It seems a little late in the game for me to be asking a question like
“What is SaaS?” But, I’ve always harbored a few embarrassing little
secrets on the subject and I think it’s time I came clean.
There is a classic Harvard Business School case study called Marketing Myopia
by Theodore Levitt that is familiar to every MBA student since the
60′s–the moral of which is not to define your business too narrowly lest
you become obsolete. Well I don’t think software is going away any time
soon and neither is service, but what about software-as-a-service? Between
the rise of the cloud and the fall of the browser, SaaS seems so passe’.
What Is SaaS?
Is SaaS software delivered as a service? As in renting, not owning the
software. Or, is SaaS a service layered over software? As in a complete
solution, not a tool. SaaS is both.
Software delivered as a service means on-demand. ... (more)
I believe many B2B professionals struggle in their adoption of social media
for professional use, because they see it as a marketing platform as opposed
to a professional networking tool. Those who do see it purely as a marketing
tool and use it as such, clog up a valuable business resource with spam. I
have colleagues that are very active on Facebook for personal use, but
can’t seem to get their heads around LinkedIn. CEOs and CMOs don’t have
time for Twitter, let alone time to blog. Sales professionals are too busy
chasing after prospects, so when they squeeze in the ... (more)
A few months back, Gartner placed big data at the peak of its hype cycle for
cloud computing, meaning most big data products are solutions looking for a
problem. I always find this bad entrepreneurial habit to be one of the most
frustrating of our industry. Having recently joined Meltwater as head of
marketing and product (BTW Meltwater is hiring marketing and product
managers!), I think a lot about big data and how to unleash it’s value to
solve important business problems, because that is our business. How does big
data go from “so what” to “must have”?
The Big Data Challenge
Driving sustainable growth is a challenge for every SaaS business from
startups to public companies. In the beginning, the SaaS recurring revenue
model seems like a dream compared to the revenue fits and starts of licensed
enterprise software. But within one short customer lifetime, every SaaS CEO
startles awake to the fact that the churn monster is always looking over your
In the short run, SaaS growth scales with customer acquisition, but in the
long run churn kicks in and dominates even the most aggressive SaaS growth
strategy, creating a SaaS growth ceiling that ca... (more)
We are witnessing a dramatic change in the way SaaS businesses are managed.
While SaaS financial metrics, such as recurring revenue, acquisition cost,
service cost, churn, growth and lifetime value have dramatically increased
our understanding of the economics of SaaS businesses, they have proven
inadequate for managing them. As useful as they may be, SaaS financial
metrics look at the past, not the future. They can tell you that you have a
problem with churn, but they cannot tell you what you should do about it.
Motivated by the need to better understand churn, many Sa... (more)