Modern businesses make extensive use of software applications for improving enterprise operations and enhancing interoperability. In fact, more and more business operations today depend on software acquired via the SaaS model. With an overwhelming amount of SaaS vendors available out in the market, enterprises and decision-makers can have a tough time narrowing down to the one option that fits well. If you are a business owner or a decision-maker, clearly you want to make the appropriate choice in your first go- to avoid loss of productive hours and to stay within the project budget, of course, while offering a great experience for your employees as well as customers.
Let us discuss the must-have traits in a SaaS vendor that you should be on the lookout for.
1. Migration assistance
This is critical. Not all enterprises are just starting out with software but are instead looking for a better alternative, which means that they already have a solution they aren’t happy with. In this situation, the SaaS vendor should be enthusiastic and capable to offer migration from your existing tool to theirs. The migration should be seamless, causing little to no changes in your current infrastructure. Also, if you are still in the comparing and testing stage of the product, the SaaS vendor should be able to offer side-by-side testing of their software vs their competitors so that you can make an informed choice before a complete rollout.
2. Great support and training
This cannot be emphasized enough. Your SaaS vendor is going to be your trusted partner in the journey of software implementation and beyond. This includes a lot of back and forth between the vendor support and your IT teams which is why you should always go for a vendor that is applauded by its existing customers for support. You can look at their ratings and reviews on Gartner or G2.com and ask as many questions as possible during the product demo and testing phase to test their support quality. Inarguably, good SaaS vendors have world-class support, offer exhaustive training and a helping hand in software implementation.
3. Data security, privacy and GDPR compliance
So you like a product offered by a SaaS vendor that has the perfectly oiled problem-solution fit, they offer exactly and only what you need for now. But this isn’t enough! If you expect your business to grow and scale, you are going to need capabilities and features to meet the future demands- be it for platform support, environment support or anything else. Look for a SaaS vendor that has a scalable solution that can be scaled down for your current need but can also be scaled up when your demands broaden. This will make your software implementation future-proof.
5. Ease of Use
It is extremely important to note that you are ushering in software to enhance your current customer-facing capabilities or to improve your employee productivity. The last thing you want is your employees losing their productive hours in learning, navigating or understanding the product, well after its implementation and trial period. A must-have trait in SaaS vendors is hence, the ease of use. Don’t opt for a vendor that has complex flows, needs high expertise or has a large learning curve. Universally, look for a SaaS vendor that offers solution basics like single sign-on, has extensive features for identity management, supports interoperability and provides insightful analytics.
6. A subscription-based pricing model
When it comes to pricing, the theory really is ‘To each his own’. But certainly, you do not want to be permanently locked in with a SaaS vendor that you end up not liking after a few months or years. A subscription-based model is hence a hit, especially if you are starting out with a vendor you don’t know or a requirement that you are just trying out. A subscription-based pricing model can be for a month, a quarter, bi-yearly or yearly- that’s your call. If some apps need at least one year of extensive usage for you to like it or hate it, so be it! The important factor is that you can always opt-out of it at the end of your subscription period, which means that a wrong choice is not going to last forever!
7. Integration options
If you are a tech company, your applications rarely exist in SILOs. You need to integrate data as well as functionalities from one SaaS application to another for better insights and operation. It is hence important to choose a SaaS vendor that offers a diverse profile of API, offers seamless integration of other relevant SaaS apps and enables data sharing between interfaces. Remember, it has to work for you and not the other way round.
Choosing a SaaS application can make or break it for you in several ways. It boils down to making the right choice by keeping these factors in mind, along with your problem-specific requirements that need additional attention.