On SAAS: It’s Just Better

I recently wrote this post about the benefits of Software As A Service (SAAS).

Around that time we received an email from one of our customers:

“On your interstitial page where you try to convince people to cough up
information about themselves, the only way to move forward is by clicking
the Save and Continue button. The no thanks link is broken. Nice!”

This bug was really embarrassing for us – especially given the sensitivity of the action at hand. The bug was short lived, but we are truly grateful for the feedback we got from this user. We spotted him an enhanced account as a token of our thanks.

Now imagine if we were not running a web application and we were developing a desktop or server-installed software…getting that email from our user would have been unlikely because he would have had to make a real effort to send it. In this case he simply used the send feedback/help button all our users see when they login and as a result we had this bug fixed within one business hour. If we offered software that runs on your server or your computer, we would have had to make a bug fix and then post it. Then you would have had to install it. Pain, pain and more pain.

SAAS rocks. You can’t help but build better software because of the better, faster feedback loop.  SAAS is the best form of software delivery, period.

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  • edwin

    I tested out your free account several months ago and I was impressed. However, although SAAS does have it’s benefits it doesn’t make dollars and sense for the customer if there is a monthly fee. In rare cases, when there isn’t a suitable alternative, then it does make sense but overall it doesn’t.

    Microsoft has been wanting to cash in on SAAS for years. They would love for people to pay a monthly fee to use Word or Excel instead of being able to buy it. It would be a windfall for them but their customers would be screwed.

    I dislike SAAS because it’s generally expensive. I’m sure that the Freshbooks team has put thousands of hours developing their service but the premium packages are still very expensive.

    In conclusion, when everything is conidered SAAS stinks for everyone except the company cashing in on it.

  • Edwin – I guess that’s one way of looking at it. Truth be told I was look at SAAS more from a developers perspective than a consumers. That said, as a business person and consumer who subscribes to and pays for a number of SAAS services ( for email, music, photos, RSS feeds, the list goes on…) I find tremendous value in SAAS services for the following reasons:

    – I don’t have to install them
    – I can access them anywhere, anytime
    – someone else is doing back up
    – I get free upgrades regularly

    For these reasons I have to disagree with you. Basically I pay for value. If the value is not there, I don’t pay.

    Most FreshBooks users tell us FreshBooks pays for itself. They save so much time, that the service is an absolute no brainer. Most also report that they collect more revenue thanks to FreshBooks (a discovery that blew me away to be honest). Here are our 2006 customer survey results where you can see for yourself.

    There will always be people who are unwilling to pay for value, but most reasonable people will be willing to pay the right amount for the right amount of value.

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