The HotLine Magazine Archives
For The Profession of Cloud/SaaS Product Support
Almost five years ago, Bill Gates warned Microsoft about the significant challenge to the company and industry posed by the advent of SaaS.  While the new business model has yet to fully reach the gains predicted for it back then, the momentum is building.  An ever-accelerating number of traditional perpetual-license software companies are readying SaaS products or have already quietly…

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The SaaS & Support Project research into the common causes of lost customer relationships showed that the most commonly identified “departure driver” was Divorce. Either the management of the customer company had changed, resulting in the loss of the internal champion, or the relationship had become distant. One SaaS company CEO described this scenario as a loss of contact "at the top' of the food chain, with upper management either leaving or forgetting why the system was implemented. Three significant questions come immediately to mind: 1) Why are SaaS vendors being taken by surprise? 2) What can be done to save the relationships? 3) How can CEOs stop setting their companies up for churn?

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As the Software As A Service business model continues its rapid advance, the inherent changes for both vendor and customer are both substantial and significant. But once again, Customer Support is in danger of getting shoved to a back burner. I'm sure you've heard the usual statements of “strategies:” “SaaS doesn't need Support, it's included in the subscription.” “We're going to do it all via web self-service.” “The social networking community will take care of it for us.” And, of course, “just keep costs down.” If you'd like to be part of a smarter approach, you're invited to take part in a new benchmarking and research project that's aimed squarely at taking the best of what we've learned from the past and using it to create the future. The result will be best-practices data and better business + operational models for both SaaS and Customer Support.

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