The life of a SaaS-based company CEO is a stressful one! One that makes the life of a non-cloud software vendor seem tame…but why?
When an ISV decides to “do SaaS” they move on from ‘just’ selling software to run it for their customers. The ISV is now doing “both sides of the house” – software deployment and operations — they are literally, to coin a well-known DevOps phrase, living the “you build it, you run it” model.
Releases are challenging without breaking the service. Uptime is crucial and is subject to planned and unplanned events. Growth is like a dark deep sea with huge waves you have to traverse every month. SaaS providers often seek the help of an application-focused next-generation MSP at a certain point in their cloud journey.
There are five things that Cloudsoft immediately relieve for SaaS providers:
Security in the cloud, and of the application, and the users
Cost Optimisation to manage costs in the face of growth
Resilience to planned and unplanned events
Agility with releases using CI/CD pipelines and more.
Innovation of the cloud: how do you exploit it? You need to continuously evolve your SaaS application in the cloud.
Take one of Cloudsoft’s SaaS customers, Logicalware. They deliver a customer experience service to big brands and they need to act on all five of the above outcomes, every month. Logicalware customers’ customers rely on them, and Logicalware relies on us and AWS.
Companies like Logicalware are a great example of a successful SaaS company: continuously moving and forward, plotting their trajectory, whilst looking ahead at the slow-fish they want to disrupt in their market, and over their shoulders at the fast-fish disruptors. What they can’t do is get the cloud bit wrong because it underpins their whole SaaS operation, and there are a quite a few ways to get it wrong.
Here’s the kind of problems SaaS companies can hit in the cloud:
They don’t have any cloud specialists: they are business- and application-focused developers, sales and marketing.
Their windscreen focus is full of the application and customers, so cloud operations, finance and security take a back seat.
Minimum viable product and lean development, all the unglamorous stuff in the cloud gets deferred. There’s only so many hours in a day and positions on the Get Stuff Done list.
You build it, you run it: When a customer buys SaaS they are running a part of their business on you, trusting you, so the expectations leap from zero-to-hero. They expect professional operations and bring their consumer mindset to business with little appetite for things going wrong.
Cloud experts might not want to do the cloud fundamentals: the best ones want to be on the bleeding edge when what most SaaS companies want is help with the five reasons above.
The solution to this might feel like: “I need to hire some AWS talent.” This is a hard path to walk for four reasons: the best cloud talent is hard to find, attract, afford (at £600/day or more, or a fully loaded FTE cost for an AWS Professional at £150,000/annum – figures vary) and hard to retain. And even if you manage to find, attract and afford one, they don’t do all the things that a next-gen MSP like Cloudsoft does with our team of professional cloud engineers, software and patterns we’ve developed over years.
Logicalware: A SaaS Company Case Study
What a SaaS company like Logicalware worked out is that they needed a trusted partner in the form of a next-generation cloud MSP like Cloudsoft. For less than the price of one cloud architect, you can get access to a team of cloud architects.
Jamie MacSween, the CEO of Logicalware, said:
We are really pleased to see the Logicalware business grow from strength-to-strength but we felt that our plans for the future needed a different kind of partner and Cloudsoft fitted the bill.” said Jamie MacSween, CEO of Logicalware . “Cloudsoft now run our cloud operations and they work well with our teams, but most importantly they are helping us evolve our business for future growth and add features and improve the customer experience.”
Cloudsoft is better for SaaS companies like Logicalware, compared to low-level cloud plumbers who only know the infrastructure layer, because we have Cloud Engineers that are software engineers, experts in applications, automation and AWS — so we speak the same language as SaaS companies like Logicalware.
This was born out by the words of the Logicalware CTO, Adam McCartney:
The Cloudsoft team quickly understood our system and formulated a migration plan to take over billing, operations and everything the previous partner did.” said Adam McCartney, CTO of Logicalware. “This happened without any impact on the business, and we were really pleased with that! Now we’re well positioned to evolve our cloud platform for increased scale and to add features.”
And do Cloudsoft like working with SaaS companies? Here’s what we said:
Logicalware are an example of the sweet spot for Cloudsoft, the kind of company we know we can really help exploit AWS on behalf of their customers. The Logicalware team are customer-obsessed like us, they are in growth mode, they are adding innovation to their platform, and our teams collaborate well – we feel like an extension of their team.
Can Cloudsoft help you?
Can we have a talk with you and see if we can help you like we help Logicalware?
Cloudsoft doesn’t just work with SaaS companies, but it’s a specialist sweet spot for us.
Please feel free to contact me directly, I’d love to hear from you. If we can’t help you, please share this article with someone you think could benefit from it and talking to Cloudsoft.
BONUS: We offer a no-obligation, short-and-sharp free consultation that looks at what you need as a SaaS company on AWS – sign up here.
If you’re an ISV or SaaS company I’d personally love to hear from you, or from someone you think we could help – message me on LinkedIn or DM me on Twitter @ukcloudpro.
Useful Cloudsoft Resources
Our Case Studies
Our series on Migrating to AWS
Our videocast with ITSM Crowd on Cloud for Service Managers