Friday, July 10, 2009

Quick checklists as you scale your Business with OnDemand software services…

A lot of new customers & our partners are beginning to leverage WOLF Platform and add additional recurring revenue streams to their existing business model or simply launching new viable OnDemand services for their own customers and/or automating their own business processes via hosted SaaS applications.

Surprisingly not many of them are introducing completely new ways of doing things as we saw during our Dotcom days, but focusing around delivering existing services in a better-well planned-efficiently designed business process model with higher value to customers.

If you are wondering: What is so different about these OnDemand Business Models, here are a few important points to consider, before you start out with your own OnDemand SaaS Service.

1. OnDemand SaaS Business Viability Check 1, CaPex Vs. OpEx: If you were building a service apartment and planned to break even via just renting rooms within a year’s time that would be a bit too ambitious. Simply because of the investments (Primarily “Land + Construction”, followed by branding, marketing, sales, service, maintenance staff, etc) will not justify your rental rates? But if someone could provide you with the land and develop the building for you - you could start renting it out and pay a cut from your rentals to the ‘Building Developer’. That might start to work if you have a well automated business process, isn't it?
This is a key differentiator of OnDemand Business model, you don't want to have a lot of Capital Expenditure and you should keep your Operative Expenses directly proportinate to your business growth ....hmmm…

2. OnDemand SaaS Business Viability Check 2, Unique / Scalable Offering with new Customer Base: How good would ‘Aurora Borealis’ be - if it did not have viewers to appreciate its lovely beauty? Releasing a good looking Service Apartment, with a lovely music lounge and free summer coolers at your service & limited customers does NOT make the business bells ding. What if the hotel had everything great and also offered rooms for airport transfer passengers at $ 50/- per 5 hrs stay – beating all the competitions hands down? That might attract a lot of stranded customers with no option today. Like any other business, OnDemand SaaS Businesses require a unique offering which can be distinguished from others and can attract new customers & can be scaled. Don't forget scale...

3. OnDemand Business Viability Check 3, Follow your own teachings, productize your own Business: Someone taught me many years back that the first customer is good, second customer is better and when the third one arrives it becomes a business. That’s not all. If your business manages to get the 5th and 10th customer without you being personally involved in a shorter period of time, it becomes the most viable business of all. Most online services are designed to serve many with reduced time and cost. Business Process optimization and automation is the key along with the right set of people, technology & vision. Having the service apartment to get their first three customers might get you to sales, but how do you intend to get the next set of airport passengers signed up for your transit room service? Do you have a process & a partnering plan? Hmmm…

4. OnDemand SaaS Business Viability Check 4, Find your beachhead, choose your partner, cost containment & sustenance: Whether you are funded or not, you are in deep trouble if you have not sorted out your cash . That's the king! You are probably better off renting a bungalow and launching your service apartment & keeping the business going before getting your own apartment constructed. This is where we and our partner ecosystem come in handy. WOLF gets you the infrastructure, software platform, database, application scoping & designing service, hosting, stringent SLA & even excellent SaaS business model product consultants who guides you all the way, sets you free to focus on your customers and takes your mundane processes out. Having the existance sorted is probably the most important thing a ‘Business’ must do for its own life. Remember, Innovation and Efficiency -- two sides of the same coin which every business must perform. Hmmm...

5. OnDemand SaaS Business Viability Check 5, Play your own game, be opinionated about your own vision: Making OnDemand business successful is not going to be any different and it requires deep domain knowledge. The IT bit of the business is really small, and I really mean it. Look at WOLF, how better-faster-cheaper can it get than this to get your own software applications running. Finding the purpose and making the means meet will require you to develop your own practice-business-methodology which will need strategy-tactics-operational & financial efficiency and more importantly a great partnering strategy. Your best bet is your own knowledge and a great team. No SaaS Platform can alone make you successful :(

I am happy to share more and hope this one serves as a quick Checklist on how better to launch & succeed with your OnDemand Business Models. Until then, Cheers,

Sunny Ghosh
Director & CEO
Wolf Platform-as-a-Service

NOTE: The views expressed above are purely personal and for informational purposes only. WOLF FRAMEWORKS INDIA PVT. LTD MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

2 comments:

Don Larson said...

The CapEx is always the killer. Everybody has underestimated the upfront effort to build software applications. "The requirements are really simple...." The truth is that there is unique business requirements in even the most mature of spaces. CRM may be 90% common for every business on the planet but the final 10% determines how you sell to and service the customer.

PAAS as the future of Business Process Applications is clearly the answer to getting to the final 10& of the issue that Line of Business wants solved.

Ghosh said...

Agreed! A lot of Business areas which we see today might not even be very popular due to the emergence of unique business cases enabled with WOLF PaaS. This is what we are seeing across our entire customer base. My definition for such phenomena, 'Enabling Services & Innovation in the marketplace for tomorrow' ...