What’s an SaaS vendor to do?

SaaS vendors who also sell on-premises versions have a tricky little problem, Claudia Imhoff says. How do they sell both at the same time?

A few people from SaaS vendors who attended Claudia’s Tuesday session mentioned two strategies: One is to separate the sales forces, with one selling the on-premises version, and another selling the online version.

These vendors could also sell the shareware way: let the online version be the lighter, simplified one. Let the on-premises version include all the extras.

They better figure it out. Right now, she says, there are just too many SaaS vendors in the market.

2 Responses to What’s an SaaS vendor to do?

  1. Thanks for the update on Claudia’s TDWI speech.

    She’s right, there are a lot of people calling themselves SaaS BI vendors in the marketplace at the moment. I think the market is going to start asking “What does a SaaS BI vendor *really* look like?” soon.

    And I think that they’ll discover that there aren’t really that many true SaaS BI vendors. If you’re selling both SaaS BI and on-premise, you’re in a tough position. (I was at Siebel when they tried to sell both on-premise and on-demand CRM, and it was not pretty.)

    But the “on-premise vs. on-demand” tension is only one part of the equation. The other part is – what do customers really need from a SaaS BI solution?

    If you’re selling pre-packaged reports with no in-depth BI functionality like ad hoc querying, or if you only connect to a few limited datasets or data sources, you’re probably not meeting the full range of what customers need and expect from a solution.

    My opinion is that when a prospect hears “SaaS BI,” they’re really hearing “full-fledged BI that’s cheaper and easier to use.” The SaaS part is a technology point that gets you to the business value. Those who can deliver that business value will thrive.

  2. Good points. Thanks.

    For the record, Claudia talked about this not in a speech but while rushing from the conference to a taxi, luggage in tow. She was thinking on fast-moving feet.

Leave a reply

Other recent posts

Qlik finally set to leapfrog Tableau?

Who’s your rival? I carelessly asked a Qlik person at the company’s annual analyst reception Monday night in Miami if she hadn’t once worked for Tableau. Her revulsion was immediate. “No! Never!,” she said. We smiled. There was so much more to talk about. For one thing, how will private equity change things? Qlik wasn’t… Continue Reading

Five Tips for Better Data Stories

Originally published on September 22, 2015 in BI This Week, a TDWI publication. A “data story” sounds like such a great idea. You just mix data with storytelling and you’re done — except that most data storytellers get one thing wrong: they drown out the story with data. Such storytellers, I believe, assume that audiences… Continue Reading

Bohemian Grove a la BI

The Bohemian Grove of the BI industry convenes for the fifteenth time in just three weeks. Naturally, you ask the obvious question: Are you serious? The Grove? A summit? The answer begins with a fond recollection of the Grove. If you’ve never attended the Bohemian Grove yourself — I haven’t, though I live in the… Continue Reading

Favorite Star Trek, a data story

This story shows how elemental data stories really are. Humans come ready to tell and hear them, requiring no plug-ins at all. This young person can do a good job of it. There was a question, followed by data, then questions and answers, and and finally a conclusion. It’s all there. It’s elementary. Sure, this… Continue Reading