5 Feb 2010

Networked Channels for Software Services

Posted by Axel Schultze

SaaS, Social Media, Online Software Applications… all have one in common, those businesses need indirect sales channels to grow.

Any kind of reseller on the other hand can only be successful, profitable and attractive to end customers when they have a larger product portfolio – single brand resellers can’t survive. Here is what I believe SaaS companies need to do:

1) Try to bring SLAs and terms in harmony with the market
The “All SaaS Enterprise” remains a dream if a customer would have to deal with 20 different partly contradicting terms. More so, a channel partner would have no chance ever getting a customer to sign many very different terms.

2) Share partner list and support partner cross pollination
If we are open about our partners, we help grow a channel in general by helping partners to grow their own business. Five SaaS vendors with 20 different partners each may bring 100 partners to the table. Assuming only a 50% are a match – every one of the five would ramp their channel instantly to 50 partners. And those partners would double or quadruple their revenue opportunity – making them more incline to invest.

3) Develop SaaS channel best practices and share it
While most SaaS vendors agree on the fact that SaaS and on premise is different, only a few have the experience to develop, maintain and grow an indirect business channel. A vendor side partner council, with the support of web 2.0 and social media tools would accelerate knowledge transfer and shorten channel experience development.

4) Create a unified channel development initiative
It takes only a hand full of vendors to put a stake in the ground and convince the world that there is a commercially attractive model to build and grow a SaaS Partner Business. But as long as SaaS vendors would compete with their partners, offer commissions that can’t pay a sales engagement, SaaS is doomed to remain a small company business with no way to grow.

Xeesm, a young SaaS based social media software company is selling through partners and open to join forces with any SaaS vendor who is interested in doing so. If you like to touch base, you find me here: http://xeesm.com/AxelS.

Axel
http://xeesm.com/AxelS
(my social map)

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One Response to “Networked Channels for Software Services”

  1. SaaS – a recession aid for the Channel
    Despite the prediction that IT spend would stay buoyant, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the main message across businesses is to cut costs and spend less.

    However, IT departments are still expected to continue to deliver a high level of service to their business to protect it from the increasing amount of threats and the complex nature of today’s malware. The bottom line is that IT departments will be forced to revisit their current operations and infrastructure to determine how to address the cost reductions they seek while maintaining complete uptime of their systems.

    So how does this affect the Channel? Yesterday’s renewal will suddenly be requested at a much lower price than originally negotiated. Resellers can either look at this as a challenge or an opportunity and either concede with the price reduction the client is looking for or look for new avenues to save their customer money.

    Until recently, most organizations assumed that they only way they could stay ahead of threats and malware was to deploy an expensive, multi-layered security infrastructure. This forced companies to pay for multiple individual applications for each of their users to ensure a dependable barrier for the business. SaaS security vendors now provide companies with options, which not only protect for all threats but also reduce the cost of ownership. SaaS for Security is an easy and quick switch for a customer that previously may have had up to seven solutions doing the job that SaaS can do with one.

    Those resellers who are able to propose a SaaS solution as an alternative to a more cost prohibitive renewal stand to benefit much more than competitors when it comes to addressing security in this difficult economic climate.

    And whilst SaaS Security is just one example of the role a reseller can play in this uncertain economic times, our real message to them is to embrace these options instead of being limited by their existing products portfolio.

     

    Ian Moyse

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