Digital Transformation

How​ ​to​ ​survive​ ​in​ ​the​ ​SaaS​ ​era?

Written by Sonya

During one of our lectures,​ ​Mr.​ ​Kratiroff​ ​gave​ ​us​ ​a​ ​challenge​ ​that​ ​involved ​using​ ​maximum​ ​number of​ ​tools during​ ​3​ ​days​ ​to​ ​be​ ​ready​ ​for​ ​the​ ​demo​.​ ​My​ ​team​ ​and​ ​I​ ​managed​ ​to​ ​use​ ​around​ ​twenty tools​ ​for​ ​one​ ​short​ ​time​ ​project,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​was​ ​amazing​ ​to​ ​benefit​ ​from ​this​ ​accessibility​ ​and​ ​of​ ​an outstanding​ ​user​ ​experience​ ​of​ ​these​ ​products,​ ​most​ ​of​ ​which ​were​ ​SaaS​ ​products. 

Let’s​ ​start​ ​with​ ​a​ ​quick​ ​reminder,​ ​what​ ​is​ ​SaaS​ all ​about? 

SaaS,​ ​which is the abbreviation for ​Software-as-a-Service,​ ​allows​ ​a​ ​company​ ​to​ ​no​ ​longer​ ​install applications​ ​on​ ​its​ ​own​ ​servers​ ​but​ ​to​ ​subscribe​ ​to​ ​online​ ​software​ ​and​ ​pay​ ​a​ ​price​ ​which varies​ ​according​ ​to​ ​their ​actual​ ​use. 

SaaS​ ​management​ ​enables​ ​a​ ​business​ ​to​ ​benefit​ ​from​ ​many​ ​advantages: 

– no​ ​software​ ​to​ ​install​ ​on​ ​the​ ​company’s​ ​computer​ ​hardware

– no​ ​data​ ​stored​ ​internally

– automatic updates of ​applications

– the​ ​application​ ​can​ ​be​ ​used​ ​anywhere​ ​and​ ​anytime:​ ​all​ ​it​ ​takes​ ​is​ ​a​ ​simple​ ​internet connection​ ​and​ ​a​ ​computer

  • management​ ​in​ ​SaaS​ ​mode​ ​provides​ ​a​ ​level​ ​of​ ​security​ ​generally​ ​superior​ ​to​ ​internal management

Previously​ ​during​ ​my​ ​(short)​ ​time​ ​at​ ​​eFounders​,​ ​a​ ​Paris-based​ ​startup​ ​studio​ ​specialized​ ​in building​ ​B2B​ ​SaaS​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Aircall,​ ​Mention,​ ​TextMaster,​ ​…​ ​the​ ​core​ ​team​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​list​ ​all the​ ​tools​ ​used​ ​by​ ​the​ ​various​ ​team​s ​working​ ​in​ ​the​ ​office.​ ​In​ ​less​ ​than​ ​an ​hour,​ ​50+​ ​tools​ ​had been​ ​listed and ​divided​ ​amongst ​the​ ​user​ ​departments:​ ​Tech,​ ​Sales,​ ​Marketing,​ ​Product,​ ​Customer Success​ ​etc.  

It​ ​made​ ​me​ ​realize that​ ​SaaS​ ​was ​part​ ​of​ ​our​ ​everyday​ ​success.​ ​But​ ​how​ ​could​ ​we measure​ ​their​ ​participation​ ​of​ ​success​ ​or​ ​even​ ​the​ ​fails? 

An​ ​example​​ ​of​ ​a​ ​basic​ ​setup​ ​for​ ​a​ ​startup​ ​with Ops,​ ​Product​ ​and​ ​Engineering,​ ​Sales and​ ​Marketing​ ​teams is hereunder:


Working​ ​in​ ​different​ ​startups,​ ​I​ ​shortly​ ​noticed​ ​that​ ​I​ ​became​ ​a​ ​fervent​ ​SaaS​ ​addict​ ​and discovered​ ​many​ ​tools​ ​that I​ ​can’t​ ​imagine​ ​myself​ ​living​ ​without​ ​now​, ​because​ ​each​ ​of​ ​them solve​s ​a​ ​specific​ ​problem​ ​and​ ​generate​s ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​value​ ​for​ ​us. 

The​ ​more​ ​a​ ​company​ ​grows,​ ​the​ ​more​ ​tools​ ​it ​uses.​ ​In​ ​order​ ​to​ ​measure​ ​your​ ​tool​ ​utility,​ ​you​ ​should​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​track​ ​and​ ​monitor​ ​KPIs​ ​such​ ​as use​ ​frequency,​ ​efficiency,​ ​and​ ​cost.​ ​By​ ​being a bit radical with your​ ​choice,​ ​you​ ​will be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​build​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​and​ ​meaningful​ ​SaaS​ ​stack​ ​for​ ​all​ ​your​ ​team​ ​and​ ​​manage​ ​your budget​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same​ ​time. 

1 ​The​ ​use​ ​frequency 

What​ ​is​ ​the​ ​repartition​ ​of​ ​your​ ​SaaS​ ​stack​ ​use?​ ​Which​ ​tool​ ​do​ ​you​ ​use daily,​ ​weekly​ ​or​ ​even monthly?​ ​Do​ ​you​ ​feel​ ​like​ ​you​ ​are​ ​making​ ​the​ ​most​ ​of​ ​them? 

2 ​The​ ​efficiency 

Is​ ​this​ ​tool​ ​necessary​ ​for​ ​your​ ​business?​ ​Is​ ​the​ ​plan​ ​you​ ​subscribe​ ​to ​the​ ​most​ ​appropriate one? Are ​there​ ​features​ ​you​ ​don’t​ ​take​ ​advantage​ ​of?​ ​Do​ ​you​ ​have​ ​a​ ​customized​ ​follow-up​ ​with​ ​an attributed​ ​account​ ​manager? 

3 ​The​ ​cost  

Be​ ​careful​ ​about​ ​paying​ ​twice​ ​for the ​same​ ​tool​ ​used​ ​by​ ​two​ ​different​ ​teams via different accounts. Is​ ​the​ ​return​ ​of​ ​investment​ ​of​ ​your​ ​software​ worth​ ​the​ ​cost?​ ​If​ ​measuring​ ​your​ ​resources f​or ​the​ ​moment ​is​ ​a​ ​good​ ​practice,​ ​testing​ ​other​ ​solutions​ ​on​ ​the​ ​market​ ​could​ ​be​ ​an instantaneous​ ​no​ ​brainer! 

In​ ​any​ ​case​, ​as​ ​users,​ ​we​ ​should​ ​always​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​a​ ​feedback​ ​to​ ​the​ ​teams​ ​for​ ​one reason:​ ​to​ ​support​ ​them​ ​in​ ​their​ ​endeavor ​of​ ​building​ ​a​ ​top​-quality ​product​ ​within​ ​their​ ​market​ ​and to provide​ ​a​ ​greater​ ​experience​ ​for​ ​all​ ​of​ ​us. 

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