Your Killer SaaS App might not be convincing enough

Is your SaaS value proposition convincing enough without automatic data entry?

Imagine you’ve just created the next ‘killer’ Software as a Service (SaaS) app and you are absolutely convinced your new software service is going to revolutionize a particular industry or solve a significant pain point for organizations all over the world.  You create some compelling sales and marketing materials with a heavy emphasis on Return on Investment.  After all, you have conviction that your service is going to help businesses decrease operational costs, improve worker productivity and provide much better access to information which all translates to achieving tangible payback on your customer’s technology investment.


So you’ve done your research, you’ve developed the software application; you created awesome marketing materials, assembled a sales team and created a terrific support structure but for some reason your totally revolutionary SaaS application just isn’t selling as well as you had hoped.  Do you think that you might be overlooking a feature or function that is so fundamental to providing tangible Return on Investment that customers simply cannot say “No” to immediately deploying your innovative solution?


 whats missing_data capture


Time is money


I might really be overstating the obvious but employers pay employees to work, not do data entry.  Whether your core expertise is in accounting, customer service or mechanical, your employer pays you to spend a majority of your time focusing on your respective skills.  However, organizations often overlook the total amount of time that is consumed with such tedious activities such as manually entering data from a bank statement into an accounting system.  Or how many total hours field service technicians are spending collecting and entering work order data into an ERP system.  These are real, tangible costs that the organization is paying.  This directly relates to unrealized business productivity and effects the financial bottom-line significantly.  Time is money and time utilized manually entering data into systems is, quite frankly, a waste.


Use cases for Information Capture
Let’s take a look at a few use case scenarios and focus on Mobile Information Capture, specifically, since there is a lot of interest in this area and there is an abundance of data to support that this is one of the greatest opportunities to achieve quick return on investment.


First, consider the industry of Field Service technicians.  According to a November 2011 study by Dave Wood of Harvey Spencer Associates (HSA) entitled “A Study of the Mobile Capture Marketing in the United States”, he cites DF Blumberg Associates as sizing the Field Service market at $225 billion in 2011 and growing to $500 billion by 2018 with nearly half of the 3 million workers using mobile productivity solutions by then.  Since a good majority of these mobile devices will most likely be equipped with a camera this translates directly into a great opportunity to provide these workers with the ability to nearly effortlessly snap pictures of objects such as work order signatures, checks for payment, assessment photos or even invoices and then automatically have the data extracted from these images to populate database fields in a Field Service SaaS application.  Just to name a few of the Field Service benefits for Mobile Capture could be enhanced customer service, the ability to realize the payments quicker and, of course, improve overall worker efficiency.


In a second use case scenario, also taking data from the same Mobile Capture Market survey, consider the Transportation industry.  For the survey, they focused on Long Haul Trucking.  They found that this particular market featured 1.9 million trucks and 1.7 million deliveries daily.  The research showed that each delivery generated a packet of documents that must be captured for invoicing, with an average of 5 pages per packet.  This translated into a total capture volume of this market of 8.5 million documents PER business day.  The types of items that needed to be captured will slightly vary depending on the particular trucking organization, yet generally documents such as Bills of Lading, Trip Sheets, Scale Tickets and Vehicle Expense Receipts were common amongst most organizations.  After some calculation of the projected number of drivers that will have access to dedicated scanners or multifunction devices, the survey predicted that approximately 400,000 drivers will have only smart phones as their primary capture device.  This presents a terrific opportunity to capture all these documents DURING the trip instead of waiting until the trip is complete which could be days, or even weeks later.


The last use case scenario shared by the HSA survey was general Capture to Cloud.  This was predicted to be, by-far, the largest growth opportunity for Mobile Capture and anyone would be hard pressed to argue this prediction.  With the prediction of 2 billion smart phones by 2018 and cloud storage vendors competing like crazy for market share, it only stands to reason that these factors are going to contribute to huge growth for Capture to Cloud applications using mobile devices.


Bringing easy to use, yet highly-effective Ubiquitous Information Capture into the mix


Now that you have your killer SaaS app ready for primetime.  Your story is polished and you are earning business because your SaaS application is addressing customer pain points such as decreasing operational costs, improving worker productivity and providing better access to information.   You can prove, without a doubt, a tangible Return on Investment with reduced labor costs associated with manual data entry and you recognize the unbelievable potential in the Mobile Capture market, so the question begs, ‘what do you do to make your SaaS application even more appealing to potential customers?’


current solution offering


‘Add Data Capture to you SaaS’ is the answer.  It’s really that simple.  The technology has evolved over the past couple years so that the technology offers extremely advanced features and functions that are completely transparent to the users themselves.  This helps achieve a pleasant user experience which helps drive adoption of the solution among users.  Additionally, the behind-the-scenes technology is performing tasks traditionally done by humans so the processing is highly effective from an automation standpoint.  The user simply snaps a picture and this technology can automatic recognize the type of document and will intelligently extract all the information from the image.


enhanced solution offering
With this new Data Capture capability not only will your SaaS application provide a much more elegant user experience but you can absolutely guarantee cost savings to your customers with the quantifiable amount of time that is recouped by not having users do manual data entry.  The benefits of your SaaS can be incrementally increased with this new Data Capture capability.  Overall you can offer a truly appealing ROI story before you even being to discuss all the wonderful capabilities of your particular application.  The additional features are just like icing on the cake to solidify the sale.


Total Hours x Dollars per Hour = Tangible Cost Savings


This helps achieve a few things in your favor as the preferred software vendor of choice:
  1. Encourages your customers to make a quicker decision on purchase and implementation of your solution because every day they choose not to make a decision they are squandering money and resources
  2. Helps differentiate your application from competitors with valuable business functionality that makes the user experience much more enjoyable and helps drive higher adoption rates
  3. The likelihood of selling more subscriptions to your customers is higher because they can justify adding more licenses due to the fact that they have proven ROI
So, are you ready to take your killer SaaS app to the next level with Ubiquitous Information Capture?

Abode Reports – Q2’14 (Stock at all-time high)

Want 20 percent growth of your business?  Offer subscriptions!

The string of reporting strong financial quarters for Adobe continues as they continue to successfully make the move from desktop software to cloud/subscriptions.

Quick hits:

  • Adobe Systems Inc. reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, helped by higher subscription sales of its Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud suites
  • added 464,000 paid Creative Cloud subscribers
    • ending the quarter with 2.3 million paid subscribers
  • expects to have 3.3 million subscribers of its Creative Cloud suite at the end of fiscal 2014
    • up from its earlier forecast of 3 million
  • expects marketing cloud revenue to grow about 20 percent this year

adbe_quarterly results


SaaS Services Solutions

As series of thought-leadership solutions for increasing efficiencies in operational process through advanced classification, indexing and analytics of electronic information.

Saas Services Solutons includes the following:

  • Document Redaction
  • eDiscovery Review Process
  • Document Capture as a Service
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • FactFinder
  • Social Listening
  • Summarization

First experience with Abode Creative Cloud

We’ve written numerous times about how we like the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of services as a great business model.  But sooner or later we had to actually try the products for ourselves.

We bought an Adobe Creative Cloud (ACC) subscription which was a bit confusing to begin with. The situation was that we already had many previous versions of various Adobe and even pre-Adobe (before acquisition products), that qualified for discounted upgrade pricing. I recall this being a rather painful experience working with the Adobe sales team to agree on the right subscription.  In the end I think we just ended-up getting a subscription at the regular price.

Anyhow, whatever discount we could have received was a bonus because we were willing to pay the $29.99 per month for the services as we thought they would be extremely valuable to use only what we needed (SaaS).

My business partners use these applications much more than I do and therefore I never had a need to actually use the Adobe Creative Cloud services until today.
adobe application manager

I was interested in being able to create and/or edit my own flash files.  So, since we had a subscription I logged onto our account to see what was available.

While it’s really not that much of an inconvenience I will have to honestly say that this was a misleading experience.  See, once you log into ACC then you still have to download the applications.  What the heck?  I thought this was true thin-client/SaaS but, alas, I tend to mix the two concepts together.  So for sure the Adobe applications are still thick-client applications but delivered through a unified interface.

In all honesty I have yet to actually use the application; since it took 2 hours to download, so I will reserve judgement of my observation as an actual ‘user’ of the services for later.

Is SaaS still A Fad? Does LinkedIn financial results prove SaaS legitimacy as a viable business model? was born to track, report and opine on everything Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) related.  As the domain name “” might indicate, our web site absolutely believes in the viability of SaaS as a lucrative financial business model.  However, as with most things, in the early days of new technologies or markets there tends to be many nay-sayers and non-believers.  Therefore we established a sarcastic tone and have reported many facts to support the (we feel at least) obvious trend to SaaS from traditional on-premise software services.

So fast-forward to this morning, February 7th 2014, when LinkedIn (LNKD) reported their latest Wall Street financial results last evening.  Their shares were down 8% after they missed their own projected revenue goals and you would think the sky is falling!


Is this a bad precedent for the fate of SaaS companies?  Absolutely not!

First, Wall Street (a.k.a. The Stock Market) is treating LinkedIn (SaaS) like any other real company where the scrutiny is intense on the financial bottom-line.  The talk not all that long ago about SaaS companies such as LinkedIn not being sustainable is lessened and the conversation has changed from “if they can survive as a company” into “how can they significantly grow the company”.  It’s a very different view of the company.

Second, and especially for SaaS companies, the market is still relatively new in comparison to other well-established markets.  Salesforce is probably the most recognizable SaaS company and they are only a 15 year old company which is not mature in the big picture.  For LinkedIn specifically, not only are they in the SaaS business but they are also leading in a new segment of SaaS with their ‘online professional network’ services.  From a stock market perspective, stocks prices tend to get over-inflated when there is great enthusiasm but a clear blueprint for success is not defined.  This is the case with LinkedIn where the stock price at $223 per share and a market capitalization valuation of ~$26 billion (x 10-15 times earnings) probably got a little ahead of itself.

For the above reasons we think that LinkedIn, and other SaaS companies, will just be treated as any other company in the future.  This is legitimacy for SaaS as a viable business model.  So I ask again, Is SaaS A Fad?

Let’s take a look some numbers from LinkedIn who has grown their revenue to over $2 billion annually since being founded in only 2002:

  • Membership improved 7% sequentially, to 277 million
  • Quarter revenue increased 47%, to $447.2 million
  • Forecasted revenue of $2.02 billion to $2.05 billion in 2014
    • Below the consensus at $2.16 billion (this is the key to the drop in stock price)
  • Market cap = ~$26+ billion
  • 4,800+ employees


Not too shabby for a ‘start-up’ *insert extreme sarcasm here*.