Thursday, November 19, 2015

B2B sales portal and SaaS

In an older post (here, 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

I.T. departments can become profit centers for the enterprise

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. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Advanced Collections functionality inside your Accounting Software

From years of experience in Retail Banking systems, I have seen that one crucial business process is the Collections Process; the function through which the banking institution tries to collect overdue claims from its customers, while keeping the process simple, automated and with a high return rate. Obviously, there is a necessity for a System to support this process. Over the years, many software vendors have focused on that area, developing Collections-specific software and offering it “on the side” of the core banking system. Carefully designed and monitored collections processes have been implemented in banks, then in insurance companies and then in other areas of the economy, too.
But, I have yet to see small and medium sized businesses implement well-documented Collections processes, to manage their Accounts Receivable; especially in cases where sales are usually done “on credit” or the business model is not “cash-and-carry”. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Social Business Application Software and its correlation with SaaS

In this time and age where Social Media have become an integral part of our lives (private and professional), there is an ongoing discussion about Social ERP (sERP), social CRM (sCRM) and other “s-prefixed” systems. In this post I’d like to contribute my own definition of the “Social” tag and discuss how this could be served by web-based systems and even enhanced by SaaS communities (I use the term “SaaS communities” to show that users working on a cloud Service (public or private) form a new “closed” community which – like any other community – chooses to open up to certain other teams (a.k.a. other users) under certain restrictions and rules (a.k.a. authorizations).

Friday, March 13, 2015

How can cloud and SaaS assist ITSM implementation (part 2)

In the previous post I commented on some attributes or characteristics of Software as a Service that may assist organizations shift to an ITSM delivery model. The general point of entry is that SaaS eliminates many of the technology headaches that the organization may be facing, thus giving space to more customer-oriented processes to be developed, rather than just managing the technology stack. And in this discussion, the corporate user may also be considered as an “internal customer”.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

How can cloud and SaaS assist ITSM implementation (part 1)

ITSM (“Information Technology Service Management”) is generally defined as the shift from managing the technology stack inside an I.T. Department (or in the enterprise, in general) to addressing real-life business issues that generally come down to Customer Service. In other words, according to ITSM methodologies, I.T. must no longer focus on managing the technology; instead it must set its goals towards aligning with the rest of the business and be an equal player in the effort (design, contribute) towards generating value-added services both for the business users and directly for the customers.

Monday, November 10, 2014

How cloud and SaaS can enhance I.T. agility

The advantages of the cloud and specifically Software as a Service (SaaS) are very well known. Everybody’s talking about them all over the net, at forums and in the pre-sales calls of the cloud companies. People are talking about financial benefits that SaaS brings in their P&L, several cost saving factors, security, portability and access etc. One more advantage that is less frequently discussed is this of the agility that SaaS brings in the entire I.T. function, structure and governance. In this post I’d like to focus on this exact point, thinking that maybe it is usually understated.