Help with selecting software as service

There is a great deal of hype around software as a service (or SAAS) at present. If you need help with sorting the hype from the useful content and want to know how we might be able to help keep reading.

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In most businesses a combination of software product + applied services + sustainable sales and marketing disciplines are needed in order to succeed.

We have used and experienced a very wide range of CRM & ERP related products and vendors over the past decade and can help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of the products you may be considering.

For most projects there is no single right answer as you often have to leverage existing investments in other systems which is one way we can help with independent review and analysis of the options and combinations.

Increasingly it is the interface and interplay between front of house systems like CRM, websites, email marketing, RSS and blogging platforms where we see huge potential for a holistic best practice customer relationship focus.

Knowing a wide range of software products very well will help us ask the right questions on your behalf, if you would like help with product selection or ongoing project implementation. There are also some newer products becoming available that we can also introduce should the opportunity be suitable.

Services as a Product or SAAS*
It seems everywhere you look now there is a new “*software as a service” product. Essentially these are services developed as self service style products with pricing and self drive options for the savvy and lots of new complexity for the software consumer.

Ultimately for smaller and medium sized businesses SAAS offers the potential to outsource some IT needs and avoid most of the back room technical issues.

For CRM or marketing activities there maybe strategic implications. In the early days many of us were nervous about customer records being held at a remote data centre but ironically they are often more secure there that in the “back room” at most businesses.

What has now happened with SAAS is that there now more choices of service based products but the actual project complexities don’t go away. There is a still a great need for configuration, customisation and alignment of business processes and software frameworks.

The temptation by vendors has been to downplay the technical side and oversell the pricing model of x services for y$ per user per month or some variation of that formula.

The flipside is that many SAAS vendors are still working on their business models and the reality is that extra expert services still need to be budgeted for if you are to have a successful project.

Some vendors have also confused online distribution for online marketing and sales. For example just because you offer an online application or service doesn’t mean you don’t have to invest and pay sales and marketing staff.

Somewhere in the pricing equation there has to be a budget to pay for the real and hidden costs of not doing the job properly. This also applies even and especially if you decide to use open source software.

At DialogCRM we specialise in practical ways to best use and fully utilise those products and/or services that help with developing the best customer facing results.

We can work alongside your current team or partners to provide independent product review and analysis and or implementation services as well if there is a need to fill the product / skills gap.

For many business projects selection of a product or supplier is seen as the end when it is really only the beginning. Every system lives or dies on how well your staff and culture articulate and maintain sustainable relationship strategies and desciplines.

We also have the capability and methodologies to discover and enhance the thinking that best serves your business and turn those ideas into action. To read more about crm strategy