Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Scott Bils of Conformity talks about the SAAS Market

Scott Bils of Conformity talks about the SAAS market, the growth, the challenges, and the hot areas.

Why do you call your new company ‘Conformity?’

We work with SAAS applications and focus on providing companies conformity across their usage of those applications. Typically, users have no common oversight over their SAAS applications so that’s what we provide. It’s conformed usage of the application.

What’s a typical scenario in which your product works?

A typical user has a number of SAAS applications – say for CRM and Google applications for a number of functions, and NetSuite for ERP. Today, you have to setup credentials for each package separately and then track usage, access rights, etc, separately. It’s usually distributed across the organization. We enable control and usage tracking in a central platform for better management of resources.

How is the SAAS market doing?

We see SAAS adoption by companies, particularly enterprises, accelerating in the coming years. Today, a typical midmarket company has around three SAAS applications and they are being managed by silo. We’re finding enough SAAS applications out there now that you can get what you want to build out your company. ERP has some gaps but for most applications there’s a SAAS application out there.

What are the challenges in using SAAS applications?

Companies find they need to centralize access to those applications since they need to know who has access to what. Customers also want to track usage of the applications. There also needs compliance management as well.

What is your beachhead market for this?

We’re going after the mid-range 250 to 1000 employee company in verticals that have been aggressive early adopters of SAAS, including technology, financial services and business servicest. Wherever Salesforce is deployed tends to be a target customer for us.

Do you have any customers yet? Any market validation?

We have several that are Beta testing the product now, and have built an early pipeline of prospects that have indicated strong interest in our solution

Why do they choose SAAS?

The overall cost is lower and the operational model is easier to implement and maintain. Business users love it because they don’t have to get IT involved. It’s a double-edged sword. If you’re a user you like the ability to get up and running quickly, but if you take the IT view, you want some control for compliance and security issues.

Within the SAAS arena what applications are hot?

HR usage is hot right now. Talent and performance management are big.

Do you sell to legal or healthcare companies since they have regulatory control?

Eventually, it will be sold there but not much yet. But that’s the problem we’re solving. For a company that wants the benefits of SAAS but needs some control we can help them. Someone trying to achieve Sarbanes-Oxley compatibility is a key target for us.

How do you price your software?

It’s not based on number of applications but by employee user per month.

Best regards,
Hall T.