How the SaaS business model affects software company valuations

Grazed from BizJournals. Author: Efrat Kasznik.

Software vendors across the world are embracing the software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud-based business model in growing numbers. According to Software Equity Group, SaaS software revenues will likely represent about 25 percent of the overall software market in the next five years. Research firm Gartner estimated that global spending on SaaS will reach $22.1 billion by 2015.

Some software vendors are converting their software delivery and revenue models to SaaS, while others acquire SaaS companies to gain access to this market. SaaS mergers and acquisitions transactions grew 25 percent last year, and the median SaaS exit multiple was more than double that paid for traditional, on-premise software targets, according to the Software Equity Group...

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Data analysis SaaS Workiva sets terms for $101 million IPO

Grazed from RenaissanceCapital. Author: PR Announcement.

Workiva, which offers a SaaS platform used by companies to manage the SEC filing process, announced terms for its IPO on Monday. The Ames, IA-based company plans to raise $101 million by offering 7.2 million shares at a price range of $13 to $15. At the midpoint of the proposed range, Workiva would command a fully diluted market value of $581 million.

Workiva had 2,176 customers as of September 30, with 60% of both the Fortune 500 and Fortune 100, including The Coca-Cola Company, Wal-Mart, Cardinal Health, Boeing, Credit Suisse, Google and Chevron. Its ten largest customers make up 5% of revenue. The company's subscription revenue retention rate was 97% as of September 30, and 108% including additional seats purchased by existing customers. The company's management team will collectively own 82% voting power-post IPO...

Cloud Computing: A Rare Peek Into The Massive Scale of AWS

Grazed from EnterpriseTech.  Author: Timothy Prickett Morgan.

The idea behind cloud computing, as pioneer Amazon Web Services believed when it launched its first utility compute and storage products eight years ago, is to abstract away the underlying hardware and provide raw resources to programmers for applications to run on. This hardware is a competitive advantage for AWS, as it has been for its parent online retailer, and that is why AWS very rarely talks about its datacenters and systems. But with Google, Microsoft, and IBM all talking up their investments in cloud and the innovations they have come up with, Amazon has to lift the veil a bit.

The reason is simple. The Amazon online retail business may be a $70 billion behemoth, but it does not throw off a lot of cash. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is not interested in profits as much as he is about transforming the world around him, but the cloud computing business is one of the most capital intensive businesses there are in the world...

8 Powerful Tips That Will Improve Your SaaS Conversions

Grazed from Forbes. Author: Neil Patel.

Do a few minutes of research, and you’ll come up with a load of conversion advice. “Make CTA buttons bigger! Create killer headlines! Streamline your checkout process!” Ad infinitum. Ad nauseum. Don’t get me wrong. All those things are important, but they will only take you so far. The very best conversion optimization is tailored to specific industries. The more specific and focused the conversion tips, the bigger impact you’ll see.

If you are in the SaaS industry, there are at least eight industry-specific tips that you should follow that will help you to improve conversions.

1. Make it free...

Tech Data to bring SaaS/IaaS platform to Canada

Grazed from ComputerDealerNews. Author: Paolo Del Nibletto.

Tech Data’s StreamOne platform for cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) has arrived in Canada. As part of a global launch rollout, Tech Data Americas president Joe Quaglia told CDN that StreamOne will be made available wherever the distributor does business. Going forward, these types of rollouts will be part of a North American strategy.

The StreamOne platform offers channel partners cloud services that they can resell to their own customers along with software in an as-a-service model. Through an online solution store solution providers in Canada can now search, compare, quote and order products for independent software vendors and cloud providers. This also includes Platform-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings...

SaaS Support Best Practices: The Transparent Model

Grazed from CMSWire. Author: Kimberly Gress.

As technology vendors respond to a changing marketplace by creating Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, their relationship to their customers must change. Satisfying customers by creating a great product that garners positive reviews, and soliciting customer feedback for future upgrades simply isn’t enough.

When a company hands over control of its mission-critical software environment to a SaaS provider, the SaaS customer support organization essentially functions as an extension of the customer’s IT department. To take this step, a customer must trust that they will receive the constant, professional and hands-on support they need. Generating this trust requires that the Customer Support team be transparent and always available. The following best practices will ensure that the support organization does both:...

Zscaler Adds Partners For SaaS-Based Security Service, Ups Battle Against Websense

Grazed from CRN. Author: Robert Westervelt.

Zscaler is pushing past its SaaS-based Web filtering technology, extending its add-on services to include licenses for cloud-based antimalware, data loss prevention and secure Wi-Fi services and aiming at Websense customers eager to shed outdated on-premise appliances.

Partners say the San Jose, Calif.-based vendor has been a solid choice for companies that are ripping out legacy, on-premise secure Web gateways that primarily were used for URL filtering capabilities to gain end-user productivity improvements. By tweaking DNS settings to send traffic through Zscaler's platform, companies gain the same Web filtering controls and protection against known malicious websites, said Mark Robinson, president of Findlay, Ohio-based solution provider CentraComm, which has partnered with Zscaler for about three years...

Cloud Computing: Q&A - Meet Microsoft's new Azure CTO, Mark Russinovich

Grazed from PCWorld.  Author: Joab Jackson.

Earlier this month, Microsoft quietly appointed software architect Mark Russinovich as chief technology officer for its Azure cloud computing platform, formalizing a role he’s been executing for the past several years.  It was a smart appointment not the least because it may help ease any remaining concerns of system administrators reluctant to take on Microsoft’s cloud platform as part of their job duties. Among the Microsoft faithful, Russinovich has serious geek credibility. If Russinovich is behind the gears at Azure, it must be O.K.

Russinovich has long been one of the most popular speakers at Microsoft’s Build and TechEd technical conferences, thanks to his clear, cogent explanations of the company’s technologies. Russinovich joined the company in 2006, after Microsoft purchased his enterprise software company, Winternals Software, which offered a line of Windows repair tools that many found superior to Microsoft’s own...

SaaS software analyzer now offers on-prem version

Grazed from ITWorldCanada. Author: Howard Solomon.

Cloud computing is the latest hot technology, but a number of organizations still don’t think it’s completely safe for mission-critical or proprietary applications. That includes some of the biggest companies in the world, admits PaaSLane, a software as a service offering that scrutinizes and helps prepare code for the cloud.

So on Tuesday it will announce version 2.5 with local profiling, which enables source code to be analyzed on premise, uploading only its statistics for analysis into its cloud. It could be seen as a step backwards by PassLane, owned by Cloud Technology Partners of Boston, whose service went live in May. The idea is that large enterprises would upload their code for processing...

Cloud Computing: 4 Factors To Help You Better Understand Your Software Sales Prospects

Grazed from Business2Community.  Author: Emma Vas.

By now, you already know that your software sales process needs to look past the initial close and focus on long-term prospect relationships, and you’ve optimized your sales process and customer service follow-ups accordingly.  Yet, in order to realize more top-line growth, you need to not only delight current customers, but also better understand your prospective customers.

Once you understand their pains and problems, you’re able to offer them a deal that’s tailored to their needs – and one that’s easier to finalize.  Better understand your software sales prospects by studying the following four factors and fine-tuning your sales strategy accordingly:...