the most value when centralized between all users.

    You can draw the line between the two by looking at internally focused problems, such as a CRM, which tend to be SaaS/s and communication that must cross the company wall, such as extranets, which tend to be SaaS/v.

    SaaS/v in its best form provides a new way to interact with people or data outside your organization. SaaS/v should allow you to accomplish something that would have been impossible with an internal application.

  2. Chris Forbes

    I would agree that SaaS is a fantastic delivery model. However, I have to disagree with the attempts to position SaaS as a BUSINESS model (and consequently develop some business model taxonomy based on SaaS/s, SaaS/v etc.)

    While there may be a few commonalities in the business models that use SaaS (eg application rental vs licence on perpetuity), the actual business model will be driven by the dynamics of the market for a given application.

    I’m also not sure whether we should attempt to apply definitions based on Least Cost versus Added Value, which are good for classes in Competitive Advantage 101, but are both coarse and ambiguous at a business unit level, to businesses that happen to use SaaS to deliver their applications

  3. Ben Kepes

    Hi Chris – thanks for your comment. I guess if your contention is that all SaaS is is a new way of delivering software then your comment would be valid.

    My perspective however is that SaaS is a shift – in terms of delivery, mindset, technology and a host of other directions – as such I believe a taxonomy (however coarse) is appropriate

    Cheers!

  4. Mark Byers

    Hi Ben, a great article. We have been highly focused on SaaS/v, as we have been building myworkspace.com over the last 8 years. It is really starting to pay dividends for our customers. Effectively using SaaS to redefine part the business services industry, creating business service utilities delivering virtualised business services (like bookkeeping, website/online presence developmnet, virual assistances..) – interesting times!

  5. Anders K Hansen

    I strongly agree with you Ben.

    In our line of business (SaaS ERP for SOHO/SME) we could either focus on cost of scale, fighting against decreasing ARPU.

    Or take the expanded look on how this delivery model can add value. We have actually trademarket this concept as “the e-conomic way” !

    Within the concept of “the e-conomic way” we focus on strenghtening online corporation between customer, bookkeepers and accountants. How knowledge regarding bookkeeping can be availiable, how support can be conducted e.g.. This instead of fighting a feature war against features inside the on premise systems to be replaced.

    In the long run the value of the actual Software – that we are replacing – the so called core functionality will turn towards zero, the actual application it self will be a qualifier. Customers in our segment will pay for the surrounding benefits – thereby no longer being additional values – but the new core !

    Close to 10% of Danish SoHo/SME’s in Denmark now run SaaS ERP ! – This week we worked with collecting positive statements for our web-page. Luckily, none of the 25 statements that I have seen so fare, argued their shift towards this delivery model with price !

    Anders K. Hansen
    VP
    e-conomic international
    akh@e-conomic.com

  6. It’s a Numbers Game – On SaaS Uptake | CloudAve

    [..] Clearly the fact that Xero is gaining customers at all indicates that their software is easy for people to use – heck Xero is praised by customers, competitors and analysts alike as the best model in SaaS accounting software however I take a slightly different, yet still positive, perspective on these figures. The fact that Xero is able to poach the number of customers of traditional applications that they can, is indicative that they’re doing more than just providing aSaaS/ssolution – maybe it’s the live bank feeds, maybe its the ability to have real time advice – something in their offering is giving customers a value add that makes them prepared to put up with the hassle of converting. [..]