Saturday, September 3, 2016
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 all this before they even press a single button!
Sunday, May 29, 2016
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.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
In this post (http://goo.gl/DhcEZp) I have focused on the Invoicing Cycle and the paradigm shift that takes place when the enterprise utilizes a web-based ERP. I showed how specific business process steps within that cycle can be changed in order to invite customers “in”; make them part of the process instead of just giving them “data” or – worst yet – just an invoice at the end of the cycle.
In this post I will continue discussing the same example and calculate tangible benefits, for each of the steps of the process. You’d better first go through the previous post to understand how each step is altered in a web-enabled ERP and then make the comparison with the numbers below.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
In an older post (http://goo.gl/jXGmOi) I have discussed the general benefits that a cloud ERP could bring to the enterprise, even to the SMB space. I have given some examples of specific business functions and how they can be transformed or at least assisted by the web technology that the cloud ERP inevitably brings with it.
In this post I will focus more on one specific business process, that of the customer order placement and order fulfillment and show that not only is a cloud platform (such as a SaaS product) able to optimize the whole process but also enhance customer experience and finally bring tangible benefits to the enterprise, such as faster invoice payment and reduction of open receivables.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
We are all accustomed to receiving emails from automated services, such as our social media accounts, mailing lists that we’ve opted-in, e-shops that want to keep us updated about their new offers etc. This activity may cause an avalanche or overload of activity in our inbox. I guess each of us has pondered over overwhelming inbox traffic and has probably decided to opt-out from some services…
Thursday, November 19, 2015
In an older post (here http://goo.gl/jXGmOi), I scratched the surface of the idea that the cloud ERP could also serve B2B sales, by enabling the enterprise (SaaS customer) to invite its own customers in a “B2B sales portal”. I don’t see this portal as a substitute of the e-shop for B2C sales; nor do I find the idea of the SMB developing a separate system particularly interesting. Implementing a new, separate B2B sales system and having it interface with the cloud ERP would not be a cost-effective solution, or a sustainable one in terms of additional and recurring costs.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
When customers are looking into a SaaS offering, they usually overlook the infrastructure that the software is running on; and for good reason: They don’t care in which platform the software runs, what kind of servers it runs on etc. as long as it performs as it is expected to. There are some SaaS vendors that run their service from owned infrastructure and some others that also receive IaaS or PaaS services from third party providers.
Which leads me to the following thought: Anyone (any I.T dept., that is) with an infrastructure robust enough to offer a good Service Level, can potentially offer and host SaaS services for new customers, outside the strict boundaries of the enterprise.