Enterprises are adopting more and more SaaS Applications. However many SaaS apps are not enterprise-ready; their APIs are not well documented, nor do they work easily with third party applications – either on-premise or in the cloud. SaaS applications that do not hook into existing systems, lack stickiness and can be easily replaced with another SaaS solution, increasing customer churn rates for vendors, and lowering monthly recurring revenue, impacting overall key performance indicators.
Connect SaaS to Win. Enterprises focus on connecting applications, devices and data silos to create a competitive advantage.
The mega-trends of SaaS, mobile and Big Data are converging to create a massive new wave of business opportunity for Enterprises. It’s no surprise that by 2020, IDC predicts SaaS adoption to exceed $140 Billion as more mission critical applications such as CRM and ERPs are moving to the cloud. In addition, devices such as smart phones and tablets will soon outnumber traditional laptops and desktops connecting to the internet.
The adoption of both SaaS and mobile devices either through IT buying centers or “shadow IT” has created a massive fragmentation of information and business process in the Enterprise. While SaaS and mobility are disruptive trends independently, what is related, and creates even more urgency for Enterprises is the emergence of open APIs.
Understand the end-to-end business process your application supports
Understanding the end-to-end business process your application supports, and how your application plays a role is key to assessing the criticality of your solution to your customer. The more ingrained you are in the business process and in the collection and storage of data, the less likely a customer will be to switch from your solution to another. Unfortunately for many enterprises, very few SaaS providers think about their application in terms of the business processes they support, and as a result do not connect their application to complementary or neighboring apps.
As a result, creating the connectivity layer – or app gap – falls into the lap of the customer. This means that your customer will be forced to manually integrate each application within the business process on their own, increasing the overall cost of your application, and slowing time to value.
Identify areas to expand your application to increase customer value
One of the primary ways SaaS companies provide additional value to their customers is through adding additional product functionality. This has traditionally be done by building the related features into your core platform, acquiring companies, or through partnerships with other best of breed software providers.
With the emergence of SaaS, mobility and open APIs, SaaS providers now have the opportunity to also extend their business through their API. Today we see a spectrum of companies in the SaaS Marketplace looking to capitalize on these technology trends. Companies range from niche best of breed functionality such as SurveyMonkey and HootSuite, to all in one vendors that provide functionality across a customers end to end business process, such as Salesforce.com.
Make your SaaS application Plug and Play
To enable third parties to use your application, you need to make your API as simple as possible. One of the biggest oversights by SaaS and API providers, is understanding that the customer application can make an impact in their environment. What is your API capable of? What are the limitations? What is the fastest path to value for the consumer? The best way to accelerate adoption of your application and reduce barriers in time to live, is to enable easy plug and playability of your application.
This brief how-to-guide will give SaaS Executives insight into key technology trends impacting the Enterprise and provide best practices from a product, sales and services standpoint to repeatedly land and expand within these large, complex accounts.
The comprehensive guide will cover:
- Insight into why Enterprises love SaaS + mobility + open APIs
- Tips to expand your addressable market without additional resources
- How to make your SaaS application and API “Plug and Play”
- How to provide sticky, best in class SaaS applications and reduce customer churn