CES 2010 – Thoughts for SaaS Products
CES is the mecca for all the gadget followers. I followed many of the launches/ideas/demos at the show and tried to spot the trends. And it was not easy to focus on the trends with all the glitz around 3D devices, touch screen monitors, tablets, nexus, etc.
I observed that the underlying thoughts behind many of these product were – simplicity, better user experience and collaborative features. Is there a common thread between trends at CES and SaaS products? I found a couple of interesting messages for SaaS products from CES 2010. Do share your inputs.
1. “Simplicity” in SaaS ? – SaaS pricing is complex. Features/Customizations add complexity for QA teams. Security & Multi Tenancy bring in additional requirements. Despite all these additional layers – the customer experience should be simple and they should not be burdened with the unnecessary details.
2. Collaboration – Are the new features – making it easier to integrate and extract data from other applications
Integration holds the key for increasing the “usability with data” and the products should not focus on generating all the contents by themselves.
3. How the user” uses” – At the CES, one company demonstrated a waterproof ebook cover as many ebook users shared that they wanted to take their ebooks to swimming pools and fishing trips. Similarly if SaaS users are on the move – they should build mobile apps around them.
4. The smart game changers – When all the comparison parameters are getting blurred for car buyers, one car company introduced very smart cabin tech interface. It was a huge diversion from the regular comparison parameters and only time will tell about its success. But it is a well directed effort towards adding competitive flanks.
For SaaS products – focus should be much more on building similar flanks around competencies for differentiation and the regular ones like service up time — are commoditized flanks.