SaaS Keeps the Complexity of Software Manageable

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Widen is featured in the March issue of the Capital Region Business Journal, a monthly print publication of the Wisconsin State Journal.  In an article titled “Complexity of the Software Industry,” Widen along with Epic Software (medical records software and the largest software company in the state of Wisconsin) are quoted along with the inherent challenges to the software industry.

Quoted from the article, “The biggest challenge facing the software-as-a-service industry is educating the marketplace on why installing software and using internal IT (information technology) resources to manage that software is significantly more expensive than using a SaaS provider…The total cost of ownership is more manageable and the value received is greater in the SaaS model because customers are subscribing to software (typically through a web browser) and sharing in the core technology used by other organizations.”

Now, I’d like to take this opportunity to expand on how software-as-a-service keeps the complexity of software manageable.

First off, it is both timely and timeless to mention that service is king.  If a software company is to provide a useable product and expects to develop a long-term relationship with its customers, it starts and ends with the last “S” in SaaS.

Here’s the core areas in which DAM SaaS keeps the complexity manageable:

Install and Control – From the technical requirements to resource allocation for the implementation, Widen Project Management staff serve as the “head wranglers” to align appropriate resources with the goals of the project.  In marketing speak, the team of technical and project management people is what helps customers with enough other projects on their plate “get up and running” as efficiently as possible.

Next, it comes with the training of the client administrators to use the system and coordinate the ingestion of content, organization and the setup of user roles and access levels. 

The last key ingredient to a successful implementation is user adoption.  This comes in several ways, but a SaaS provider is well equipped to work with the client administrators and project managers to setup the appropriate controls, train and educate users on the functionality and purpose of the software, and is able to make it as easy as possible to promote the existence and “the big shift” of the software to all users – usually in stages – both internally and externally with channel partners and affiliates.

Live and Grow - A successful implementation is not only measured by the launch of a system but by the use. ROI is driven by USE.  What differentiates the SaaS model?  The ability to scale and adapt with and throughout the enterprise (and external partners) while being nimble enough to accommodate growth and a changing business climate with resources guided by a company whose core competency is the creation, management, and distribution of digital content.  Internal IT resources remain dedicated to maintaining the business operations, while a SaaS provider is there (sometimes when internal IT is not) to assist in adding more infrastructure or provide more service.  What happens when you have a question?  You want to be able to get an answer, right.  A SaaS provider dedicates trained people to both staff a help desk and consult with the client on ways of making it work – usually supplying more than one right answer.

Be Real & Work - A SaaS provider is not a software company that hires a bunch of software developers to live on an island and write code.  A SaaS provider is equipped with several teams who are responsible in meeting with clients, interpreting their needs, delivering solutions that really work, and being able to quickly change the solutions as needs change.  This is where Widen typically has a heads up.  We’re not just a software company.  Widen is a developer and a user of our own technologies. 

What’s more, we are part of a process – as a whole – for and with our customers.  We serve to aid in the creation, management, and distribution of digital media.  Not all of that is achieved with automation, some of it comes with skilled labor – the color production stuff that represents how your products and brand looks and represents itself in the marketplace.  As a part of the process for our customers, we understand the importance of speed to market, increased quality, and reduced costs when it comes to creative workflows and marketing execution.  As a part of that process, Widen understands how the advancement of marketing operations and brand management drives top line business growth by maximizing market penetration and brand value.  In that process, our solutions and methods must work and must co-align with the goals of our customers in order to succeed. 

What’s the key to all of this complexity?  The short answer: make it manageable.  How? Choose your strategic business partners wisely. More to come… 

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