SaaS Implementation

Guide to effective SaaS implementation

The Vertice guide to effective software implementation, including benefits, step-by-step processes and SaaS implementation FAQs.

What is

SaaS Implementation

?

Software as a service (SaaS) implementation is the integration of a recently procured software application into a company’s existing workflow. The process can be complex and often requires technical support from the SaaS vendor in question.

Successfully implementing SaaS requires careful planning, an understanding of the company’s existing software stack, and how the new technology can integrate with it.

Effective SaaS adoption also depends on aligning the implementation roadmap with the company’s current business processes, expectations, objectives and timelines, while ensuring that stakeholders have the necessary tools required to use the new software.

The implementation of SaaS applications is therefore a collaborative process between the provider and the buyer. Representatives of the SaaS provider — typically in the form of an implementation team and headed by an account or project manager — will often work on-premises to set out the foundations for implementation success.

Establishing this foundation of customer support is vital to the onboarding process and the successful long-term roll-out of the new SaaS solution.

The benefits of effective SaaS implementation

The SaaS market continues to grow at an exponential rate as organizations look to streamline their business operations and improve scalability. For smaller companies taking their first tentative steps into the world of SaaS solutions, it can be tricky to know whether adapting to new systems and processes will help or hinder growth.

With this in mind, here are some of the benefits of effective SaaS implementation:

  • Improve your workflow – Adopting new SaaS tools is about resolving or improving functionality within your workflow. When software implementation is done well,business processes quickly become more streamlined. Platforms such as Monday.com are a good illustration of improvements to workflow, using automations to notify teams and individuals when content pieces have moved onto the next stage.
  • Improve productivity – When business processes improve, productivity does too.An effective way to think about the potential boon to productivity is to consider how bad implementation projects can cause the reverse: disgruntled team members,confused business objectives, and issues around data security can all be disastrous for productivity.
  • Improve security – Security measures such as integrations and data compliance are key tenets in the successful implementation of SaaS. The SaaS model relies on platform integrations and thereby positions security concerns at the heart of every implementation.
  • Empower your teams – After listening to their feedback and offering a solution to their frustrations, there’s a good chance your employees are a key reason behind the decision to purchase new technology. Positive SaaS implementation will have tangible benefits to their working day, especially if the SaaS implementation plan has been carefully researched and executed. Your team will feel more empowered and appreciative to have a leader delivering on their concerns.
  • Bring teams together – The right SaaS product implemented in the right way can align disparate business departments. If the solution sheds light on wider company workflows, business teams can develop a greater appreciation for the efforts and output of workers outside their usual visibility. At a more prosaic level, messaging applications like Slack have been designed solely to bring teams closer together.
  • Foster happier customers – Many SaaS products are designed to facilitate a clearer line of dialog between companies and their customers. Investing in the right customer relationship management (CRM) platform and then using it effectively, for example, should result in a more satisfied customer base.
  • Save money – When SaaS implementation has been well-researched, and the software targets a direct business requirement, your organization will cut costs by realizing some of the benefits listed here, particularly in terms of efficient workflows and increased productivity. Successful software implementation also lowers the churn rate and the need to invest and onboard again, making the process as cost-effective as possible.

SaaS implementation step by step

Whether you’re a startup or a large enterprise, best practices around implementing SaaS are more or less the same.

We’ve isolated the process into the following three stages:

Before you start

1. Talk to stakeholders

  • The best way to determine whether investment in new SaaS products is needed is to speak to end-users and ask for their opinion. You’ll probably have an idea already, but these conversations will help shape your new business model.

2. Research

  • Once you’ve decided on the kind of platform you need, research the vendors operating in that space to find the right one for your business needs. You might be surprised at how many there are — SaaS innovation is incredibly competitive, with new products constantly coming to market.
  • Select a software solution service provider that can play a hands-on role in the implementation process.

3. Outline KPIs

  • Outlining platform KPIs and the metrics through which those KPIs can be fairly judged is essential. Without this, it becomes difficult to determine the success of the project.
  • Establish dates for review with the software provider where performance can be measured against these KPIs.

4. Establish ownership

  • Determining which member of the organization has overall ownership of the solution and its goals will ensure targets and key dates are upheld.
  • Ownership also establishes the channel of contact throughout the organization.

During the process

1. Embrace the change

  • Change management personnel will help negotiate the interstitial period between the redundancy of the old system and the implementation of the new one, but the project as a whole will require full buy-in from all stakeholders to minimize disruption.

2. Use the support team

  • Effective SaaS implementation is considerably more challenging without utilizating the vendor’s support team. They’re there to help, so make sure you use this resource where it’s available.

3. Encourage and track software adoption

  • It might take some time before using the product becomes second nature to your team, so it’s important to encourage their use and to monitor it.
  • Many SaaS products have inherent tracking features — it should be possible to observe how usage patterns evolve and are influenced by encouragement.
  • This process will also help identify which team members require additional support.

Ongoing implementation management

1. Continuous improvement and optimization

  • Arriving at a software solution that works perfectly is only possible through constant monitoring of its performance.
  • Make sure you’re tracking the use and impact of the solution effectively and reporting on its function within your existing systems.
  • Meet regularly with the vendor’s representatives to discuss how the platform can be improved. Are there additional features you first overlooked that might now be useful? In a similar vein, are some features less helpful than you first thought? Does the platform have any upgrades we should know about? These are the kinds of conversations that should permeate post-implementation.

2. Identify business impact

  • Have there been any noticeable improvements to revenue, employee satisfaction or customer experience since implementation? If not, why not?
  • Comparing business impacts with KPIs will allow you to see whether vendor promises and commitments are being upheld.

3. Check in regularly

  • It can be easy to forget about software implementation a few months or years down the road, but remember to check-in regularly with your teams to make sure adoption remains high and the platform continues to serve its purpose.

Onboarding SaaS with the Vertice platform

When you procure SaaS products through the Vertice platform, you gain immediate access
to more transparent pricing. Our customer purchasing teams bring transactional records ofcontracts with other companies and leverage this data to negotiate the very best price on your behalf.

As part of this service level agreement, we also ensure that your organization receives all the onboarding support it requires throughout the product lifecycle.

Our platform then facilitates the smooth management of your entire SaaS portfolio, highlighting platform successes, areas for improvement, and upcoming dates for contract renewal, so that you have ample time to review and prepare.

For more information on how Vertice can support your organization’s software
implementations, visit our SaaS purchasing product page.

SaaS Implementation

FAQs

What does a SaaS implementation manager do?

A SaaS implementation manager is the person responsible for effective SaaS implementation, ensuring best practices are followed throughout the onboarding process.

What are the key challenges to consider during SaaS implementation?

Some of the key challenges of SaaS implementation include: establishing the markers of its success; managing the transition between old and new systems; and ensuring users are supported once the platform goes live.

How long does a SaaS implementation take?

The time it takes to implement SaaS products depends on the complexity of the software and how disruptive it is to existing business operations. Simple platforms can take just a few days or weeks to implement, while enterprise SaaS solutions can take months or even years to implement completely.

Further Reading

Related Explore Articles

Explore more SaaS vendors

Use Vertice to get the best pricing on any software your business needs, and save on annual renewals for your existing contracts.

MX
Holded
GitHub
RELAYTO
RemotePC
Carta
Bizible
CoderPad
Kudos
Nextiva
GFI Software
Hiver
Slido
Satori
Scale
MURAL
PhotoShelter
AppDirect
Automation Anywhere
BigTime Software
Zapier
Splunk
Neustar
Retool
Wix
ServiceTitan
Algolia
Authorize.Net
Adobe
Catalyst
Aviato