Why buy SaaS?

02.10.2013 0

A while ago I received an email in my mailbox marketing a new easy-to-build e-commerce platform in the market. The letter itself was visually quite appealing with big bold headings, slogans and pictures. Yet it was the text itself that caught my attention:  "Cheap start-up costs!", "No monthly fees!!". I couldn't help at thinking: is it really this easy to market a solution free from monthly fees? Especially if the buyer at the other end doesn't have a huge amount of background information and experience as a software user.

So I put myself in the shoes of a fresh e-commerce entrepreneur that is carefully counting how to allocate his start-up money. Yes, I'll admit: a free (or almost free) platform to build my store on does sound a bit tempting.

Think of all the money I could save for other things! Perhaps I could develop my supply chain a bit further, hire an extra hand to help me with my daily tasks or... I could launch a few Adwords campaigns to drive visitors on to the store! But what happens when the online store has a server error and none of the potential buyers can access it? Or if I really need a new feature for the store that doesn't exist in the basic platform? Who do I call? Oh yes, now I remember: I don't pay a monthly fee for someone to take care of the servers, to see that everything is working out fine or to develop the platform further. Oops... So why was it again that I should pay monthly fees to use a software?

Though a bit exaggerated, the above example is really not that rare of a scenario. Often companies that are looking for a software provider have already went through the above. Consequently, they now turn to us, looking for a trustworthy partner and are now more than willing to pay a monthly fee.

Benefits of the cloud-based Software as a Service:

  1. Independent product development. When the development of the software is in the supplier's own hands, problems may be solved less painfully. No code is ever perfect so some problems are ought to happen at some stage that might require development in the software.

    You won't hear "Well, we haven't actually build this particular feature so we don't really know why it's not working. If you would have asked about the feature right next to that, I would have known what to do"
  2. No unwanted or random changes in the platform. When something is changed in the platform, the company will know it won't negatively affect the rest of the platform. And if it would, we'd be able to take care of the situation quickly.

    In open source systems the development of the software has usually been done by many different actors throughout the time. For this reason the impacts of one change to other functionalities might not always be known beforehand.
  3. Continuous updates on your software. Though monthly fees might sometimes feel painful, it's good to keep in mind why they exist. Quite simply, paying your monthly fee will secure the provider's constant product development and having enough constant revenue to hire people in product development.

    You won't get stuck with a platform that nobody develops further. Many of our customers have faced this situation with their previous software so it doesn't seem to be that rare of a situation.
  4. Information security. The truth is that no software is completely secure. What matters is how fast the company can react if information security is jeopardized.

    When the entire development of a software is in the provider's own hands, security issues can be tackled and updated quickly on every users software. The story might be different if there are hundreds of versions of the same software out there. 
  5. Agility and new needs. If new needs arise, we're there to help. If something is not ready-made, let's see if we can develop a solution for you.

    As your needs and ambitions in digital marketing field grow, it's good to know you're dealing with someone who has the repertoire and knowledge to help you. If you decide to buy more than one digital marketing tool from the same supplier, it's easier to work with one customer support and one contact person. Also, using tools from the same cloud will bring you synergy advantages.
  6. User support. Last but not least. Paying a monthly fee will assure you your own contact person as well as technical support to talk to when questions arise. Our support team answers through phone, email and chat window with a real person at the other end.

So all we're asking is, think twice before choosing a cheap software with no monthly fees. Or at least know what you'll be giving up in the process.

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