With a decade of working experience in both large companies and fast growing start-ups, one of the problems I noticed was the number of IT applications we login into everyday to manage our day-to-day operations. If you are in a niche and specific role of say finance handling payment receivables, you would be using email (Exchange or hosted), CRM (hosted such as salesforce or hundreds of such applications), financial applications with ERPs or hosted, and host of HR, travel, and other operational related applications. If you happen to work in a cross-functional role such as sales-support, project management, program management, or product management, there is a good chance that you will be logging into three times more number of applications than say engineers. This was still a problem even with single-sign-on across the industry.
There are organizations where there more IT managers than product developers!!! There are companies that use four different applications for one process, even though one of them was sufficient. The problem cannot be isolated to a single issue but, choosing the right integrated application could eliminate the barriers for smooth IT management.
Enterprise companies release a new version every year or obsolete your company’s version just when you need additional support. SaaS is a better alternative to avoid some of these issues for small to medium size companies, which are still looking to perfect their business model rather than focusing their energy on IT management. There are better options to even the mission critical applications such as mail server, active directory, database, web server, and the like. The problem with this industry is that no-one-shoe fits all. Salesforce and its plugins are great but, not enough to manage every function of your company. The 2nd wave of SaaS companies is providing users with comprehensive list of simple applications in modules that helps to manage many functions of your company including hosting your website.
One such company is Apptivo, a Silicon Valley based company, provides a platform through which one can manage their entire business process online in a SaaS model. They come with a unique business model, first, it is free for the end-users, even the business users, and it is not ad-supported model; Users don’t see colorful banners on their business applications.
Imagine that you are starting a new company with Apptivo:
- Start by getting a domain and hosting it with website management module, create a store, or informational website, depending on the nature of your business
- Gather requirements through product management module and prioritize them
- Create projects and manage them with projects module
- Brain-storm and manage patents with Innovation management
- Implement go-to-market strategies with marketing module
- Make your first sale with sales module, and manage your customer and payments through customer service and financial module
- Show your first sale to VC’s with the help of fund-raising module and raise money to grow your business
- Hire more employees and manage them through human resource module that also includes payroll management.
Manage all of this through a single interface and at free of cost, with an integrated database that puts your data in any module when you need, and manages your IT. This is a great bet not just for a start-up but even for companies that are working with 10 silos if IT systems and cannot integrate with one another. This puts you back in control to focus on your products or service and leave the IT management and integration issues of different applications to the power of cloud.