5 Ways to Tell If Your New SaaS Offering Meets Customer Expectations

Now that your software company has migrated its on-premises solution to the SaaS delivery model, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate just how well your software performs in the cloud environment. While the SaaS model may meet your expectations, it may fall short from the perspective of your customers.

To make a proper evaluation, it helps to assess your performance in five key areas:

  1. Scalability: If you can’t scale your service easily, new orders won’t get fulfilled on-time. You may find yourself dealing with upset customers, or worse, they will take their business elsewhere.
  1. Performance: If customers get frustrated trying to navigate your application or experience long response delays, they won’t remain customers for very long.
  1. Technical Support: Do you react to customer problems quickly and resolve them swiftly? Ideally, you should offer multiple support channels—online chat, online forms, email and phone—so customers can choose the medium they like best. Proper staffing levels and trained personnel are also a must.
  1. Time-to-Value: How quickly does your app deliver value to your customers, and have you set their expectations accordingly? This requires a deep understanding into your customer ROI timelines and communicating that information clearly. Your app then needs to deliver as promised.
  1. Service Level: Does your app run all the time? Can users access the app anytime, anywhere from any device? In today’s business environment, you virtually need to ensure 100 percent uptime.

Properly evaluating your firm in all five areas typically requires the expertise of an outside firm that applies industry best standards and all the necessary tools to measure each area. Leading cloud partners can also advise on how to move the needle in the right direction. Doing so is paramount—application success and the success of your business depends on high marks in across all five measures.

Want to Learn More? Visit the Logicalis solution provider website.


4 Ways to Increase the Profitability of Your SaaS Environment

Now that you have built a multi-tenant SaaS environment—where you can roll out updates to your entire customer base all at once—the next key step is to prime the environment for maximum profitability. Here are four ways to reach the next level:

  1. Measure everything you can to identify and remediate pain points such as up-time, user experiences, and technical support. Also identify any inefficiencies such as the customer on-boarding process and how quickly you roll out new features.
  1. By relying on automation and orchestration best practices, you not only avoid the cost of adding additional resources to deploy, manage and support your application, you also accelerate customer access as well as time-to-revenue. Automation and orchestration also eliminate the element of human error, which further delays the time to deploy and roll out updates.
  1. As you compare the cost and performance of your SaaS platform to other platforms, analyze each platform’s set-up. While RAM, CPUs and storage resources may be the same from one platform to another, how you build-out the platforms could be different. There’s also a huge learning curve when changing platforms, so while a lower cost may be too attractive to turn down, the process is a huge undertaking. You likely need the help of a Managed Service Provider with SaaS expertise.
  1. To generate optimal use of your SaaS infrastructure, optimize your spend. That means identifying inefficiencies and realizing that with virtualization you can often generate double the power from a single system rather than buying a new one. And where IaaS platform providers charge hourly for what you use, also consider reducing the resources you pay for when you don’t need them and then turning them back on when you do. If most of your customers rely on you 5×8, you don’t need all resources turned on 7×24.

Want to Learn More? Visit the Logicalis solution provider website.

Does your IT infrastructure take advantage of cloud computing?

It can be difficult to prepare your IT infrastructure to take advantage of cloud computing. There are a lot of things that need to be considered when going through the process. You will need to upgrade, revise and sometimes create systems during the process.

Logicalis has created 14 key technology areas that need to be addressed to put a suitable foundation in place for the cloud:

1.            Server Hardware

2.            Storage

3.            Networking

4.            Data Backup Systems

5.            Virtualization

6.            System Management/Monitoring

7.            Service Orchestration

8.            Configuration Management

9.            Chargeback/Showback

10.          Performance/Capacity Planning Tools

11.          Service Catalog

12.          Change Management/CMBD

13.          Adoption of SaaS

14.          PaaS Management of Key Applications

Do you agree that addressing these 14 technology areas will assist you in putting a suitable foundation in place for the cloud, and this is ripe? Or is this only hype?

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Are new skills needed for the cloud?

The role of the cloud in IT has created a whole new set of skills that are required for IT professionals to know. This new skill set is larger than the industry has ever seen before. First it is important for IT professionals to understand the technical aspects of the cloud their organization has selected (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS). It is also important for them to understand the technical differences between private and public clouds, and to particularly understand the solution(s) they are working with. And lastly they need to understand the management issues related to cloud delivery and governance.

While the cloud has created a new skill set it has also enabled IT departments and CIOs to play a more strategic role. The cloud has given them the capability to work closely with the business and focus on overall objectives. While skill sets will need to adapt to the cloud from the CIO to the IT operational staff the cloud has the ability to free up time and grow skills that will build a more effective IT department in the long run.

Do you agree this is ripe and a new skill set is needed for the cloud? Or do you believe this is hype and there are no extra skills needed for the cloud?

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Where do you think the cloud will be this time next year?

The IT industry continues to grow daily. In fact Gartner predicts that IT spending will be $3.6 trillion for 2012. Cloud computing is one of the fastest growing aspects of IT. In 2011 the cloud market stood at $91.4 billion and it is expected to grow to $206.6 billion by 2016.

The largest market share of the cloud is BPaaS which is made up of business processes delivered from the cloud such as email, payroll, and cloud advertising. The next largest market share is SaaS and Gartner expects this part of the market to grow to $6.2 billion this year. PaaS is the smallest of the three cloud markets and it is predicted to end the year with about $1.2 billion in spending.

Do you agree with Gartner’s predictions that the cloud will continue to grow its share of the market over the next couple of years and these predictions are ripe? Or are they only hype?

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