What's the Best Way to SaaSify your App?
“SaaSify-ing” an application is defined as transforming a traditional software application into a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. ISVs wishing to SaaSify a Windows® app need to consider 1) the technology changes that need to be made to convert a traditional application to a SaaS model, and 2) how the corporate business model needs to change to support a SaaS business model.
Business Changes Driven by SaaSify-ing an App
How are customers currently paying for the application? Software as a Service uses a subscription model that allows users to pay a monthly or annual fee for the service, which includes support. First, how are you going to price subscriptions? Will you offer a discount for multi-year subscriptions? If you have corporate customers with multiple users, will you offer volume discounts? If you’re currently using an annual or multi-year licensing model, with support included in license renewal costs, how will you migrate customers to a subscription model?
Subscription Lifecycle Management
Do you plan to manage the end-to-end subscription lifecycle differently than your current purchase lifecycle? Consider how those differences will affect existing business and operational processes.
Billing and Payment
A SaaS model requires ongoing and/or recurring payments from customers. How are you going to manage managing billing and payment processes, including setting up payment plans, processing payments, and handling failed payments or refunds?
Renewal, Cancellation, and Churn
How are you going to manage renewals and cancellations? Will your practices and policies change? For example, will your renewal reminder timeline change from the current model? Will you add or remove payment options, or move to a new payment processing vendor? Will you change your current approach to reducing customer churn?
How will your current messaging and marketing tactics change to support the new model? Can you add customer acquisition messages and tactics into the SaaSify-d app? Does SaaSify-ing your app open new markets or regions? How do you incorporate those new opportunities into marketing strategy?
Customer Onboarding and Support
How substantially will SaaSify-ing the app change the product? How will that change how customers are onboarded? How will that change training practices and resources? For example, will you continue to provide written documentation, or will documentation be included in-product? How will SaaSifying your app change your approach to customer support—for example, will you provide varying support levels based on subscription level?
Product Transformation to SaaS
Can your application be converted to a SaaS model? If the application is scalable and can be accessed via the internet, conversion to SaaS is possible.
Development and Maintenance
Does your in-house engineering team have the requisite skill set to convert your app to SaaS and maintain it post-launch? If you need to re-train or augment your engineering team? Or should you retain an outside firm to do the work?
With SaaS, multiple users share the same infrastructure and resources, so you need to create a multi-tenant architecture for the app that efficiently shares application resources and enables isolation of user data.
In-Product Customer Support
Web-native SaaS apps primarily provide product documentation in-product. If you want to move to that model, the engineering and technical documentation teams should create a plan detailing the process, so their tasks align with architecture and infrastructure changes. Additionally, how should the product support team adjust their operations and policies to align with the change?
By incorporating metering into the application, the product team can gather usage data to help make better decisions about product features, pricing models, etc.
Integrate with Third-Party Tools
To reduce friction in the payment process, can you incorporate a third-party payment gateway into the product? What about adding renewal reminders and marketing messaging technology? Integrating third-party tools into your app can reduce the time needed to SaaSify and add new capabilities to the app.
The SaaSify-ed app should collect data related to transactions, payouts/collections, taxes, and fees, i.e., all customer lifecycle events, and distribute that data as appropriate to executive management, sales, marketing,and product via the tools used by the used by your company, for example, Salesforce and Microsoft Teams.
With a SaaS model, your application will be hosted in the cloud. You need to build a secure and reliable infrastructure is imperative to ensure that your application is always available and delivers a great customer experience, customers' data is protected and that your application is always available.
SaaSification is an enormous undertaking, but, if well-managed, can extend the useful life of legacy Windows applications by making them more widely available, easier to use, and easier to pay for, breathing new life into Windows ISVs.
When you consider the infrastructure for your newly-SaaSify-ed Windows application, considerGO-Global. GO-Global was purpose-built to publish Windows applications from any cloud—simply, easily, and cost-effectively. And, when deployed on any cloud service, GO-Global leverages that cloud service’s existing infrastructure and security and scalability features to deliver high functionality with less complexity and cost.
To learn more about GO-Global, request a demo here or download a free 30-day trial.