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Core Business Metrics 2019

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A SaaS Planning and Transition Tool For SaaS Companies

If you’re a SaaS company, you’re probably a major consumer of SaaS technology. Today’s cloud companies have access to a wide variety of tools and systems, including Email, SEO, marketing automation, project managers, social networking tools, sales contact management and on and on. It’s all available and in just about every case, SaaS systems offer flexibility and 24/7 connectivity that makes their usage not only useful, but just about mandatory. The Age of Corporate Servers and Desktops is drawing to a rapid end (at least until some major catastrophe shuts the web down for an extended period. Then we may

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Using SaaS Agent Programs to Build Revenues for Your Company, Part II of II

You also mentioned new marketing programs for your agent program. Do you have an example? Yes, an “ascension” program. This is a very powerful addition to your marketing mix, but your agent channel needs to be up and running before you implement it. An ascension program consists of the following elements: An existing agent pays to become a mentor to other agents. I suggest when you initiate the program, you start with a beta group of your best agents. The mentor takes 10 new agents under their wing and tutors and manages them for a year. During this time, the

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Using SaaS Agent Programs to Build Revenues for Your Company, Part I of II

Let’s step through the process. Can you provide a basic framework? Yes. First, don’t start your agent program too soon. As we both know, a new company should focus on learning about how to market and sell to its core customers. I recommend you begin to implement your program when you reach 1K subscribers. Why existing subscribers. Aren’t most of these people working for a company? Don’t they have jobs? There are a couple of reasons. The first is you want to make sure this pilot succeeds and is well reviewed by the participants. You’ll learn the most and receive

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An Interview with Daniel Kottke, the Man Who Built Some of Steve Jobs’ First Macintoshes (and Witness to the Last Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field)

Where did you go next? To a company called Think Unlimited, now Echelon. It was founded by Mike Markkula, Apple’s third founder. Mike is a gadget freak and had seven homes, so he wanted to create what’s now called a smarthome, controlled by smart remotes, build smartphones, etc. Think created a networking system for homes and buildings that would integrate lighting, HVAC, AV, etc. I built an emulator rack for testing their “neuron” chip, a controller designed to work with their LonWorks topology and proprietary network protocol. I worked at Think for two years, then Mike brought in Ken Oshman

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UnicornHRO: Pushing Past Professional Services in SaaS

UnicornHRO has roots that stretch all the way back to the infancy of modern software. The firm, which began in 1982 as Software Plus, was founded with venture funding, but failed to achieve more than modest growth until 1996, when Frank Diassi, the lead venture investor, took control and changed the company’s name to UnicornHRO. Diassi had originally invested in the firm based on a strong belief that human resources and payroll should be handled externally. (Thousands of American and international companies agree, as the business model of ADP, Paychex and other firms demonstrate.) To indicate how expensive a misstep

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Business After Windows: Why the Microsoft Desktop OS Model is Irretrievably Broken and What the Future Holds, Part II of II

by Merrill R. (Rick) Chapman, Softletter Managing Editor In Part One of this article, we took a look at the impending demise of the desktop monolith as epitomized by Microsoft and the problems it’s had with the industry’s most successful product of all time, Windows. In the interval, it’s easy to see that Microsoft itself understands that the current Windows model is in trouble. A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft announced “Universal Windows,” a write once, run on all device strategy. Windows for smartphones is now free to developers. Office is now available on the iPad. A few days ago,

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Silly Agility: The Myth of the Saas Agile Product Manager, Part I of II

by Merrill R. (Rick) Chapman We’ve been seeing a great deal of industry press these days discussing “the Agile Product Manager.” There are a plethora of new books, new training courses, and new “tools” that are supposed to transform yesterday’s slow and sluggish product manager into a new sort of sleek, streamlined being, something akin to Tony Stark in an Iron Man suit streaking through the sky on a mission to save the software industry from the Sloth Monster and pull trapped revenues and profits from the Slough of Despondency. Unfortunately for all involved, these articles, training courses, and tools

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Silly Agility: The Myth of the Saas Agile Product Manager, Part II of II

by Merrill R. (Rick) Chapman, Softletter Managing Editor This has changed with SaaS. Take a look at the results from our 2012 SaaS survey below: How often do you release a “major update” of your SaaS product to your customers? (A “major update” is defined as including significant new features and functionality, not just incremental improvements and bug fixes)? Less than once a year 7% Once a year 15% Twice a year 16% Three or more times a year 21% We do not have a “timed” or set release schedule; we release new features as they are ready 27% Other,

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Customization in SaaS: Drawing a Line in the Sand

One piece of criticism constantly aimed at SaaS is that it’s not as “customizable” as on-premise software. Before examining this claim, we need first to define “customization” from the perspective of licensed software to provide the proper context. Traditionally, “customization” meant a change to the application source code or the creation of a module for a specific client, often with the result that the vendor ended up maintaining a branch of source code to support each client. With custom modules, the vendor would maintain only the modules’ source code but had to ensure that subsequent releases of the core product

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The Worst Company Name Ever

by Merrill R. (Rick) Chapman In addition to being the editor of Softletter, I’m ALSO the author of In Search of Stupidity: Over Twenty Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters, a book that’s about just what it says. And when I see something I regard as truly dumb, I take notice. A couple of weeks ago I received an E-mail from an Indian outsourcing company called “Panzer Technologies” offering their SaaS development services to moi. Here’s an excerpt from the E-mail: “Dear Manager, Hope you are doing good today. My name is Ranveer Singh, Sales Support Specialist with Panzer Technologies. We

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MEET THE EDITORS AND EXPERTS

Rick Chapman

Find out more about Rick’s latest book, the latest edition of In Search of Stupidity: Over 40 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters.

John Miller

John has been working in the IT industry since the 1980’s firstly as a Sales and Marketing Director including Techex a global distribution company, Olivetti, Norsk Data and Intergraph

He was a founder member of Delta Channel Services  back in 1995 and has since visited over 40 countries consulting, speaking at channel conferences and delivering training workshops

John has launched several SaaS based business, a Non Executive Director to several start ups and is based in the UK