Posts

Cloud providers cross-selling Services

In an older post (http://tchristidis.blogspot.com/2010/10/saas-and-outsourcing-function.html ) I discussed how Outsourcers could join forces with Cloud Providers to offer better services to their customers and increase response to additional requirements. In that post, I was building a line of thought based on the premise that a) the Cloud provider (SaaS in my example) did not have enough expertise to pursuit the sales of additional services to a niche or vertical market and b) that the Outsourcer *should* be the one to lead the joint effort. That idea is still valid and we have seen some outsourcers do just that: Sell their services, accompanied by specific “best-of-breed” SaaS products. For example, Accounting Services advertising that they are doing the bookkeeping in well-known cloud accounting platforms etc. In this post – and since much time has passed since the article of 2010 – I will approach the same idea from a different angle: If a Cloud Provider is around for enough time …

Applying GDPR to SaaS - Data Protection by Design

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) puts on the table a lot of new issues to be taken under consideration and handled by all parties involved in the SaaS market; both SaaS buyers and vendors. In this post, I’d like to focus on the vendor side and discuss a little bit more the issue of Privacy by Design

How can a web-based ERP boost your invoicing process

Image
In an older post (http://goo.gl/jXGmOi) I discussed how web-based or cloud Financial ERP can help you unlock new possibilities for your Business Processes. The basic argument there was that an open system (like a cloud-based system is, by definition) could involve your customers in a specific business process (like sending a Sales Order, posting a comment that needs subsequent action from within your CRM etc.). The reaction I got from a number of readers was that new best practices could be devised and applied in a very important, so to speak, business process which is of everybody’s interest, big or small: that of invoicing the end-customer. We shouldn’t forget that many small and medium enterprises are focusing their I.T. operations on Accounts Receivable, inside which the invoicing cycle represents a significant part. Therefore, in this post I’d like to focus on this specific issue: how can your invoicing change when you’re using a web-based Financial ERP

How does web-based ERP enable Growth Hackers in new ways

Image
Growth hacking unfolds along two parallel lines. The first one is enabling rapid experimentation across marketing channels using new methods that are easy to implement and fast to pay-off (otherwise, they may be abandoned). The second one is engaging customers in several ways in order to keep them in close distance from the organizations sales “reality” and activity. For example, making sure that new products are instantly known in the customer base, interesting news are immediately propagated in the community etc. In this post I’d like to focus on the latter and discuss how a web-based ERP/CRM integrated solution can decisively assist customer engagement and community building. My intention is to show that SaaS business solutions do not just offer some “technology upgrade” in the organization or solely some cost benefit but can also play a significant role in the growth efforts of the organization.

Data migration to SaaS

Image
In the organization’s journey from an on-premise Business Application setup to a Software as a Service one, one of the key factors of success is data migration. Of course, one starts with basic questions like “do I want or need to move to the cloud?”, “Which is the best SaaS solution for my case?”, “Does it address my special requirements?”, “am I content with the reporting/BI capabilities that it offers?” etc. But having answered all of the above, you should take into consideration the data migration issue. This post will point out some very significant issues around this subject, which you need to address and examine; probably in close co-operation with the SaaS vendor of your choice, before accepting their financial proposal and start the journey.

Is User Interface overrated?

Image
There is a lot of discussion around User Interface design and best practices. Especially in the area of Software as a Service where systems are accessed through web browsers and therefore any enhancements in web technology, scripting languages and market-driven “best practices” are easier to adopt and put into action. I am putting the term “best practices” inside quotes because I think that sometimes market is driving designers to choices around UI that are controversial to say the least. For this discussion I will focus on high-end Business Application software and not low-end, narrow-scope programs; let’s have in mind some ERP or CRM applications. Many times, when users look at a SaaS product expect to see a kind of user interface that they are used to by the usual daily exposure they have on the internet, such as social media, news web sites etc. When they see a more “traditional” design approach they tend to characterize the software “old”, “cumbersome” and “not functional”. And al…

Advanced Customer Ranking techniques in modern ERP

Image
In this post I will dive into the waters of Customer Ranking techniques and how they can be supported by the existing Small Business ERP that is in use. By the term “supported” I not only mean extracting valuable info as per the customer’s behavior (and thus be able to make decisions about their credit situation) but perhaps also the software being able run the entire process. Of course, such processes do not apply to all kinds of businesses. In this discussion, we assume the business model of a company selling B2B and in credit. Obviously, for a B2C sales model that is being served by, say, an e-shop where all sales are cash, there is no reason to examine low-volume, private customers.