Thursday, December 16, 2010

2 x E-cube = S-cube - Simple math for SaaS Scalability Success

"The circumstances of human society are too complicated to be submitted to the rigor of mathematical calculation" (Marquis De Custine)

Recently I posted a discussion on the link between success with SaaS and scalability and how, therefore, the Service Operations needs to be geared to handle scale and deal with fast growth.

On a recent consultation engagement, I gave a presentation to the board members of a SaaS company that decided to penetrate the SMB, following their hardships in securing big deals in the enterprise market.
As part of the thought process and brainstorming session I came up with a marketing catchphrase to make a point. At the time I did not think much about it, but as I was working on the board presentation, I realized that there it was much deeper than I had originally thought.
I would like to share this with you.

The First Cube
What I drew on the white-board was roughly this artistic creation:

Announcing: “E-cube is the winning formula!”
  • Easy to Buy
  • Easy to Implement
  • Easy to Use

Easy to Buy - Their product is very easy to implement, and easy to on-board a new organization, (although it is a complex product). There is a technical issue that involves an architectural change, so that became part of the plan.

Easy to Use - the product has a great user interface and intuitive flow. They need to add tutorial videos.

Easy to Buy – That was lacking and that was what we decided to focus our efforts on. It included a lead generation program, a no-touch free trial and an improved landing site.

The Second Cube
As I was working on what it would take from the company’s end to deliver scalability, I realized there was another E-cube involved:
  • Easy to Sell
  • Easy to Scale
  • Easy to Maintain
It is all nice and well if you can bring thousands of leads to your site with the E-cube formula, but if you cannot convert these leads into paying customers and then give them the best service on a controlled budget, you will have not achieved your scalability goals.

So, Easy to Sell means - a simple pricing model and a top-notch insides-sales team (not easy to come by though) backed up by funnel management software. 

Easy to Scale means - a solid, configurable, multi-tenant architecture, self service features and automated procedures.

Easy to Maintain means – a full featured Operations Support System, Service Operations practices and the discipline to enforce them.

So with two E-cube guidelines one can achieve SaaS Scalability Success.

Ergo: 2 x E3 = S3


1 comment:

Ronny S said...

NICE :-)
I will use this article next time that I will need to convince a customer.