One of the transformations that enterprise software companies – SaaS or otherwise – need to make is to convert the user experience of their applications such that they are far more intuitive and easy to use – far more consumer app-like.Continue Reading …
Recently, a large, well-known company in the computer software industry approached a small technology company to gauge its level of interest in being acquired at a nice multiple. The management team and investors quickly reached a decision to accept the large company’s offer and due diligence ensued.
…and that is when things quickly went awry.Continue Reading …
Recently, I was interviewed by ReadWriteWeb about investing in enterprise applications. The following is a link to that interview.
One of the key issues that concerns investors and management teams alike vis a vis the SaaS business model is its potential to consume a large amount of capital until finally reaching profitability. Many people have written about this topic, including me.
SaaS companies are typically built upon a stream of relatively low cost subscription licenses, paid out monthly/quarterly/annually — even multi-annually. Unfortunately, for the vendor, the subscription model usually generates far less up front cash than a traditional ‘perpetual license’ software model. But, over time, the compounding effect of the SaaS model can build into a nice annuitystream — provided churn rates are minimized.
It is this up front cash differential that is the primary appeal of the SaaS model over the traditional software model with customers. However, this differential is also what makes the model vexing for the SaaS management team and the investors.
By now, those of you who’ve read my previous blogs realize I tend to only post something when I think I have something interesting to say. Unfortunately, the empirical data suggests that this doesn’t occur with great regularity! It’s my hope, though, since you’re investing your valuable time reading this that I am providing something useful to you.
With that, here are my latest thoughts that pertain to ‘process work’ and ‘knowledge’ work and why I think the software industry has done a reasonable job addressing the former and has until recently let down the latter. Let’s start out by defining the two terms.
I define ‘process work’ as those sets of predefined actions that a person must perform in order to accomplish a business task. These include things like: placing an order, posting a transaction to the general ledger, entering a customer’s contact information.