Clients quickly achieve the results they were looking for by partnering with experts who understand how to get the most from the software.
For the longest time, we have described ourselves as a Software-as-a-Service provider. The funny thing is, we were wrong.
Bison Analytics is a Services-Enabled-Software provider. If you are like most CFOs, controllers and financial data analysts that I talk to, you frequently lack the bandwidth to learn new software, troubleshoot data management and create the dashboards and reports that will provide real insight for growth.
If you are nodding your head in agreement, then read on, because I am going to explain why Services-enabled Software providers should matter to you.
SeS vs. SaaS (vs. another SeS)
So what’s the big difference? Plenty, and the word services should not be overlooked. In a 2009 paper authored by David B. Black, Technology Partner at Oak Investment Partners, he writes about “Software-enabled Services” which is admittedly a slight twist on Services-Enabled-Software, but bear with me.
Black writes: “With SaaS, the company’s core business is writing and delivering software, which other people use to run their own business, whatever it may be.”
In other words, SaaS providers are in the business of selling software that their customers run. Certainly they provide support of some sort, but their primary goal is to sell software.
By contrast, with Software-enabled Services, “the software is not the business – the software is an essential, mission-critical aspect of the service the company provides.”
In other words, SeS providers use software to provide a service. Of course the customer also uses the software, but the true value is providing a service that utilizes a valuable, proprietary tool. Note, the emphasis is on the service.
With Services-Enabled-Software, the reverse is true. Services-Enabled-Software firms provide mission-critical services to amplify the impact of the software. The emphasis is simply reversed.
The important takeaway is that in both cases, it’s akin to buying a tool versus partnering with a team that really knows how to use the tool. By partnering with experts who understand how to get the most from the software, clients quickly achieve the results they were looking for in the first place.
Left to their own devices, they could certainly solve that problem, but at a high cost in time and resources. And the solution may not come in time.
Why SeS Should Matter To You
Let’s face it, financial analytics software is sophisticated, and data management is complex. Let’s look at three key areas where a services partner is going to quickly and efficiently get the most out of your investment.
When is the last time you entered a “Free Trial” and really got what you expected from a short-term use of the platform? Most of the time you simply can not get up-to-speed with the platform without a steep learning curve and support from the provider.
For the majority of our customers, they simply don’t have the time or bandwidth to quickly get the results they need. However, they are feeling a real need to quickly solve a problem that they know is hidden within their data.
SeS providers support their clients more as trusted advisors, and there is inherent value in that relationship. When Bison engages with a new client, we determine what their most urgent need is. We then partner with them to use the Bison System to solve that problem. It is not the elusive “free trial” – it’s a “Liftoff Program” that normally sees results in around 7-10-days.
If immediate results are what your organization needs, partnering with a trusted advisor – and investing in that relationship – is crucial.
What happens when your complex system of data flows and reporting just stops working?
With the complexity of data management, very small errors in the data can cause very big headaches.
Many SaaS providers have large libraries of support documents that let their customers troubleshoot the problem. For those of you who are not data architects, it can be a daunting task to work through the support docs to find the fly in the ointment.
SeS providers support the client in ensuring that the software is providing the solution – the service – that was ordered. Frequently, Bison clients have a problem with their source data, not with our software or the reports that were built. Bison’s proprietary data audit finds the problem and we proactively notify you before you get off track. In addition, because the Bison team averages 25 years of experience in managing data sets, as well as a wealth of experience in QuickBooks, we are able to quickly pinpoint the problem and get things back on track.
Once again, if immediate fixes to your complex system are required, partnering with someone who will get on the phone and work through the problem is crucial.
The “Next 15%” out of it
We didn’t come up with the name of the concept itself, but we couldn’t agree more with the concept of squeezing out the “next 15%.” Crossover Health recently blogged about using a leading cloud-based practice management, electronic health record (EHR) services provider. They found that by using these tools since 2009, they were able to find a 15% uptick in revenue. However, “these advantages could be had by implementing probably most any reasonable EHR/PM software system.”
It was the “next 15%” in gains that they were looking for. It was the partnership with their vendor that would pay dividends in helping them get the “next 15%” and beyond. The operative word is partnership. SeS providers leverage the massive
knowledge gains from working with an array of clients to improve the performance of others. That knowledge is hard-earned.
Many companies are using QuickBooks to run their financial engine, and are looking for an advantage. Bison Analytics has worked with many of them. Over time, the team has developed a high level of understanding and expertise with the intricacies of QuickBooks and fine-tuned the Bison System to work better and more efficiently. They partner with companies to squeeze out the “next 15%” to improve organizational growth.
Are you ready for a Services-enabled Software provider to partner with you to achieve real business growth?
Check out the Bison Liftoff Program.
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