16th March, 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SaaS resources will bring maximum value to your workplace if chosen wisely. Learn the perfect way to choose SaaS for your organization in 9 essential steps.
When it comes to SaaS buying, it is very important to understand how to choose a product worth the purchase in the long run. With so many SaaS options to choose from, enterprises have unlimited alternatives at their disposal.
It is challenging to figure out how to make a good purchase while avoiding certain risks that are associated with SaaS buying. This is why with this article, we will make your SaaS buying experience easy.
1.1 Create a roadmap first, and it's the best way to go forward; to start with that, analyze your business and services.
1.2 Be clear about your objectives and what you are trying to achieve.
1.3 Identify the SaaS requirements of each department in your organization. This will give you a clear picture of what is needed, so ask people involved; they can help you assess what solutions you may need.
1.4 Once you have jotted down everything in a list, discuss with your team what features are required in an ideal solution.
1.5 Finally, identify the processes you haven’t thought of till now that will help you perform better.
Spending time on foundational tasks will allow you to plan ahead of time and remain focused on your objectives. Keep a record of everything you learn and the solutions you have come up with during this process.
Budget planning will help identify the available capital, set goals, estimate expenses, and predict revenues, among other things. Below are the costs that will incur during the SaaS buying process
2.1 The total cost of ownership (TCO): TCO is the purchase price of an asset, including the cost of operation over the asset's lifespan. Evaluation of TCO will help in examining the product's long-term viability and overall value of a subscription service or SaaS tool to the company.
2.2 Direct and Indirect Cost of SaaS Implementation: This will help you plan a budget that will go into SaaS configuration and customization.
2.3 Cost of Licensing: The license fee is determined by the number of users that will be using the product. Some SaaS providers charge a subscription fee for every user who accesses the software, while others charge a flat fee for unlimited monthly usage.
2.4 Setup Maintenance fee: It includes the cost that will incur on a yearly basis for receiving SaaS upgrades and support.
2.5 Data Migration Costs: SaaS providers may charge you for moving your data to their servers. Whether you are migrating from another SaaS vendor or from your legacy on-premise solution, this is true.
2.6 Potential Costs of Training: The cost of educating the workforce on SaaS tools they will be using
Additionally, there can be a variety of other expenses that need to be calculated and optimized prior to purchase. If this seems like a task, then experts from Zluri can effectively guide you with what needs to be taken care of.
3.1 Ask for referrals: Talk to people in your network and ask them about the SaaS products they use in their organizations and how it is working for them so far. If they are satisfied, ask about the vendors of those SaaS applications.
3.2 Conduct web research: Search the web for possible SaaS products in your desired categories; it will take you to their website, where you can learn more about the product and get to read reviews by their clients. Additionally, you can also check out their social media pages and find out what their communication is like with their clients.
3.3 Make a list of shortlisted vendors for evaluation which you can further use for bidding purposes.
If you are looking for SaaS vendors, we have curated the list of SaaS vendors which you will find useful. Check the SaaS vendors list here.
4.1 Provisions they have in place regarding data security and privacy, are they certified and compliant with regulatory standards required by your organization: Choosing a certified and compliant (GDPR, CCPA) vendor should be your topmost priority while shortlisting vendors. This is essential to prevent customer, employee, and corporate data from being stolen. Data breaches may cost billions of dollars and make customers lose their trust in you, so only work with fully compliant vendors and have the necessary certificates in place. With Zluri, you can mitigate SaaS vendor risks.
4.2 Where will they store your data, and how will they handle your data.
4.3 What kind of SaaS pricing model suits you from their offerings: You can choose the one that fits your needs from the many kinds of pricing models available. Some of the SaaS pricing models are:
4.3.1 Flat-rate pricing
4.3.2 Usage-based pricing (pay as you go)
4.3.3 Tiered pricing
4.3.4 Per-user pricing
4.3.5 Per feature pricing
4.3.6 Freemium pricing-adopted as part of a tiered pricing approach by many SaaS vendors.
4.4 What are the direct and indirect costs involved with their SaaS product? Ask upfront regarding each and every cost incurred during your subscription and renewal period, as mentioned in section 2.5.
4.5 Will their SaaS product easily integrate into your system
4.6 How will the vendor continue to support you after the contract is signed
4.7 How will they manage SaaS upgrades
4.8 How will the data be returned once the tie breaks with the vendor? You don't want to be locked by the vendors.
4.9 Will they be in business for the duration you are taking a subscription for their SaaS product?
4.10 Do not forget to evaluate their customer support while you are at it.
Before reaching out to the vendors, it's better to equip yourself with the main terms of SaaS agreements. It not only helps you understand what you are getting into but helps you get customized terms that suit your needs.
Demos are a crucial part of SaaS buying. Demos help you see the SaaS product you are considering investing in action. A good demo will help you understand and evaluate SaaS features and also help you figure out its user-friendliness.
While asking for a demo, be as detailed about your needs as possible with the vendor and find out if the demo was helpful in addressing those issues.
During the demo, also pay attention to the vendor's approach towards supporting you.
Pro Tip: It's better to ask the salesperson to give you a demo on an account with a basic setup done so that you can directly get into the main features during the discussion. Though onboarding (setup, configurations, etc.) may be challenging, you want to keep a separate discussion on it.
Additionally, if you can a demo account to play with, it would be a cherry on the cake.
The trial can be skipped if the demo proves to be helpful in addressing your needs, but if you have any confusion or want to have hands-on experience with the product before making a decision, then the free trial is a good option to test SaaS usability, features, and benefits.
A good trial may expose you to:
6.1 Glitches in their SaaS product,
6.2 Functions it may lack,
6.3 Features you may need, and
6.3 Features that don't sit well with your needs
This step will help you further narrow down your list.
Take a decision based on:
7.1 If the demo was successful in addressing your requirement (if the decision is based on the demo)
7.2 If the software has performed better for you during trial
7.3 They have proper security measures in place, and their SaaS product is compliant with data privacy laws of countries you want to operate in
7.3 If their customer support is great
7.4 And lastly, if it fits your budget and justifies what you are getting at this price
By this time, you will have a sufficient idea of what other SaaS products in your desired category are worth in the market and how much you are willing to spend on its subscription. Ask for bids from chosen vendors, and then go ahead with your top choice.
You need to sign an IT contract to ensure you get the services you've been promised. It contains clauses for pricing, data privacy and ownership, IP rights, service level agreements, renewal, etc.
But we want to bring to your attention that negotiating IT contacts is not an easy job. It requires a deep understanding of the solution, excellent negotiation skills, and data to make informed decisions.
With Zluri, you can get SaaS usage and vendor information to make informed decisions for SaaS procurement and renewals. Alternatively, you can take expert help (like SaaS Buying from Zluri) to get you a good deal. This is a guaranteed win for you as we take a commission only when we save money for you. Typically, you can expect savings in the range of 20-50% of your current SaaS spending.
Subscription-based models may seem easy to use and implement, but there could be so much more that goes behind that one subscription, making agreement drafting an essential component of closing the deal. Make sure to avoid signing a unilateral agreement with the vendor and have everything clearly laid down in the agreement.
You can read the details of the SaaS agreement in this article, but here is a summary.
9.1 Where will your data be stored, who will have access to it and what kinds of access will be given
9.2 To whom data entered on a cloud belong?
9.3 How will data security measures be taken into account
9.4 The kind of protection offered
9.5 What will happen in the event of a security breach? How will that be handled?
9.6 How will vendors continue to provide services during times of mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers?
9.7 Services that SaaS product does not promise
9.8 How the payment of subscription be dealt with
9.9 Clauses regarding termination and renewal
The list could get very long, but we just thought of mentioning these few important points you should not overlook in your SaaS agreement.
A well-drafted agreement can save you from future legal troubles, so make sure you handle SaaS agreement drafting with utmost precision.
SaaS buying is tricky, and you may find yourself stuck at several steps, wondering what to choose and how to choose. SaaS resources will bring maximum value to your workplace if chosen wisely. If at any point you feel lost, Zluri has procurement experts in place who can make your SaaS buying experience effortless!
Zluri knows the SaaS marketplace and can help you get the best SaaS stack for your company in your budget and can also help you plan your SaaS buying in advance, with savings up to 50% on subscriptions and zero upfront cost - You pay when you save and on better terms with us.
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