SMB’s and SaaS Solutions – Improving time-To-Value with Domain Expertise Teams

By Robert Mahowald – December 18, 2014
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I’ve written previously about how our firsthand interviews with SaaS buyers have revealed a mixed bag of user experience, and satisfaction with long-term results. The problems mostly stem from the implementation: even with significant input from 3rd party implementation partners (VARs, SIs), unforeseen challenges (the complexities of the SLA, difficulties of bulking up from trial to full deployment, and the process change required for users to map to the new solution), the journey can be daunting. Some of the fault for this situation is due to the whole IT supply (software services vendors, resellers) and demand (all sizes of IT organizations but especially mid-sized and smaller), because they are prone to selling, installing, and deploying subscription services just as they’ve done for years with packaged applications. Sometimes frustration with this regime inspires innovators. Recently I attended a briefing by the CEO of a cloud solution provider (one of NetSuite’s largest resellers) who after 100+ cloud deployments recognized a recurring problem in the SMB space: a lack of highly-experienced functional expertise that was slowing the pace of new SaaS HR/HCM deployments. Many of the problems stemmed from poor domain expertise, not lack of IT skills – there are plenty of talented admins and sysops around. The CEO is Brenda Brinkley, head of Epiphany, who is launching a new company in Q2 2014 called Elysian Field Software.


About the author

Robert Mahowald

Group VP, Applications and Cloud SoftwareIDC

Father of 3, long-time IDCer.


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