“SAAS: FOCUSING ON FUNCTIONALITY”
What About True SaaS? Does it exist? Does anyone really care?
These answers, and ATG’s approach to client advocacy, were featured in an October 2012 publication from Billing & OSS World. ATG’s Tom Stergios was interviewed for the piece.
During the interview Stergios answers key questions like:
- Why is there a need for consulting, integration, and professional services in the world of SaaS?
- How big a role does SaaS play in the practices ATG is building?
- Is that role due to semantics or mixing up of SaaS vs. managed services?
- What do you advise clients looking at SaaS-based billing?
- What are the top considerations for service providers considering SaaS-based back office solutions?
Stergios stresses that ATG takes the role of client advocate very seriously.
“We don’t have partner agreements or reseller agreements with vendors. We can remain unbiased on terms of identifying what solution is best for a particular customer. We are not a traditional system integrator, not a back-the-bus-up kind of company. We have teams that might go from a team of two, to a team of ten over the course of a few months because we try to bring just the right people, at just the right time, for just the right duration. We can do big projects, but very often we help companies with their strategy assessment and don’t try to take the whole project away from them, but rather we work with their key people to build these projects out. That’s why this client advocate role is such an important part. We try to help the clients make the right decision and implement well.
There are five primary things I look for when evaluating a SaaS provider:
- Our industry is where horizontal products go to die, so do they have a horizontal or vertical offering?
- What is the maturity of the product set relative to your industry and your business model?
- What are their professional services and implementation strategy and pedigree? Do they understand the enterprise IT world and integration with multiple systems of truth?
- What is their ongoing support model and do they have a customer success organization?
- Regarding time, risk and money, I would strongly evaluate the overall economics of implementing SaaS