3 Things to Know Before Making your SaaS Product Marketing Plan

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The SaaS market is going crazy.

Like, 17.3 percent year-over-year market growth—to $85 billion in 2019—kind of crazy.

Helping your SaaS firm grab a piece of that pie might seem daunting at first. But if you resist the urge to create an “all the things, all the time” SaaS product marketing plan, you can succeed. How? Do your homework, and establish these three things before you start planning:

1. Your Hero Statement

Trying to be everything to everyone in that $85 billion SaaS market is a sure-fire way to overextend your resources—probably on a lot of people who aren’t going to buy from you anyway. Instead, pick out the customer segment that’s a perfect match for your SaaS product, and rock every part of that customer experience.

Enter your hero statement, which helps you focus on the right target customers for the right reasons. to It’s a combination of the company profile or persona you serve best with the problem that you’re best at helping them solve. It might sound simple, but it requires a bit of advanced research to get these two elements nailed down:

  • Buyer Personas: These are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
  • The Jobs You’re Best at: In essence, this is the Jobs-to-be-Done Theory applied to your SaaS product. Thinking along these lines can help you discover which alternatives—including and going beyond your traditional competitors—your target customers are currently using to meet their needs. HubSpot Academy offers an excellent overview of identifying which “jobs to be done” your customers are actually “hiring” your SaaS product to achieve. (Spoiler alert: They might not be the jobs you think.)

Here are some hero statement examples:

  • My SaaS firm is a hero to CIOs of $3-10 million companies who need to reduce data storage costs by 25 percent within two years.
  • My SaaS firm is a hero to marketing managers at $1-3 million non-profits who want video content to generate over 30 percent of website conversions within the next year.

As you develop your product marketing plan, check your marketing activities and goals against your hero statement to ensure you’re in alignment. – Read more

How to Pick a Cloud Hosting Provider: 7 Questions to Ask

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The cloud hosting market is growing at a brisk pace.

From startups to major enterprises, most businesses around the world are starting to realize the perks of migrating their business processes to the cloud.

Gartner forecasts the public cloud services to grow 17.3 percent in 2019 to a total of 206.2 billion with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to grow 27.6 percent.

The cloud providers offer you with various cloud platforms, such as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), etc. for your applications, websites, data storage, software development, as well as complete business processes.

However, because of the emergence of a plethora of cloud providers in the market, you must be wise in choosing a cloud provider. Here are some questions you can ask yourself while choosing a cloud hosting provider.

1. Does the cloud provider know your business?

The cloud basically provides you with the resources to host your applications or carry out your business processes on the cloud. However, every application, website, and software vary in the mode of functioning, resource requirements, and other aspects such as security.

For instance, some application might need extensive data monitoring, while others a high-performance server with SSD storage.

It is always favorable for you if the cloud provider has expertise in hosting your type of applications.

Hence, before choosing a cloud provider, you must research whether the provider has expertise in hosting your application or not.

2. How efficient is the customer support?

Talk about any industry, whether service-based or product-based; customer support is the thread that weaves the customers and the company into a community. If a company is not able to offer a resolution to the customers’ issues, no matter how good the product is, it is bound to go down the hill. The customer loses faith in the company and consequently, its products and services.

However, only resolving the issue is not enough for most customers. The customers must be responded to swiftly, and the issue must be resolved in minimal time.

The deployment of an efficient customer support system is the top priority for most cloud hosting providers. The cloud providers are responsible for hosting applications, websites, critical data, etc. for various companies. Hence, it is essential for them to cater to the clients’ issues.

While choosing the cloud hosting provider, make sure the customer support is satisfactory. You can do market research about the cloud provider, read the customer testimonials, and ratings. You can analyze the Average Response Time and Average Resolution Time promised by the cloud hosting provider.

Go for a cloud provider that offers 24/7/365 support to make sure that the technical support staff is always at your beck and call. – Read more

Five steps for transforming your software company into a healthy SaaS business

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Don’t overlook these five essentials for making a successful transition to a healthy SaaS business.

Getting the right cloud platform in place

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The necessity to implement the right cloud computing platform is nothing less than essential….

How to choose the right project management software for your business

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The ever-evolving technology has introduced numerous innovative techniques and options to help you in organising your work. Among the best available options is To-do apps but while they are quite useful, when it comes to organising a large team’s workload, they can only do so much, and this is where dedicated project management software comes in.

Project management software not only facilitates effective communication but also enables collaboration; which is why it is vital that you select the right project management software. With the right tool, you can not only guarantee the success of your project, but the project manager can effectively ship on time. Similarly, when you are working on a hectic project, it is inevitable to have a lot on your mind; and a project management software helps you ease through the pressure. In essence, it can make or break a project!

With this in mind, it is quite clear that you need to take time to carefully think about how to acquire the right project management software. Even so, the massive number of options available it can get confusing, and this is precisely why we have created this guideline for you.

By following the few tips outlined below as well as recommendations, you can ensure that you quickly identify and acquire the right software to help you achieve your objectives and also come to a successful conclusion. Here is everything you need to know how to choose the best project management software for your business.

Why is it essential that you select the right project management system?

Attempting to manage all the moving elements of any project complex or small through manual approaches or even using spreadsheets can not only get ineffective, but it can also get out of hand pretty fast with severe consequences. Besides just missed deadlines, you could also be looking at instances of jobs falling through the cracks, overlooking of critical tasks, not having a clue as to what your resources are working on, and in a worst case scenario, your whole project getting dumped or sidelined even before it takes off. This is why it is not only right but also mandatory that you pick the right project management software.

By deploying and leveraging the right project management can effectively streamline the whole process, allowing your organisation to deliver not just high-quality work, but with greater success.


Factors to consider when choosing the right project management software:

Getting the right tool for project management has always been quite a challenge for most buyers especially if you don’t have an idea of what to look for. However, in this guideline, we outline some of the most important factors you should consider when choosing your project management software. Check them out…

1. Cost

Like with any other item you would want to purchase, the cost is a significant factor worth considering. With project management software cost goes beyond the purchase price. It is usually about whether the productivity benefits offered by this tool outweigh both the resources and time you spend on it.
Although it is in the short-term, bringing in new software to your organisation will inevitably cost you a lot of money and time. However, getting the right solution renders your projects significantly easier subsequently making the software pay for itself. Therefore before purchasing any tool, evaluate its cost as well as consider both the funds and time you will spend on it.

Project management software varies from one provider to the next. Nonetheless, what you should strive to achieve is value for your money. If you acquire the right software, it will be a worthwhile investment. Alternatively, it could get worse if your choice of software does not adequately cover your needs.

One of the best and most recommended project management software in this aspect is Mavenlink.com. At a standard cost starting at around $19/month and allowing a user capacity of 5 individuals, it is among the most cost-friendly tools available. What’s more, besides the affordable initial cost, Mavenlink is a uniquely designed program that helps ensure you never miss any deadline, a benefit which in the long-term means you get your money worth!

Mavenlink is equipped with exclusive Gantt chart snapshots that help you identify and keep track of your deadlines. It allows you to pick a baseline for your project (timeframe you expect to complete it). You can, therefore, tasks with accompanying dependencies and you can identify tasks that are colliding/blocking each other, and you can subsequently drag them and reschedule to pave the way for more crucial tasks. Lastly, it allows you to set the price budget and time for projects as well as the amount of time your team requires subsequently ensuring that you don’t blow over your budget or even overwork your crew. In essence, not only does it come cheap, but it also means you never have to incur losses.

Recommended Software: Mavenlink

 

2. Usability

Bulky and Cumbersome tools not only pose a difficulty to its users, but it also can become a significant maintenance hazard, effectively draining your business’s resources. Complex software also means a lot of days spent training your team until it is fully transitioned-which in essence is a waste of valuable time.   As such, it is essential that the tool you select affords you the proper blend of features delivered through an easy to use and intuitive interface which compliments how your team operates.

This software rates highly among software experts and users alike for its remarkable ease of use. Usually, to-do apps are traditionally too simple for complicated team projects-but not with Asana. This tool is easy particularly with to-do list based projects dedicated on due dates. Subsequently, the status updates and dashboards in this tool transform into something which can manage more complex tasks. All you need to do is list everything on Asana’s project lists that you wish to do, add notes, sub-tasks, as well as tags to monitor every aspect of your task and cancel out things as they are accomplished. What’s more, it boasts a quick graph that facilitates easy tracking the progress of each project among many other features.

Recommended Software: Asana.com

3. Collaboration

Another vital aspect of project management software that is worth considering is whether it is collaboration-friendly or in other words, does the software offer your team the flexibility and tools to work together?

When shopping for project management software, go for one that offers genuine collaboration opportunities as well as one that can be utilised by everyone simultaneously. By affording an avenue that promotes easy sharing of ideas and collective working, you can benefit from a solid team effort which permits your effective use of your team’s diverse skillset to significant effect.

Trello is a remarkable software that is virtually unmatched for its ability to facilitate effective and active collaboration. Its design is solely dedicated to collaboration with centralised notifications and comments on every task. With it, you can create boards for your projects, share them with your other collaborators, as well as link company boards and subsequently manage them simultaneously. Also, it allows you to add on the necessary features for performing your tasks.

Similarly useful is Basecamp which in essence is a real-time project management tool which facilitates effective collaboration and communication between your team. With its unique set of features that include a calendaring, to-do list, as well as file sharing among others, this tool offers an effective way for organisations to identify and monitor actionable tasks and priorities.

Recommended Software: Trello and Basecamp


4. Customisation

Any professional developer should always afford you the freedom to customise software where necessary to effectively meet your objectives. In fact, good software development firms should encourage you to identify ways on how you can customise the tool to meet your needs. This is particularly important since it allows you to tweak and twist the tool to suit your requirements and effectively meet your needs. As such, when looking for your ideal project management tool, it is essential that you ascertain that it offers you the freedom to customise it.

With Wrike, you can easily customise your tasks with track time, duration, as well as write rich-text notes and subsequently set them either as in-progress or pending rather than just checking them off. What’s more, to help you keep up with your tasks notwithstanding your location, it allows you to export a customised calendar feed comprising just the fundamental details of the tasks you want.

Recommended Software: Wrike

 

Things to remember

While picking out the right project management software can come off as intimidating and confusing. Think of it: right before you are a wide array of options promising you optimised decision making, progress, as well as improved customer satisfaction but then again, it could also mean a missed opportunity not to mention relentless chaos. Nevertheless, don’t make the mistake of going for the easy way out!

By following these few guidelines and taking time to evaluate your individual needs, you will eventually identify and settle for software that best suits your needs. Choose that which is right for your organisation, your team, as well as your clients and you, will surely realise meet all your business goals with utmost ease!

Need some more insight on how to pick out the best project management software? Well, be sure to check us out at www.serchen.com. We are a business software marketplace which offers over 17,000 different software solutions in more than 400 different categories, and you will be sure to find the right tool for your business.

What’s more, if you want to access more options than those outlined above, you can also visit us at Serchen to find even more alternatives and learn more about the best project management tools available.

SaaS Application Development trends for 2019

My Post - 2019-03-25T151637.583.jpgThe use of SaaS (Software as a Service) has become an essential part of how a lot of organizations operate.

SaaS provides a practical solution for different business types seeking effortlessness, convenience, and flexibility for their software solutions. This innovative service allows businesses to conveniently make use of software solutions and data examination tools without needing to install or run applications on their systems.

The SaaS industry is now worth over $100 billion worldwide and is expected to be worth over $130 billion by 2020. An International Data Corporation (IDC) study also stated that by 2020, SaaS would account for over 50% of public cloud spending which proves that SaaS is steadily earning its place in the cloud computing market.

SaaS offers companies a quick and advantageous solution, which is why different industries and business models make use of it.  The straightforwardness, user-friendliness, safety, and connectivity of SaaS, which helps in maximizing efficiency, is one of the few reasons why it’s prevalent with businesses.

Nowadays most companies make use of SaaS applications to execute their business intelligence tactics.

2018 was a year of innovation for SaaS web application development and mobile app development.  Businesses need to adapt to the quickly changing expectations of customers in order to not be left behind.

Different trends show that 2019 will be a trendsetting year for SaaS. In this article, we’ll explore the 2019 SaaS application development trends that stand out. – Read more

How Cloud Technology Has Transformed Data Storage

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We regularly hear (and say) buzzwords like big data, AI, Internet of Things (IoT)—but the modern day individual might not realize just how much data they use and collect every day.

Think about how many apps you use for to-do lists and messaging programs, your daily exchange of videos and pictures, or all of your work and personal devices.

Even tech professionals might not stop to think about the staggering amount of data in the world. According to recent reports by the IDC, the global datasphere stands at 33 zettabytes (ZB), which is expected to grow to 175ZB by 2025. To put that in visual terms, David Reinsel, senior vice president at IDC, explains that if you stored that on Blu-ray discs, the stack would reach the moon, 23 times over. According to the Cisco Global Cloud Index, by 2021, 94 percent of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centers, meaning all but 6 percent of our data will be on the cloud.

As we create, save and access an enormous amount of data every day, we take for granted just how far cloud technologies have changed both personal and professional data storage. Let’s dive into the evolution of everyday data storage in the face of the cloud, and how it has changed our lives as we know it.

Evolved and Improved Personal Storage

For the vast majority of us, the days of buying external storage, or bulking up local systems for storage are far behind us. The amount we’re willing to pay regulates our level of storage, (typically via subscription). Many of us also hedge our bets across multiple accounts and cloud storage services for free-tier access. The impacts have radically changed data storage for consumers, but not necessarily reduced the risks of data loss, orphaned data, or service disruption when a given cloud provider changes their policies for storing your information (Google+ being the most recent example of policy change).

Services such as Apple’s iCloud also span mobile and desktop platforms, offering a somewhat consolidated landing zone for the data we create between our various devices. Of course, as with any multi-device storage system, some kinks still need to be worked out.

The main result of the evolution of personal cloud usage is that 2.7 billion people walk around with devices in their pockets where they can quickly access: conversations threads from five years ago, thousands of high-res pictures, work databases, or see the person ringing their doorbell. – Read more

 

Why Supply Chain Companies Should Invest in the Cloud in 2019

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If there’s one thing keeping the supply chain industry up at night, it’s data security. Panelists from Johnson & Johnson and other industry leaders highlighted data worries during the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ Edge 2018 conference, emphasizing that in 2019, cybersecurity must be the top priority in our field.

Cybersecurity threats have loomed for several years, and high-profile data breaches in other industries hint at the risks we face in our own. Verizon reported in 2018 that more than 2,200 breaches were reported around the world. If global brands such as Amazon, Facebook, Under Armour, and Delta Air Lines can be hacked, every company is vulnerable.

Risk Mitigation Is Priority No. 1

The Internet of Things is a more prevalent reality every day, so we need to invest in risk mitigation now. Connected devices can drive efficiency and transparency, but they also leave enterprises vulnerable to breaches unless the proper protocols are in place. This is doubly true for supply chain vendors because cybercriminals often view our industry as an easy entry point for hacks. Case in point: The hackers behind the infamous Target breach used HVAC vendors to infiltrate the company. A 2018 CrowdStrike report revealed that two-thirds of the organizations surveyed experienced supply chain attacks within the previous 12 months. Troublingly, just 37 percent of those based in the U.S., the U.K., and Singapore said they had vetted their suppliers for security risks.

It’s clear that supply chain partners must prioritize cybersecurity in their processes and partner relationships. Fortunately, cloud-secure processing systems already provide assistance in this regard, offering advanced solutions for digital business models. Supply chain management will see substantial advances in the IoT, artificial intelligence, and robotics in the coming years. Embracing these technologies will be essential to stay competitive, but security will be vital as well. Cloud-secure processing systems can provide the needed infrastructure for fast, safe digital processes.

Why We Must Look to the Cloud

Some decision makers are reluctant to embrace the cloud. They worry that transitioning to the cloud will decrease visibility into their supply chain functions, leave them more vulnerable to breaches, and cause strain among their IT departments. However, the key security concerns with a cloud system aren’t about the infrastructure; they’re about roles and permissions.

Diligence in determining who can access different levels of data will reduce the risk of breaches while allowing the company to leverage the benefits of the cloud. Importantly, cloud companies are often better equipped than IT departments to manage security infrastructures. The IT team will likely be more productive when it doesn’t have to worry about an area it might not be as experienced in as a cloud vendor. A cloud solution could ultimately make the company more secure and more productive. – Read more

12 Ways to Streamline Communications With SaaS Vendors

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Communicating with SaaS vendors is important: Without sharing information or getting updates, you’re far less likely to get the most out of using their services.

However, too often time is lost when interacting with these vendors. All that’s truly necessary in communication is to obtain good information and the service — without being drowned in extra information. So how can you find the right balance? To find out, we asked entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council the following:

“What is the best way to streamline communications with your SaaS vendors, so that you’re getting good information and service, but not inundated with extra information?”

Tips on Communicating with SaaS Vendors

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Use Shared Channels in Slack

“Helping everyone communicate within Slack has significantly streamlined internal, outsourced and external communication (customers). We use Slack to contact internal and outsourced partners. We email external (customers). This helps make sure email inboxes don’t clutter up important customer (sales and customer service) conversations that directly impact revenue.” ~ Josh Harcus, Hüify

2. Hit That Unsubscribe Button

“Frequent emails from SaaS vendors can end up cluttering your inbox. The best way forward is to unsubscribe from the promotional emails and talk directly to the SaaS vendors regarding your mail preferences. This not only clears up your inbox, it establishes a direct communication channel with your SaaS vendors, leading to more efficiency in your communication.” ~ Rahul Varshneya, Arkenea

3. Turn Off Most of Your Notifications

“When I sign up for a new website, I turn off most of the notifications immediately. There are only a few kinds of notifications I want to know about: when another person requires a direct response from me, when I’m getting charged and when something catastrophic happens. Just because an app’s designer wants to make sure I log in regularly doesn’t mean I agree.” ~ Thursday Bram, The Responsible Communication Style Guide – Read more

Finding security in the cloud

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When choosing a cloud security provider, enterprises will need to consider the level of data privacy and data security risk involved

Cloud computing services, where software and services are delivered over the internet instead of locally installed servers, are rapidly going mainstream.