Getting kids to recycle bottles, having people to use the stairs and not the escalator and making people use the recycle bins in a park are often works of habits – hard to change and people just ignore or don’t think around the environmental aspects; or even that the stairs actually are good for you. http://thefuntheory.com/ is a great place to understand how extremely great marketing becomes tangible to our daily life – and by adding experience to a work task! Look at these three examples:
Regardless of what you work with, you may consider sharing a new experience with your customer, and not just serve a simple purpose.
Yesterday I posted a blog on the resent changes from Berlinske Medier; 2.500 people to consume Google Mail. Many readers have posted which barriers and areas of change I was thinking of, as “SaaS is all about consuming IT within a browser, and just works on-demand”. While this is true, there are significant needs for mid- and enterprise companies to consider:
- Consolidating of Data. Today’s your data are stored on-premise in your own database, tomorrow you will have to fit these data into your cloud solution. Although many vendors today offer easy and simple transaction models for data to traverse from on-premise to online; you will still need to control that project and consider the risks of loosing valuable data.
- Education and organizational implementation. Education and implementation of new IT services are the most forgot area of interest when doing IT project. But this is in fact the only valuable driver to doing the change of IT; if no education if offered, no one will use the IT service and you lost your investment. Still mass-education and class-room speakers can do a lot; there will be a period of knowledge built up, you just do not lose – even if it is SaaS.
- Interface Recognition. We all feel compelled to leverage known user experience and in fact; SaaS and ISV vendors have invested billions in making UX/UI better and easier to understand. If I ask you to cut/copy/paste something, you will know the icons to look for. Changing these interfaces may be easy for IT friendly personnel, but for the bi-daily IT user, where IT is just a tool; it may not be very easy. Microsoft made a huge mistake to introduce the ribbon bar in Office as quick as they did. Changes like these shall be introduced on a simple and quietly way.
- Support and organization interface. The shift in changing interfaces for the users, are the same changes IT support has to implement when starting to support new tools and services. This project is huge – VERY huge. How does a support user support Google Mails problems? Will that IT support user just be an e-mail router between the organization and Google; or will the support user in fact be able to solve issues on demand?
- Corporate control and policies. Quick and dirty SaaS solutions lack one big area; support for enterprise and policy based control. This is why Microsoft Exchange was hard for hosters to manage; but why mid- and enterprise organizations love the platform. Policies and security are enforced from a central point. Almost every solution build for SaaS from new ISVs lack this – I am compelled to ask why, but know the answer. Consider how the organization will change security and managed rules and policies. Many changes, many interfaces, many systems that does not built on the safe standards and integration will result in drastic and unbearable cost.
There are many many more things to consider, but basically look at the business roles you are trying to support and map cost to these roles. You will be amazed how many $$ you can save on this.
A week ago, Danish news company Berlinske Tidende announced to reduce internal operation costs by adopting SaaS solutions for collaboration and document management. We are facing a great lack of evidence like this in the market; and finally there are defined stories of how great SaaS helps customers – not only in the small and home office space; but also in the mid- and enterprise level tiers. 2500 users will now consume a SaaS service instead of internal IT systems.
Although I love the news and headline in this story, my enthusiasm regarding this specific case stops here. SaaS is about understanding your business, and making a business decision of tactical and strategic value: what Berlinske forgot was to look and ASK at the customers (in this case the daily users). Continue reading