Software as a service

Trend 5: SaaS shifts from cloud applications to purpose-built solutions

SaaS companies are transforming themselves from providers of cloud applications to providers of purpose-built industry cloud solutions through organic and inorganic expansions. The user interface layer, the data model, and the declarative/customer business logics of these products have all been tailored to suit the needs of various industries such as communications, utility, health, insurance, media, and public cloud.

Foundational and metadata constructs are available to design for the business needs of specific functions such as sales, orders, pricing, and product catalog. Industry data model-based extension and LCNC platforms bring in cross-industry synergies. SaaS providers are also creating industry process-based libraries, consisting of accelerators to swiftly track the development and design of their platforms.

Businesses should adopt industry clouds and LCNC solutions for their core functions. This requires senior leadership sponsorship and identification of a core execution team with clear ownership and responsibilities across IT, third parties, and business owners. Businesses must ensure data security and privacy and have these covered as part of their SaaS solutions. They should continually monitor the spend on SaaS licenses and embark on cost takeout and license optimization/automation initiatives. Businesses should leverage SaaS solutions in the best possible way through continuous training and the enablement of user groups.

A large telecom player wanted to transform its B2B operations and commercial 5G offerings. Transformation objectives included the unification of look and feel across all channels for all partners/users, digitization of quote and order management, and process standardization and simplification. The company applied the design thinking approach to create role-based personas, and an intuitive user experience to provide a 360-degree view of the customer portfolio. The solution creates and baselines platforms for accelerated product/service rollouts (including 5G). The solution is developed on the Salesforce Industries-Vlocity platform, providing differentiation while allowing partners to create quotes, place and track orders, and change or disconnect the existing services.