The 2nd ‘S’ in SaaS

The 2nd ‘S’ in SaaS by Alex Sauickieby Alex Sauickie. As Executive Vice President, Business & Technology Operations, Alex Sauickie has overall P&L responsibility for all Scivantage business and technology operations, ensuring we meet our clients’ needs. A veteran executive in start-up and high growth enterprise software, Mr. Sauickie joined Scivantage from SaaS billing platform Billtrust. As Billtrust’s SVP of Client Operations, Mr. Sauickie was responsible for the award-winning Client Services team, Relationship Management, Implementations, Project Management, and Business Optimization units.

SaaS is here to stay. It’s the norm. It had an understandably measured start, with many financial institutions reluctant to embrace it in its early years. However, today SaaS is widely accepted in all verticals because the benefits are numerous, not the least of which being that SaaS allows businesses to do what they do best.

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If you represent a company that is great at selling electrical supplies, why would you also want to build your company’s CRM system? Let a do that. If you are the leading provider of propane to businesses and residences, why would you also want to print and stuff envelopes with invoices and statements? Let Billtrust do that.  And if you are a financial institution that is great at providing financial advice, why spend millions of man-hours developing best-of-breed tools for your investors? Let Scivantage do that.

Now with that said, often what is thought of when a business considers a SaaS solution, is the first ‘S’…Software. The first ‘S’ is very important. The software should be leading edge, should be secure, always up, respond quickly, and provide a great user experience. However what is equally or more important is the second ‘S’…Service.

When a company chooses to go with a Software-as-a-Service solution, doing the due diligence to ensure that the SaaS team and their expertise are in place is critical.  The second ‘S’ is truly a value-add. Companies that choose SaaS should expect that the people they are working with are an extension of their own team. They should also expect that these team members help provide guidance and help the company if they are doing it wrong. The people you get with a SaaS solution should be experts in their respective field, and companies should want them to provide guidance.

I have yet to hear from a client that they don’t want us to take a consultative approach in providing advice and guidance. One recently even told me, “tell me no when you need to tell me no; I expect you to know how to do it better than we do.” I love those kinds of clients. They get it. Similar to a franchise, if you’re buying into SaaS, you’re buying into a system. If you don’t want the system, and think you can do it better yourself, why buy in?

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At Scivantage, we may not always get it perfect (who does?) but you’ll never find a team more dedicated to trying. Your SaaS solution should be a trusted partner. The entire solution should be a value add to your company and always have a positive return on the investment. Demonstrating the value proposition during the sales phase, the direction provided to make the implementation successful, as well as the ongoing support and strategic relationship building are all part of the second ‘S’. Don’t forget about it when choosing a partner, because it’s the difference between good and world class.

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