How to choose a SaaS Application provider

Part of the turbocharging of digital transformation that took place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was a big uptick in the use of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. Gartner predicts that global end-user spending on public cloud services will exceed $480 billion this year. 

As a result, many businesses are currently trying to work out which SaaS applications, and which SaaS vendors, are the best fit for their particular needs.

Will you be one of them?

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance is a financial-management SaaS solution that’s user-friendly, reassuringly secure, and integrates with not just other Microsoft products, but also those provided by major tech players such as Adobe and LinkedIn.

Features of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance

While selecting the right SaaS application can be tough, the long-term benefits of the right solution can lead to success for your business. Flintech believes Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance is the best financial-management SaaS solution currently on the market, but we don’t expect you to simply accept our opinion about that. Before committing to any SaaS solution, our expert staff recommend you do the following:

Identify the most important criteria

Identifying what part of, for instance, your business’s trade promotions management is causing the problem is the first step in finding a SaaS application to solve it. Are rebates your biggest pain point? Do you employ a workaround to manage them because your ERP doesn’t have the capability? Looking for a SaaS application that can manage your rebates effectively is the starting point, then once you find a solution you can identify what other activities it is able to manage and execute.

Key takeaway: If your ERP is not up to scratch, it could mean that during the process to find a SaaS solution for, say, your trade promotions management you might need to look at upgrading your ERP. You should be open to this as it will help you build a lasting solution.

Have a good platform base and go from there

The right platform is essential so functionality can be added as your business needs change. Managing rebates more effectively may be your top priority now however you’ve identified that managing deductions more efficiently is also on the list. You need to look at the future potential of the platform, not just what needs it can address today.

With Microsoft Dynamics 365, you are able to add on a SaaS application that can manage your trade promotions and any future trade and revenue management activities.

Key takeaway: Adopting a SaaS application for trade promotions also means you can reduce your financial risk with lower upfront IT infrastructure or technology development investment and predictable recurring costs.

Don’t try to find a single solution that ticks every single box

Because you won’t find one and you will waste time looking. Most companies will need more than one application that work together, to make their business sing. This is the mindset you should have when going through the process of selecting a solution.

Find a SaaS application that aligns with your top priorities and that you can build on or risk implementing a short-term solution for long-term problems. A solution that addresses your top priority and has been built using Microservices, means that you choose to add additional modules of functionality or upgrade the functionality you currently have when you need to.

Key takeaway: Find a solution that has been built using Microservices, allowing for new features and updates to be deployed, tweaked, and then redeployed independently without compromising the integrity of an application.

Okay, now it’s time…

Microsoft AppSource is the place to go to find an app that can help manage your trade promotions, rebates, and claims and deductions. You are able to easily find and evaluate apps to address your needs and allow for additional functionality to be added later on as your business grows.

Key questions you should ask yourself before choosing a SaaS provider

If you can’t get satisfactory answers to the following questions from your IT staff and your prospective SaaS provider, you should think twice about signing on the dotted line.

  • Why are we choosing a SaaS service?
  • Is the product a real SaaS?
  • Does the SaaS fit into our current and future user environments?
  • What exit options does the SaaS provider offer?
  • What support does the SaaS provider offer?
  • Will the SaaS product integrate with our other software and services? If so, how?
  • What is the Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
  • What are the IT support requirements for keeping the service functioning?
  • Are our staff adequately trained to use this SaaS? If not, what training does the SaaS provider offer?
  • What migration options does the SaaS provider offer?
  • What backup plans are provided?
  • How does the innovation and update process of the SaaS company work?

Final takeaway

The right SaaS can slash costs and turbocharge staff productivity, resulting in impressive improvements to the bottom line. Even a mediocre SaaS is likely to boost your business’s bottom line somewhat, but why settle for ordinary improvements when extraordinary ones can be achieved with a bit of research?

Fortunately, it’s straightforward to sort the SaaS wheat from the chaff by considering just three things:

  1. Is this an industry-leading provider with a good reputation? New market entrants and smaller players may provide excellent SaaS solutions. But if you’re not a tech expert, the safest course of action is usually to go with a provider that has a well-earned reputation for meeting their customers’ needs.
  2. Will this SaaS be secure? Once again, new market entrants and smaller players may provide SaaS that ticks all the cybersecurity boxes. But an industry leader with a lot to lose in the event of a successful cyberattack will be especially incentivized to keep your business’s data secure.
  3. Will this SaaS provider deliver what is needed, and be there if anything goes wrong? As flagged above, this essentially comes down to checking the SaaS in question addresses the problem(s) your business is facing, offers a solid Service Level Agreement (SLA), and guarantees 24/7 support, 365 days a year. As a rule of thumb, industry behemoths, such as Microsoft, are most likely to guarantee that their SaaS solution will exceed expectations and that any issues with it will be quickly rectified.

Need support identifying and implementing the right SaaS solutions for your business? Flintech can help. Book a free consultation with us today to find out more.