Sunday, April 30, 2006

42% of UK Small Businesses feel left in the lurch after purchasing technology

On January 2006, Cisco reported "British small businesses are receiving inadequate customer support and intelligence prior to making crucial technology buying decisions. According to the survey of 400 UK small businesses, the majority of small businesses (42%) feel left in the lurch after purchasing technology, due to insufficient post-sales support or training."

I came across this article on blog, and the author of blog comments " I think the above can be caused by the standard VAR (value added reseller) model, whereby the emphasis (and majority of the income and therefore profit) is centred on the initial sale with less attention given to the post sales period which is traditionally less profitable. The Software as a Service (SaaS) model should help to rectify this by having an income model which is interested in the long term for ongoing revenues (and less based on the initial income) which should ensure a better post sale and support experience. "

Spot on. ebdex Document Exchange is offered as a SaaS without any capital outlay or upfront subscription fees. Whilst we would sign each client for a three-year period, our revenue more or less dependent on the usage, which ensures we deliver a superior customer service. This is far better method than what can be achieved by licensed software model. The business case for SaaS is increasingly being accepted by both larger and small organisations.

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Blogger Dennis Howlett said...

Yes Manoj - but you've still got implementation costs to think about as well as training and other rollout costs.

You and I know SaaS takes a lot of ongoing pain away but let's at least be clear about how clients get to ROI. They need to understand the ramp compared to on-premise. They need to see how this delivers business value to their business ecosystem and so on.

Just to say the 'business case is being accepted' without justification leaves your argument exposed.

5:05 am  
Blogger Manoj Ranaweera said...

Dennis, finally a chellenging comment putting me on the spot! This is when this method of communications medium really become exciting!! And this also becomes a good training ground!

From our side and our partners side, we have three options, either to absorb implemenation costs, pass some of the costs, or pass all of the costs. From the client side, yes there is cost in terms of human labour in understanding the correct use of the new product (which is self-explanatory, I must add - but we are happy to provide training - again this could be charged or provided free).

In addition to this, on behalf of clients, we or our trusted partners will recruit and enrol their suppliers and customers on to ebdex Document Exchange. Sames goes - this can be charged or given free. From the client side, they would need to provide support and authority for us to undertake this task on their behalf.

Whilst we have number of technologies at our disposal for bringing trading partners on board, as rapidly as one can achieve, this is a time consuming activity, especially in the first case. Later on this becomes easier, as some of the trading partners of new clients are expected to be already using the service - "the snowball effect".

In each case, we would submit a business case identifying current costs, future costs and cost savings.

Experience will decide what cost components will be passed to the clients. As we are yet to launch ebdex Document Exchange, some of these costs, if not all can be waived off from initial clients.

7:41 am  

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