Microsoft made a smart move. Changing a set of the BPOS suite to fit only federal offices is a nice “marketing gimmick” that will make the adoption of BPOS in federal government grow. It’s a smart and strategic move in the war against Google. Not only did Microsoft already implement the structures and requirements in local data centers to meet US, APAC and EMEA requirements (read the annual report on social responsibility and protection of data), but labelling the exact services as “Microsoft Online Services for Federal” is just beautiful. Microsoft is doing exactly what we have been preaching the last 5 year: SaaS is about structure, operational effectiveness, volume – and finally – to be able to thing outside the box, and change the scope of the label.
http://www.lessmeeting.com/ – built a very innovative solution that helps you keep a formal structure and flow on your meetings. Not only does the application require a structured invite, but also follow-ups, and re-cap/actions are included. The tool works as a Software+Services solution, built into Outlook and works during the meeting.
Get structured and try it out 🙂
I often help our ISV portfolio on design and experience when dealing with online marketing sign-up pages for their application. Many ISV’s show me a price-feature table, let’s just say it often more complex than simple. Remember showing a price is also adding risk to the customers buying chain and decision to do so. This is due to people need of CONTROL when doing a purchase decision. Give the user control! Look at these examples:
Do you feel you are in control? Or even can you describe the final price? Not really, you have to be a technical buyer, but 1&1 may also chose to only present this table, to fit their segmented marked, being technical buyers.
Now look at this:
Yet it is the same table, it feels more easy and understanding right? Graphics are often better to use and leverage then show price markups and remember to embed Silverlight or flash graphics to even better the experience. If you NEED the complex price table, link to it from a simple table (advanced price table – read more here). Remember we are trying to serve different people, different markets, different feelings – and yet, we need to give the customer CONTROL.
Finally look at this:
Critics will easily say – but there is only one price! And that is exactly what the point is. If you have a complex price model, you will probably reach more revenue by changing your business model and price, and get a flood of users on the product. Don’t stick to the traditional roads; find your own model.