Solving the number-one blind spot in customer success


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By Matthew Klassen, Gainsight Head of Creative The promise at the heart of the SaaS business model has always been that by sacrificing relatively large one-time payments, you’d maximize revenue over the long-term lifetime of the customer. In four letters, the promise of the SaaS model is CLTV (Customer Lifetime Value). But baked into that promise is a catch: your revenue needs to actually recur in order to make servicing and supporting your customers worthwhile. That means operationalizing renewals are at absolute minimum equally important as new revenue. And besides blind luck, there’s only one way to meaningfully improve your retention rate: improving your customers’ outcomes and experiences.

The Customer Success Paradox

Customer success—the art and science of operationalizing those outcomes and experiences—has subsequently become one of the fastest growing professions around the world. But it’s not just a job, it’s a strategy. And that’s where too many SaaS leaders Continue reading "Solving the number-one blind spot in customer success"

Zendesk just hired three former Microsoft, Salesforce and Adobe execs


This post is by Ron Miller from SaaS – TechCrunch


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Today, Zendesk announced it has hired three new executives — Elisabeth Zornes, former general manager of global support for Microsoft Office, as Zendesk’s first chief customer officer; former Adobe executive Colleen Berube as chief information officer and former Salesforce executive Shawna Wolverton as senior vice president, product.

The company emphasized that the hirings were about expanding the executive suite and bringing in top people to help the company grow and move into larger enterprise organizations.

From left to right: Shawna Wolverton, Colleen Berube and Elizabeth Zornes

Zornes comes to Zendesk with 20 years of experience at Microsoft working in a variety of roles around Microsoft Office. She says that what attracted her to Zendesk was its focus on the customer. “When I look at businesses today, no matter what size, what type or what geography, they can agree on one thing: customer experience is the rocket fuel to drive success. Continue reading "Zendesk just hired three former Microsoft, Salesforce and Adobe execs"

Three Secrets to a Successful Acquisition


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By Dialpad CEO, Craig Walker, Dialpad Founder, and CEO An acquisition can make or break your startup. At worst, a disastrous deal leads to wasted wasted time and money, a startup’s two most precious resources. On the flip side, a strategic transaction can give a speed to market advantage over rivals or potentially let you run away with a new market. Take IBM’s recent purchase of RedHat to accelerate hybrid cloud adoption, or Salesforce’s acquisition of Mulesoft to coordinate, unlock, and integrate customer data better than any competitor. But the M&A landscape is also littered with examples of failures…Google and Nest, Yahoo and Tumblr, eBay and Skype. I could go on. As a former M&A attorney and serial SaaS founder myself, I’ve experienced acquisitions from every point of view. What I’ve learned is that true due diligence requires more than a scan through boxes of contracts and reviewing the balance Continue reading "Three Secrets to a Successful Acquisition"

BetterCloud can now manage any SaaS application


This post is by Ron Miller from SaaS – TechCrunch


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BetterCloud began life as a way to provide an operations layer for G Suite. More recently, after a platform overhaul, it began layering on a handful of other SaaS applications. Today, the company announced, it is now possible to add any SaaS application to its operations dashboard and monitor usage across applications via an API.

As founder and CEO David Politis explains, a tool like Okta provides a way to authenticate your SaaS app, but once an employee starts using it, BetterCloud gives you visibility into how it’s being used. “The first order problem was identity, the access, the connections. What we’re doing is we’re solving the second order problem, which is the interactions,” Politis explained. In his view, companies lack the ability to monitor and understand the interactions going on across SaaS applications, as people interact and share information, inside and outside the organization. BetterCloud has been designed Continue reading "BetterCloud can now manage any SaaS application"

SaaS stocks are coming back to life


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Nasdaq’s BVP Emerging Cloud Index measures the performance of a portfolio of 45 SaaS stocks. Like much of the tech world, and the stock market in general, the final quarter of 2018 was not terribly kind. The good news is that there are signs of life.

On November 19th, SaaS stocks had a noteworthy bad day. Everything was down, way down. As we reported, some examples included:
  • Salesforce was down 8.7 percent to $121.01.
  • Box was down 6.93 percent to $16.66
  • Workday was down 7.57 percent to $124.07
  • Twilio was down 13.76 percent to $76.90
All of these stocks are part of that Emerging Cloud Index. That day, the index hit $792.95. It would not be the lowest point of 2018. That came about a month later, on December 21st, when it plunged to $778.39. Jason Lemkin, managing director at Continue reading "SaaS stocks are coming back to life"

Vista snaps up Apptio for $1.94B, as enterprise companies remain hot


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It seems that Sunday has become a popular day to announce large deals involving enterprise companies. IBM announced the $34 billion Red Hat deal two weeks ago. SAP announced its intent to buy Qualtrics for $8 billion last night, and Vista Equity Partners got into the act too, announcing a deal to buy Apptio for $1.94 billion, representing a 53 percent premium for stockholders.

Vista paid $38 per share for Apptio, a Seattle company that helps companies manage and understand their cloud spending inside a hybrid IT environment that has assets on-prem and in the cloud. The company was founded in 2007 right as the cloud was beginning to take off, and grew as the cloud did. It recognized that companies would have trouble understanding their cloud assets alongside on-prem ones. It turned out to be a company in the right place at the right time with the right
Continue reading "Vista snaps up Apptio for $1.94B, as enterprise companies remain hot"

Seva snares $2.4M seed investment to find info across cloud services


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Seva, a New York City startup, that wants to help customers find content wherever it lives across SaaS products, announced a $2.4 million seed round today. Avalon Ventures led the round with participation from Studio VC and Datadog founder and CEO Olivier Pomel.

Company founder and CEO Sanjay Jain says that he started this company because he felt the frustration personally of having to hunt across different cloud services to find the information he was looking for. When he began researching the idea for the company, he found others who also complained about this fragmentation. “Our fundamental vision is to change the way that knowledge workers acquire the information they need to do their jobs from one where they have to spend a ton of time actually seeking it out to one where the Seva platform can prescribe the right information at the right time when and where
Continue reading "Seva snares $2.4M seed investment to find info across cloud services"

Celonis brings intelligent process automation software to cloud


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Celonis has been helping companies analyze and improve their internal processes using machine learning. Today the company announced it was providing that same solution as a cloud service with a few nifty improvements you won’t find on prem.

The new approach, called Celonis Intelligent Business Cloud, allows customers to analyze a workflow, find inefficiencies and offer improvements very quickly. Companies typically follow a workflow that has developed over time and very rarely think about why it developed the way it did, or how to fix it. If they do, it usually involves bringing in consultants to help. Celonis puts software and machine learning to bear on the problem. Co-founder and CEO Alexander Rinke says that his company deals with massive volumes of data and moving all of that to the cloud makes sense. “With Intelligent Business Cloud, we will unlock that [on prem data], bring it to the cloud in
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Why Blissfully decided to go all in on serverless


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Serverless has become a big buzzword of late, and with good reason. It has the potential to completely alter how developers write code. They can simply write a series of event triggers, while letting the cloud vendor worry about providing whatever amount of compute resources are required to complete the job. It represents a huge shift in how programs are developed, but it’s been difficult to find companies who were built from the ground up using this methodology because it’s fairly new. Blissfully, a startup that helps customers manage their Software as a Service usage inside their companies, is one company that decided to do just that. Aaron White, co-founder and CTO, says that when he was building early versions of Blissfully, he found he needed quick bursts of compute power to deliver a list of all the SaaS products an organization is using. He figured he could set Continue reading "Why Blissfully decided to go all in on serverless"

New Relic shifts with changing monitoring landscape


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New Relic CEO Lew Cirne was feeling a bit nostalgic last week when he called to discuss the announcements for the company’s FutureStack conference taking place tomorrow in San Francisco. It had been 10 years since he first spoke to TechCrunch about his monitoring tool. A lot has changed in a decade including what his company is monitoring these days. Cirne certainly recognizes that his company has come a long way since those first days. The monitoring world is going through a seismic shift as the ways we develop apps changes. His company needs to change with it to remain relevant in today’s market. In the early days, they monitored Ruby on Rails applications, but gone are the days of only monitoring a fixed virtual machine. Today companies are using containers and Kubernetes, and beyond that, serverless architecture. Each of these approaches brings challenges to a monitoring company like
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