The SaaS model has lowered the barriers for budding software entrepreneurs to build and commercialise exciting new products and creating new markets that cater to nearly any vertical or niche you can think of, while new technical developments open doors for companies to explore and lay roots.
With a variety of new tools and methodologies to aid the building of SaaS companies, as well as their products, we take a look at five pieces of the puzzle that are accelerating the market, changing working practices and making software development more agile.
It’s not only remote teams that need dedicated platforms to keep in touch and on task. Email has all but been replaced by many teams for performing particular tasks, whether it’s using Slack for internal communications or sprint planning platforms for managing development.
Face-to-face communication doesn’t have to be shirked either. Video chat services, such as Zoom, allow teams to talk things out as if they were in the same office.
It’s not just teams that these platforms bring together, they also bring you closer to your users. Embedded chat platforms like Intercom or Drift, and support platforms like Zendesk, means it has never been easier to speak with your clients and leads.
Video chat also opens the door to performing live demos, user interviews and even commercial discussions without either party having to worry about locational logistics or travel expenses.
With hosting heavy weights such as AWS, Google Cloud and Azure vying for your service, achieving a solid uptime is within affordable reach. There are many flexible pricing options available to help you attain the perfect balance of performance vs server costs. Each also has incentive programmes for start-ups, meaning that often costs can be absolutely minimal at the outset.
There are many things you need to manage and deliver as a SaaS platform that lie outside of your core product. Billing, customer support, sales management… these are all activities which out-of-the-box solutions can cover, rather than having your development team work on things that aren’t improving your product’s bottom line.
You need to connect to one or more of the plethora of other SaaS applications out there and therefore integration is no different. Why use your stretched development resources building out integrations when you can simply connect to one service, giving you access to hundreds more.
Embedded iPaaS has enabled SaaS companies to develop out their own solution further, without having to compromise on connectivity or the experience they want to offer their users.
With the sheer volume of SaaS platforms available, how do buyers decide which one to use? This question has fuelled the emergence of SaaS-centric review websites, such as industry staples including Capterra, GetApp and G2.These allow potential customers and stakeholders to take a top down view of a vertical market, allowing them to compare features, pricing and direct experiences through reviews.
For SaaS vendors, these sites offer several opportunities:
●The ability to make yourself seen in your niche
●A relatively low cost way to get in front of your audience through PPC offerings
●As a way to gain a better understanding of your market’s landscape so you can carve your own niche
Participation with such sites allows you to accelerate exposure to your potential end-market: however, product differentiation becomes much more important to avoid being lost in the noise.
SaaS teams are no longer a centralised concept. Gone are the days when renting dedicated office space is a necessity to be considered a legitimate company. A cloud company can have a dispersed, multinational, workforce which is, ironically, enabled by other cloud applications.
The global growth in co-working locations bring opportunities for teams to be built amongst tech hubs in cities around the world. (Fun fact: Cyclr has been built and based in co-working spaces since day one.)
This new pillar of the sharing economy gives founders a far more economical way of building their team, with subscriptions that scale with your team.
The range of tools and services available to help us to prototype, build, get a product to market and scale our teams has never been stronger. The ability to equip your team and product with scalable services allows development teams to focus on what matters: building new and innovative applications and experiences.