November 14, 2013 Leave a comment
In last 10 years, SAAS applications have disrupted traditional Enterprise Software Industry. It started with SalesForce, and the trend continues till this day. Here are some of the things that differentiate SAAS from Enterprise Software model:
- Variable Cost
- Efficiency with Scale
- Services (Instead of Product)
The list can go on-and-on. Numerous articles have been written about why SAAS works better than the traditional Enterprise Software. In this article, I would like to mention one aspect which is sometimes overlooked.
Traditional Enterprise Software companies require a large “Sales Force” to schmooze customers for annual license (and maintenance) contracts. Selling Enterprise software requires “connections” in the industry. This is a competitive advantage that deters most new entrants from launching their competitive Software products.
Alternatively, Most SAAS products acquire their customers using their online e-commerce portal. Since customer acquisition happens online, traditional competitive advantage (“connections in the industry”) does not work here. Instead, now the customers can try multiple products simultaneously and pick the best one that suits them the most. “Technical Prowess” and “Quality of Customer Support” become the new competitive advantages.
Since “Technical Prowess” and “Quality of Customer Support” become the key differentiating factors, any company that can provide high quality on these 2 parameters has a good chance of success. Interesting point is that these 2 parameters can be executed remotely! This brings Global teams into the picture. A team sitting in India or Philippines or Brazil can deliver high quality Technology and Customer support. They do not require Sales foot-soldiers in the US to gain US customers. More importantly, these teams can do it at a better RoI (Return on Investment).
We are seeing this trend at a fast pace. SalesForce is continuously challenged by their Indian competitor, Zoho. Zendesk is challenged by its Indian competitor, Freshdesk. Olark has a powerful competitor in ZopIM. Browserstack (based in India) is the best SAAS based testing platform.
The list goes on!