questions that will help to replicate the experience of colleagues and transfer it to new teams. In my opinion, it turned out to be an interesting mix of opinions that will help all those who decide or have already decided to play in this field to approach the creation of SaaS in the right way.
Basically, the questions are:
1. How did the idea of creating a service come about?
2. Development toolkit and why this one?
3. Target audience of the service?
4. Savings in creation – methods, approaches, technologies.
5. Promotion strategy.
6. Friends/family/fools – where did the funds come from to start development?
7. Project errors and how they coped.
8. Dissenting opinion (bonus in the case).
SEO DoDocs (newbie)
1. The idea of a visual aggregator of documentary sources arose when some of the corporate documents were in the mail, some in the dropbox, some in local folders, and some on the corporate server. We needed an environment that would show all company documents in one place, with access rights and the ability to create communications around the document. And ideally, they also wanted visual web links to interesting company sites or articles. The tags were put in right away, as they separated groups of documents by key departments of the company.
But later personal tags appeared, interspersed with public ones.
3. Our target audience is LLC, sole proprietorship and teams from different distances. We compete with task managers and webdav repositories, but nevertheless the market is big enough to fit everyone.
4. There are almost no savings on development, but we have created one beta server where tester companies work. There are no own or outsourced testers. By the way, we are not very good with automatic testing, because we cannot allocate time, otherwise it would be possible to write tests for interfaces.
5. We base the promotion strategy on niche solutions with preset settings. Now we are rewriting something and want to split into b2b and b2c products, the last of which will be free
6. Your money. We do not hope to find investments in Russia, there are still not enough resources to enter other markets. We move as fast as we can afford.
7. There were always mistakes, but in the summer, after a series of articles about a trip to Boston, about 200 hundred companies registered, and they all simultaneously “called support” because they didn’t understand how and what to do. We did not have time to write tips and test in some places, so we “died”. We stopped openly promoting ourselves and are preparing redesign and understandable interfaces. This is our kind of pivot.
8. We are preparing 3 circuits.
– Semi-built version (logic in the cloud, index exchange, storage in a closed local loop)
– Paranoid version (boxed version: everything in the local loop)
Asoft CRM, CMO
1. The idea to make ASoft CRM came from one of the customers who applied for custom development to ASoft. They began to write a product for it 10 years ago (in 2004), after which they began to universalize the functionality and adapt the product to the market reality.
2. The company already had a development tool – Stellart – Asoft’s own platform, which was and is used in the development of custom systems. This technology initially allowed making the ASoft CRM web-system, which later turned into a SaaS solution.
3. The presence of its own development technology allows ASoft to focus on companies representing small and medium-sized businesses, and there is no industry binding. Based on ASoft CRM, a dozen industry versions and about a hundred integration services have been implemented that exchange information with various specialized systems. For example, in the banking sector with BIS and ABS, in real estate with the Winner service, in logistics with maps and GPS, in trade organizations with 1C-based solutions, etc.
4. Promotion is also not original – advertising on the Internet, landing pages, conversion and all that. Most sales are direct. The only feature is that we seriously consider integration with other services as a sales channel (and in both directions, and that we will receive customers and that we will give back). I strongly believe in the idea of linking SaaS with SaaS, that this is the case when 1+1=3.
5. No, no investors, everyone is on their own. I have already talked a lot about investments and my opinion (so far) is that they are more harmful than beneficial. A good product in our industry should take off without an investor. Yes, capital is needed, but we had our own — and this is the best scenario.
6. Yes, nothing critical or significant – everything is regular, all sorts of minor roughness. Perhaps the most significant mistake was that they underestimated the market and this product – they thought that it was a much smaller story than we think now, so we initially spent a lot of time and effort on another solution. Could spend here and it would be more useful. But this is all nonsense. 7. Yes, we are almost sure of our victory in the market and now we are rather concerned about our western sales. If in 2011 we were very modest in assessing our prospects “there”, now there is a feeling that there are chances and they are not bad. Let’s see. Now we are preparing a completely new version of the product, which we plan to compete with in the US. I hope we manage to surprise everyone.