Transformation of business: shift to the subscription economy

Software as a Service, a form of cloud computing service model of software users. SaaS subscription model: key features, market drivers and constraints. Impact of SaaS subscription services business in the economy and society in Russia and abroad.

Рубрика Маркетинг, реклама и торговля
Вид дипломная работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 23.10.2016
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Another expert, a representative of Mango Telecom Alexey Bessarabsky also admits the fact of migration companies to SaaS as it allows them optimize costs, which is of high significance in crisis. "In crisis due the weakness of the national currency, sanctions and other difficulties it is less available to buy complex IT solutions which also stimulates the transition to the cloud-based solutions. Thus, the crisis encourages companies to move to SaaS-model” (Lebedev, 2015).

There is a strong opinion that SaaS applications are more suitable for small and medium businesses and private users. But some experts assure that large companies are willing even more to update their business processes with “fashionable” solutions as they understand what benefits are obtained when working with automation systems. That is why SaaS systems which give the opportunity to add extra functionality to the existing infrastructure look attractive for them. The problem is that big business is used to work with large suppliers, but both of categories - big clients and big suppliers - frequently are hostages of old corporate infrastructures and run bulky technologies which are heavily invested and, thus, difficult to replace. While big companies still utilize “heavy”, expensive traditional infrastructures, the global trend of module infrastructure becomes more obvious for the “young” part of Russian IT community. In opinion of Sergey Sobin, a head of the Workaud project, "the paradigm of IT-technologies is changing". Rodion Repin, Managing Partner of Million Agents agrees that “time of 'ponderous' decision-making has passed; the world is moving towards more specific and easier solutions". Turnkey SaaS solutions attract consumers with its in-depth knowledge of business processes. Acquaintance with variety of services that developers offer can become a source of business optimization ideas for a potential customer (CNews Analytic, 2015).

So, young and creative SaaS developers who offer easy turnkey solutions based on deep understanding of modern business processes get more competitive advantages in winning big companies attention. Besides, young companies who chose SaaS technology as a prime service from the very beginning do not carry “burden of the past” and so do not need to rebuild their business models. They spend more time to learn and develop their best solutions.

At the same time, big IT companies who are turning now to SaaS subscription model have another advantage: they use their well-established reputation and client base to shift their software solutions from the On-Premise model to the subscription one. Commercial Director of "IT Grad" Stanislav Mril, whose company is rated among TOP 25 largest SaaS providers in Russia in 2015 points out that the most profitable strategy is to sell SaaS-products from well-known brands, which have already proven their efficiency as On-Premise software solutions: "A truly explosive growth in SaaS deals comes from selling services which are highly demanded as the "box" versions of the software products of leading players in the business market (Microsoft, 1C, CommVault, ServiceNow, etc.)" (Lebedev, 2015).

According to the ranking of the largest SaaS providers in Russia in 2015 conducted by CNews Analytics (Application 2), due to the peculiarities of Russian legislation one of the most demanded segments in SaaS is Tax Accounting Services (SKB Kontur took the first place with the reported revenue of 5.5 billion RUB). Among the leaders of SaaS solutions there are also services of electronic trading, which do not have their foreign counterparts (B2B company Center, which is engaged in the development of the electronic trading service, won the third place in ranking with 1,16 billion RUB revenue). The rest of the structure of SaaS the Russian market follows the trends of the global market, where the greatest demand is demonstrated for the customer relationships management systems (CRM). Among CRM products in the ranking there are presented Western leading systems by such brands as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, as well as the solutions of the domestic companies (1C, Megaplan, amoCRM). Another popular segment in the domestic SaaS market are communication and collaboration platforms, particularly, the Cloud Private Branch Exchange (PBX). There are two vendors in CNews SaaS ranking working in this field: they are Mango Telecom with revenue of 1.35 billion RUB (2nd place) and Telphin (318 million RUB, 7th place). "Now, a significant share of SaaS solutions belongs to the Tax Accounting Services. But experts also predict fast development of cloud-based solutions for remote collaboration and communication. The main factors contributing to this growth are the dynamic implementation of mobile devices, new formats of business with increasing amount of distant working employees, the need to take quick decisions and, as a result, real-time access to information from anywhere in the world”, says CEO of Telphin Marina Turina (Lebedev, 2015). The ranked members showed different dynamics of revenue. The turnover of the five participants has increased more than twice: amoCRM (+ 193%), Cloud4Y (+ 124%), "IT Grad" (+ 114%), "Business Projects" (+ 109%), "CIT Region" (+ 105%).

Project leader of Qsoft (amoCRM) Mikhail Tokovkin connects revenue growth with successful positioning in the rapidly growing niche: "Although CRM systems have already been around for a long time, many companies realize the value of working with leads and customer base just now. amoCRM is very precisely focused on this need and offers a simple and convenient solution".

A specialist of Cloud4y company Eugene Bessonov links the success of his company with a crisis and with the ability to adjust to the demands of the market at the right moment: "The reasons of the interest can be, firstly, the reduction of IT budgets, which cloud services are able to manage with, and, secondly, the desire to reduce the risks of "idle" equipment. In addition, the expansion of our business proposal up to 20 cloud services helped attract new customers and increase an average invoice of old clients".

Talking about small and medium business that often does not have capacity to deploy their own infrastructure, it seems logical that SaaS is the best solution for them. But SaaS developers note that small and medium business is a difficult audience. On the one hand, the current economic situation is challenging for small and medium companies. "In a crisis, entrepreneurs are not confident in the future, the ability to manage without great investments in IT infrastructure is especially attractive", says Sergey Maksimenko, CEO of GC "System Technology". The limited budgets and the need for fast and powerful solutions make SaaS technology a natural remedy for those who look for speed and flexibility. SaaS applications are available at a price, they can be quickly installed and connected, and they address specific business problems and give immediate tangible results. Consumers may not have their own IT professionals, and, actually, they do not need it. All expenses are included into subscription price. But on the other hand, there is still not enough knowledge, a basic understanding how to use the solution, how simple and accessible it is.

However, over the past few years, small and medium business has made a big step forward. In the research Global and Russian SaaS-Solutions Markets in B2B Segment (Consulting, J'son & Partners, 2015) there was made a forecast that “Russian SaaS market in the small business segment will reach 28 bln RUB by 2016. Currently, the growth rates of SaaS market overstep the global rates, according to the estimations of different analytical agencies” (Application 3).

Consumers are changing their attitudes and suppliers, in their turn, are trying to optimize their proposals for small companies' needs. Thus, for instance, amoCRM company offers CRM package for small businesses for about 5000 RUB per month; for single users, it is possible “to get a place in the cloud” in the accounting application for 500 RUB per month. The increased activity of small businesses helps develop the technology. "Small and medium business is more demanding: the service as well as the interface is very carefully evaluated, and the feedback comes back quickly", Sergey Maksimenko says. Developers have to prepare high-quality, understandable solutions so that all kind of unexperienced users could implement them in their business processes.

Currently, Russian SaaS providers sometimes still offer two different options of payment for their software products. One of them is a traditional single payment for On-Premise deployment with perpetual rights over software and another one is a subscription model requiring recurring payments. This tendency demonstrates the fact that not all the consumers yet are ready to use subscription as the only way of acquiring software (excluding solutions which were designed as subscriptions from the very beginning). In contrast, foreign SaaS providers commonly employ just only the subscription model, even if their product was delivered On-Premise in the past (like it was with Adobe, Microsoft Office, SAP, Autodesk). Adobe can be the brightest example of a company who made this shift not without difficulties connected with changing consumers thinking about subscriptions. In 2011 the company announced its intention to shift from being a company that sells software to one that rents it out. For the next three years, the reaction of their clients was more than furious: from $833 million in revenue in 2011 the company dropped down to $268 million in 2014. Even while they were continuing to fall in their earnings, in 2013 Adobe announced that there would be no newer releases of its perpetual Creative Suite. But over the few next years their income finally has started growing again, and to end 2015 they expected to come with $3 billion in annual recurring revenue and with approximately 5.9 million subscribers. But the point of success of this story was value nurturing - giving consumers not the same product but under different payment model but bringing value to their new experience: “The key was not just transforming the price and how people paid us. We needed a product that was materially different, a whole new product”, admitted Mark Garrett, Adobe's CFO (McCann, 2015).

This example shows that subscription is not always the customer's preferred model. For many customers the traditional license model is still relevant, and in spite of the increasing popularity of the subscription approaches it will continue to be so especially when speaking about such developing markets as the Russian one.

Summing up, it is possible to claim that SaaS market is the largest segment on the cloud services market in general, and the interest to use such type of cloud solutions is constantly increasing in Russia due to the opportunity to reduce the capital costs by replacing them on operational. One of the central factor that can deter the choice of SaaS is mistrust to information security of stored data connected with inertia of thinking rather than with real situation.

2.3 Predicted impact of SaaS subscription model on the Russian business landscape

New digital solutions expansion over the globe is a fast developing trend and SaaS is believed to be a driving force behind this digitalization. We use SaaS far more often than we think. SaaS solutions are all around persistently convincing us in their convenience, simplicity and efficiency. As SaaS Addict writer Omri Erel says, “SaaS will be everything and everywhere, in a way that allows us to share information, intelligence, insights and opinions at all times.” (Harvey, 2016)

The intimacy between SaaS companies and their customers has increased after the fast rise of the subscription economy. The subscription economy turns relationships of companies with customers into more direct, responsive, complex and multi-channel. Customers become certainly a key part of this relationships and companies rather than spotlighting product itself or transaction as a central point of their business, should live with the idea how bring value to customers. The main focus in the formula for growth should be on monetizing long-term relationships instead of shipping products.

Accepting all above as a fundamental base of the SaaS subscription model, we can consider the impact of SaaS on Russian business landscape from two perspectives: this can be impact on companies who are clients of SaaS providers, and on SaaS providers as they are representatives of business landscape as well.

Thus, the predictable consequences of wide use of SaaS solutions can lead to a scenario where companies become more focused on their own business specialization and so the efficiency of their work increases as more time is dedicated to specific business tasks. This common productivity grow will healthfully influence Russian economy in general bringing more professional services in all kind of industries.

Besides, SMB companies which do not have enough industrial resources and finances to complete different tasks not predominant for their business, putting a part of their responsibility on SaaS providers, finally, get equal opportunities on the market to become competitively attractive in their niche as they use help of professionals with huge experience when working on their projects.

Looking from a SaaS companies' perspective, the possible impact of implementing the SaaS subscription model into their business is vastly big. First of all, as it was reported in the various researches used in our paper, the pace of growth of Russian SaaS market is increasing and estimated to be around 25% in 2015-2018 despite the fact that Russian IT industry is suffering from crises. That means that SaaS solutions will only grow in their attractiveness gaining the biggest share among cloud services and becoming highly popular than ever before. One of the reason of this rapid grow can be “fast” channels of communication which are indispensable part of the subscription model. Being so close to clients feedback motivates providers to develop and update their software quicker, better and further in order to keep their customers satisfied and renewing their subscriptions. This positive influence of new communication standards which force providers improve their services encourages high-speed progress of Russian SaaS market in general.

Secondly, SaaS companies worldwide, and particularly in Russia, are gaining reputation of an expert community: their experience is based on countless cases of improving business efficiency, they conduct diverse researches and collect extensive library of analytic data which help them provide better solutions for businesses of any industry. Moreover, they use these analytics not just to develop their own solutions, but also to share their wide experience with their audience in their blogs, forums, webinars. Some SaaS companies offer educational courses prepared by their experts, arrange presentations and workshops for partner universities and business organizations. Partly, it is a result of the value nurturing approach which suggests that clients do not want just to get a product, they want to get some value when they acquire this product, and new knowledge is a kind of universal value which SaaS companies bring to society (Janzer, 2015). Thus, SaaS companies can be considered as a source of highly useful information with their reliable data and practical tips.

A possible negative consequence of the universal penetration of SaaS subscription applications to solve business tasks is about reaching the saturation point when there will be too many online subscriptions which will be hard to manage. But in Russia the trend of applying SaaS solutions into business workflow is just rising and it is too early to anticipate this downturn.

Chapter 3. Real scenarios of SaaS infrastructures and applications

3.1 SaaS Subscription businesses: comparison of foreign and Russian cases

Now, since the basic principles and key features of the SaaS subscription models are explored, and strong and weak sides of this phenomenon in the contest of the Russian business landscape are found out, the empirical study of the real SaaS infrastructures and applications scenarios should be conducted to approbate the theoretical theses of this research.

In the empirical part of the paper we use the case study method to provide a three-stage research. This method is applied to reconstruct the cases of implementation the SaaS subscription model in Russian and foreign software companies by collecting detailed descriptive data qualitative in nature.

The flow of the case study

First stage. Preparation

In the first part of the research, we made a choice of 16 SaaS applications based on the following restrictions:

1) The selection includes 8 Russian SaaS applications with the subscription business model;

2) The selection includes 8 foreign SaaS applications with the subscription business model;

3) The selection is random and includes applications by companies of different size, degree of popularity, and market share;

4) The selection is restricted with the applications with corporate clients which employ these solutions for business purposes (B2B segmentation);

5) The chosen applications have 3 and more reviews each published in the leading business software review platforms.

For this purpose, we used the next leading business software review platforms:

1) G2Growd - “the world's leading business software review platform, leveraging its 70,000+ user reviews read by nearly 600,000 software buyers” (G2Growd);

2) GetApp - “the leading premium business app discovery platform on the web. The site focuses on profiling established business apps -- mostly software as a service (SaaS) -- targeting an audience of small and medium-sized businesses and business buyers from enterprise departments” (Nubera);

3) StartPack - “Comparison system for cloud services performance and reviews, which helps find cloud integrators with specified criteria” (StartPack).

As a result, we pointed out the next companies for our case study:

Russian applications

Foreign applications

Solution

Category

Solution

Category

Kontur Elba

Accounting

Xero

Accounting

CRM Simple business

Business management system

Zoho CRM

Business management system

Megaplan

Business management system

Basecamp

Business management system

Bitrix24

Collaboration&Productivity

Wrike

Collaboration&Productivity

Worksection

Collaboration&Productivity

Evernote

Content&Document managemnt

Mango Office

Business communications

Aircall

Business communications

PlanFix

Temwork management

Microsoft Office 365

Office suits

amoCRM

CRM and transactions system

Adobe Creative Cloud

Digital media

The next step of the research was to define characteristics relying on which we could collect qualitative data and describe the chosen solutions within unified systematic approach. With this aim, we have compiled a set of features that illustrated the applications from the communication perspective: these features represented how applications involve clients into communication processes, how they support relations, which channels of communication they take advantage of and others. These set of features was based on the deep analysis of the reviews left by clients on the G2Growd, GetApp and StartPack review platforms. We observed a vast range of both positive and negative feedback (Application 5) and selected the points of view related to the issue and of the highest concern for clients. Consequently, there was designed the following original worksheet:

1) SaaS Solution;

2) Category;

3) Business model;

4) Key idea;

5) Landing Page (Official Site):

· Simplicity;

· Usability;

· Utility;

6) Call to action button;

7) Service Features;

8) Promotions;

9) Compliance with law;

10) Security and privacy;

11) Data backup;

12) Team support: communication channels;

13) Social accounts;

14) Help Desk;

15) Partnership programs;

16) Online payment;

17) Mobile app;

18) Integration with popular cloud services and applications;

19) User interface;

20) Installation and customization;

21) Crossplatform solution;

22) Trial access;

23) Free access with limited options;

24) Gamification;

25) Additional extensions (applications);

26) English language;

27) Company ideology.

All companies' profiles are available at Application 4

Second Stage. Trends analysis

The main aim of the second stage of our research was to analyze gathered data and pick out the most significant trends. To assist this process, we introduced measurement scales for each feature and counted quantitative data where it was possible. All the information was examined from three dimensions: they are “Russian cases”, “Foreign cases” and “Total”.

First, we examined the clients' feedback from the leading business software review platforms (G2Growd, GetApp, StartPack). As a result, the following trends were differentiated:

1) Clients put high expectation on the Customer Support service of the SaaS applications: the most appreciated characteristics are quick expert help, efficiency of responds and client oriented individual approach;

2) Clients value the service security;

3) Clients want applications being easy to understand, to install and customize;

4) Correct ideology earns big attention;

5) Convenience of an application should go along with simplicity and wide set of features;

6) Design of application matters as well as intuitive operation interface;

7) Mobile version is a strongly desirable option;

8) Regular updates should happen regularly but without disturbing clients from business workflow;

9) An application is expected to be flexible to fit any needs;

10) Clients read corporate blogs and Knowledge Base of SaaS providers looking for educational tips how to operate the system;

11) The product is expected to be cost-effective;

12) Clients value most of all that applications make their life easier and more professional, and help bring a team together.

13) Clients want their applications being integrated with many other useful cloud solutions;

14) The idea of paying a monthly cost and always having the most up-to-date software as opposed to paying a large up seems attractive to most of users.

As we can see, the trends above prove the theoretical aspects of SaaS subscription model covered in our research in the Chapter 2.

Secondly, we studied the data from companies' worksheets designed at the first stage of our research and pulled out the next tendencies which companies demonstrate:

1) Foreign companies typically stop employing On-Premise model for selling their solutions, using the subscription model as the only way to deliver their SaaS solutions; in contrast, one third of the Russian software companies are still using On-Premise strategy together with the subscription model (Application 6, table 1);

2) Among Russian companies it is typical to use monthly subscription model whereas foreign companies offer their clients both monthly and annual subscription plans (Application 6, table 2);

3) Foreign SaaS providers put more attention on making their sites both simple and useful for their clients: all the indicators - usability, simplicity, utility - gained more scores comparing to the same parameters of the sites of the Russian providers, yet not much more (Application 6, table 3);

4) Among top-5 most useable means of communication of the Customer Support service with clients can me listed such options (from the most popular to the less one) as email support, blog, online consultancy, phone support, and user community help (Application 6, table 4);

5) All the companies - both Russian and foreign - have Help Desk service in their platforms to educate their clients and share knowledge. They most common educational formats (from the most popular to the less one) are videos / demo tours, FAQ-tutorial, webinars, knowledge base and user's guideline. Foreign companies include into their Help Desk more often knowledge base and video, comparing to Russian companies whereas Russian SaaS providers more frequently offer training courses, workshops and webinars (Application 6, table 5);

6) Analyzing social activity of the companies, it can be noticed that all the companies are active enough in social media; Russian companies usually use 3-4 social accounts, foreign companies - 5-6 accounts. Absolutely popular social net among companies is Facebook. Foreign providers also use much LinkedIn, Twitter and Youtube, the Russian - Vkontakte, Twitter and Youtube (Application 6, tables 6, 7);

7) Most of the SaaS companies have partnership programs (Application 6, table 8);

8) Several features tend to absolute expression: all the companies are integrated with online payment systems, are compliant with law, have privacy policy and use HTTPS protocol, multifactor authentication and automatic backup at several servers to secure and protect data (Application 6, tables 9,10);

9) All the foreign providers offer mobile version of their solutions while more than half of Russian companies still do not have such option (Application 6, table 11);

10) The majority of the SaaS providers have user-friendly interface (Application 6, table 12);

11) It is more typical for Russian SaaS companies to offer promotions to stimulate clients to subscribe than for foreign providers (Application 6, table 13);

12) The majority of the SaaS providers have simple installation and customization (Application 6, table 14);

13) SaaS providers more commonly offer 30-day trial access with (Application 6, table 15);

14) Free access with limited options is more typical for Russian companies rather than for foreign providers (Application 6, table 16);

15) The majority of the SaaS providers do not use gamification inside their applications (Application 6, table 17);

16) The majority of the SaaS providers have additional extensions and applications compatible to integrate with their solutions (Application 6, table 18);

17) Only half of Russian SaaS solutions have English version of their platform (Application 6, table 19);

18) All the examined foreign companies have strong corporate ideology comparing with less than a half of Russian companies which have it (Application 6, table 20).

Summing up all the discovered trends, we can make the resulting conclusions:

3.2 Success strategies to attract and retain subscribers

What is customer success? Many sellers stop after completing customer acquisition, but this is just the beginning of the whole process. Our strong belief based on the results of the conducted research is that attracting customers and turning them into subscribers is a complex strategy involving many fundamental insights. Finding and applying these insights into business can improve business efficiency and bring more value to customer experience.

According to our new combined database and defined trends, as well as using theoretical background of this paper, we can suggest our own strategies for SaaS subscription based companies which are intended to help attract and retain customers, turning them into subscribers.

Thus, the following 5 strategies will be the beginning of creating long-term relations with customers in the SaaS subscription based business. These strategies reflect the main philosophy of the SaaS subscription industry that we can also formulate now after conducting the research:

“Subscription is about giving, not about taking. To make people subscribe, SaaS solution should give clients a feeling that they will pay less and earn.To make people stay for a long time, SaaS solution should become a source of endless value which could not be measured by money.”

Hence, here are the strategies:

1. Found your business on correct ideology

All foreign cases studied in this paper demonstrated a high level of corporate ideology which also gained a big appreciation among their clients. Customers are more interested in communicating with a company which does not insist on purchase but offer to give its service a try to see how it can change your life. With this aim a trial option and free access with limited options should be offered to clients so that they could decide before subscribing weather you are really a solution of their problems. Correct ideology also includes educational aspect which was coverd above.

2. Support your customers

One of the most urge problems faced while examening Russian SaaS providers was a lack of customer support. The most negative feedback gathered from Russian users concerns inefficient and slow responds. We suggest that each SaaS company needs to have its own Customer Support service with at least 5 channels of communication so that users could easily approach a support team. This can be email support, blog, online consultancy, phone support, and user community help. Besides, staying in touch with customers in social media is highly demanded: this is the shortest way to share your professional help and experience. A huge attention should be put on educating consultants to make their service professional and reliable. Support should go beyond data and empathizing with the situation your customers are in. This also includes keeping an eye on feedback and responding to complaints to show customers that you listen to them and are eager to help.

3. Become an expert and educate your customers

New practical knowledge is a kind of universal value that people appreciate a lot, especially, if it helps improve their life. SaaS providers who offer vast libraries of useful information attract attention of their potential clients which can become subscribers if they value this particular SaaS company as a source of reliable information. For this aim, the most popular educational formats - such as video, knowledge base, webinars, workshops - can be employed.

4. Constantly widen your business proposal

Customers are looking for simple solutions of their complicated problems. SaaS applications which can combine both being simple and have wide set of useful features are on their way to success. It means not only upgrading an application with various features, but be able to offer new extensions and solutions within interest of your target audience. Once clients used and liked your application, they will be more loyal to try new solution.

5. Do not be afraid to work with big clients though you are a small SaaS provider

In our case study companies of different size participated and as we found out, their efficiency and attractiveness for clients was not defined by their status, reputation and size. People put attention on more specific features when evaluating their experience which help them improve their life. Moreover, big companies appreciate flexibility of small providers, their more individual approach to solve particular problems and smaller price. If your company can bring value to their business and, with that, cut their costs, then big clients will be more than willing to stay your subscriber.

There are plenty of other insights on managing customer success, but these five strategies are fundamental to build long-term relations with clients.

software subscription service business market

Conclusion

SaaS subscription model is a perspective field for Russian business landscape. It offers a lot of opportunities for both customers and SaaS providers as we saw in our research. We proved that subscription model is a phenomenon of increasing demand in Russia connected with a specific economic situation in our country. We picked out multitude advantages of this model, and in a conclusion, we can say that our hypothesis was proved. The subscription model, applied in a software company, really suits better clients' needs, especially, in conditions of limited resources.

While preparing our research, we achieved all the tasks which were formulated in the beginning. The main result of our paper became derived 5 particular strategies of attracting and retaining subscribers of SaaS platforms with the subscription business model. These 5 strategies are based on the deep analysis of 16 Russian and foreign cases of implementing SaaS subscription model into business.

Finally, coming back to our research question “Will shifting from the traditional licensed model to the subscription model in the software business help attract new customers and turn old clients into subscribers?” we can definitely give a positive answer.

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36. Ramakrishnan, M. (2014, December 10). Five Ways Evernote Rocks the SaaS Freemium Business. Retrieved May 8, 2016

37. Rappa, M. (2008). Business models on the Web. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from Digital Enterprise

38. Shanahan, M. (n.d.). The New Discipline in the Subscription Economy: Recurring Revenue Management. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from Scout Analytics: http://research.scoutanalytics.com/subscriptions/the-new-discipline-in-the-subscription-economy-recurring-revenue-management/

39. Sheldon, P.&Varon, L. (2015). The Forrester Wave™: Subscription Billing Platforms, Q4 2015 (Rep.). Retrieved April 3, 2016

40. Singleton, D. (2011, July). What is SaaS? 10 Frequently Asked Questions About Software as a Service. Retrieved April 6, 2016

41. Sloat, T. (2015). An introduction to subscription finance. Retrieved April 5, 2016

42. StartPack. (n.d.). Startpack. Retrieved May 2016

43. Taei, P. (2015). How big is the subscription economy. Retrieved May 5, 2016

44. Teece, D. J. (2010). Business models, business strategy and innovation. Long Range Planning(43), 42.

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51. Whitler, K.A. (2016, January 19). How The Subscription Economy Is Disrupting The Traditional Business Model. Retrieved May 5, 2016

Application 1

Basic Cloud Computing structure

Resource: Bible of Cloud Computing

Application 2

CNews Analytics: The largest SaaS providers in Russia in 2015

Company

City

Revenue from the providing SaaS services in 2014, thousand rubles

Revenue from the providing SaaS services in 2013, thousand rubles

Revenue growth 2014/2013 in %

The number of registered users of SaaS

Amount of commercial users

The share of commercial users

1

СКБ Контур

Ekaterinburg

5500000

4 477000

23%

1 125 000

н/д

н/д

2

Манго Телеком

Moscow

1350000

930 000

45%

более 250000

более 250000

100%

3

B2B-Center

Moscow

1155842

1056 611

9%

237 902

237 902

100%

4

Softline

Moscow

993 993

764 610

30%

н/д

н/д

н/д

5

Барс Груп

Kazan

910 000

880 000

3%

н/д

н/д

н/д

6

Корус Консалтинг СНГ

St. Petersburg

602 825

456 435

32%

268 200

264 800

99%

7

Телфин

St. Petersburg

317 900

270 400

18%

109 500

109 500

100%

8

Cloud4Y

Moscow

282 240

126 000

124%

2 480

2 232

90%

9

МойСклад*

Moscow

265 000

150 000

77%

н/д

н/д

н/д

10

Ай-Теко

Moscow

231 839

224 200

3%

н/д

н/д

н/д

11

Мегаплан

Moscow

150 364

104 334

44%

40 851

21 243

52%

12

ИТ-Град

St. Petersburg

113 420

53 000

114%

7 250

7 250

100%

13

amoCRM (Qsoft)

Moscow

85 000

29 000

193%

250 000

7 500

3%

14

Инфосистемы Джет

Moscow

66 665

40 119

66%

н/д

н/д

н/д

15

InSales

Moscow

62 000

45 000

38%

150 000

н/д

н/д

16

Стек Софт

Moscow

38 000

34 000

12%

55

55

100%

17

Крок

Moscow

22 425

81 316

-72%

100

100

100%

18

Teachbase

Moscow

22 000

16 000

38%

60 000

45 000

75%

19

РосБизнесСофт

Moscow

17 905

11 121

61%

1 600

1 600

100%

20

Ланкей

Moscow

17 634

9 158

93%

3 831

3 831

100%

21

Бизнес Проекты

Moscow

16 969

8 130

109%

58 327

58 327

100%

22

BSTelecom (Бизнес Система Телехаус)

Moscow

15 600

12 000

30%

190

190

100%

23

Офис24

St. Petersburg

15 000

20 000

-25%

1 650

1 650

100%

24

ЦИТ Регион

Moscow

14 410

7 028

105%

150

150

100%

25

Наумен

Moscow

12 500

6 000

108%

10 000

1 200

12%

Resource News Analytics, 2015

Application 3

Resource: Global and Russian SaaS-Solutions Markets in B2B Segment research by J'son&Partners Consulting, 2015

Application 4

SaaS Solution

Kontur Elba

CRM Simple business

Category

Accounting

Unified cloud service for CRM

Business model

1.Subscription billing:

* Basic

* Business

* Premium

Annual payment

2.On-Premise

Customer Type:

* Small Business

* Medium Business

1. Subscription billing:

* Professional

* VIP

Monthly payment.

2.On-Premise

Customer Types:

* Small Business

* Large Enterprises

* Medium Business

Key idea

Online accounting for small business directors without accounting knowledge

Bring value to clients' businesses by making CRM an easy and understandable process

Landing Page (Official Site):

https://kontur.ru/elba

prostoy.ru

Simplicity

5/5

5/5

Usability

5/5

5/5

Utility

5/5

5/5

Call to action button

Yes

Yes

Service Features

Promotions

Yes

Yes

Compliance with law

Yes

Yes

Security and privacy

Use of HTTPS protocol, privacy policy

Multifactor authentication

Use of HTTPS protocol, privacy policy

Multifactor authentication

Data backup

No

Backup in multiple locations

Team support: communication channels

Phone support

Email support

Online consultancy, feedback form

Diagnostic service

Blog

Phone support

Email support

Online consultancy, feedback form

Blog

Social accounts

Facebook, Youtube, Vkontakte

Facebook, Youtube, Vkontakte, Twitter, Odnoklassniky

Help Desk

videos, podcasts, webinars, FAQ-tutorial

FAQ-tutorial

Partnership programs

Yes

Yes

Online payment

Yes

Yes

Mobile app

No

Yes

Integration with popular cloud services and applications

No

No

User interface

Friendly

Friendly

installation and cuztomization

Simple

Simple

Crossplatform solution

Yes

Yes

Trial access

30 days free

30 days free

Free access with limited options

No

Yes

gamification

No

No

Additional extensions (applications)

Yes

No

English language

No

No

Company ideology

Yes

No

SaaS Solution

Mango Office

Bitrix24

Category

Business communications

Business collaborative tool

Business model

Subscription billing:

* Basic

* Classic

* Advanced

Montly payment

Customer Type:

* Small Business

* Medium Business

* Large Enterprises

Subscription billing:

* Plus

* Standart

* Professional

Montly payment

2. On-Premise

Customer Type:

* Small Business

* Medium Business

* Large Enterprises

Key idea

Help businesses establish a telephone connection

"Bitrix24 is a complete suite of social collaboration, communication and management tools for a team"

Landing Page (Official Site):

mango-office.ru

bitrix24.com

Simplicity

3/5

5/5

Usability

4/5

5/5

Utility

4/5

5/5

Call to action button

Yes

Yes

Service Features

Promotions

Yes

Yes

Compliance with law

Yes

Yes

Security and privacy

Use of HTTPS protocol, privacy policy

Multifactor authentication

Use of HTTPS protocol, privacy policy

Multifactor authentication

Data backup

No

Backup in multiple locations

Team support: communication channels

Phone support

Email support

Online consultancy, feedback form

Phone support

Email support

Online consultancy

Diagnostic service

Blog

Forum

Social accounts

Facebook, Youtube, Vkontakte

Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn

Help Desk

videos, podcasts, webinars, FAQ-tutorial, user's guidline

videos, training course, FAQ, webinars

Partnership programs

No

Yes

Online payment

Yes

Yes

Mobile app

No

Yes

Integration with popular cloud services and applications

Integration with CRM

Integration with Google Disk and Google apps

User interface

Friendly

Not-Friendly

installation and cuztomization

Simple

Hard

Crossplatform solution

Yes

Yes

Trial access

No

No

Free access with limited options

No

Yes

gamification

No

Yes

Additional extensions (applications)

No

Yes

English language

No

Yes

Company ideology

No

No

SaaS Solution

amoCRM

Megaplan

Category

CRM and transactions system

Business Management System

Business model

1.Subscription billing:

* Basic

* Advanced

* Professional

Montly payment

2. On-Premise

Customer Type:

* Small Business

* Medium Business

1.Subscription billing:

* Tasks

* Sales

* Business

Montly payment

2. On-Premise

Customer Type:

* Small Business

* Medium Business

Key idea

Simplify CRM processes

Control workflow. Take care of customers and finance.

Landing Page (Official Site):

amocrm.ru

megaplan.ru

Simplicity

4/5

3/5

Usability

3/5

2/5

Utility

3/5

4/5

Call to action button

Yes

Yes

Service Features

Promotions

No

No

Compliance with law

Yes

Yes

Security and privacy

Use of HTTPS protocol

Multifactor authentication

Use of HTTPS protocol

Multifactor authentication

Data backup

Backup in multiple locations

Backup in multiple locations

Team support: communication channels

Phone support

Email support

Phone support

Email support

Blog

Open Day

Online presentations days

Social accounts

Facebook, Youtube, Vkontakte, Twitter

Facebook, Vkontakte

Help Desk

User's guidline

videos, webinars, knowledge base, corporate courses, workshops

Partnership programs

Yes

Yes

Online payment

Yes

Yes

Mobile app

No

No

Integration with popular cloud services and applications

Integration with side widgets

Integration with 7 SaaS apps

User interface

Friendly

Not-Friendly

installation and cuztomization

Simple

Simple

Crossplatform solution

Yes

Yes

Trial access

14 days

14 days

Free access with limited options

No

No

gamification

No

No

Additional extensions (applications)

Yes

Yes

English language

No

Yes

Company ideology

No

No

SaaS Solution

PlanFix

Worksection

Category

Teamwork management

Collaboration&Productivity

Business model

Subscription billing:

* Team

* Community

* Studio

* Company Corporation

Monthly payment

Customer Types:

* Small Business

* Medium

* Business

* Project group

* Community

* Large enterprises

Subscription billing:

* Individual

* Optimal

* Corporate

* Premium

Monthly payment

Customer Types:

* Small Business

* Medium

Key idea

Give customers a chance to experience a new system without insisting on using it

It simplifies control, unloads the head, saves your time and protects nerve cells.

Landing Page (Official Site):

planfix.ru

worksection.com

Simplicity

5/5

5/5

Usability

5/5

5/5

Utility

5/5

5/5

Call to action button

Yes

Yes

Service Features

Promotions

No

Yes

Compliance with law

Yes

Yes

Security and privacy

Use of HTTPS protocol, privacy policy

Multifactor authentication

Use of HTTPS protocol, privacy policy

Multifactor authentication

Data backup

Backup in multiple locations

Backup in multiple locations

Team support: communication channels

Email support

Online consultancy

Diagnostic service

Blog

Forum

Phone support

Email support

Feedback form

Blog

Social accounts

Facebook, Vkontakte, Twitter

Facebook, Twitter, Google+

Help Desk

No

User's guidline

Partnership programs

Yes

Yes

Online payment

Yes

Yes

Mobile app

No

Yes

Integration with popular cloud services and applications

Integration with 8 SaaS apps

Integration with Google Disk and Google apps

User interface

Friendly

Friendly

installation and cuztomization

Simple

Simple

Crossplatform solution

Yes

Yes

Trial access

30 days

30 days

Free access with limited options

Yes

Yes

gamification

No

No

Additional extensions (applications)

Yes

Yes

English language

Yes

Yes

Company ideology

Yes

No

SaaS Solution

Adobe Creative Cloud

Microsoft Office 365

Category

Digital media

Office suits

Business model

Subscription billing (shifted from On-Premise model)

For Business:

* Purchase from local retailers

For Individuals:

* Photography

* Single App

* All Apps

For Students and Teachers:

* Photography

* All Apps -- Special Offer

Monthly/annual payment

Customer Types:

* Small Business

* Medium Business

* Freelancers

* Students&Teachers

* Individual users

Subscription billing (shifted from On-Premise model)

For Business:

* Business Essentials

* Business

* Business Premium

For home:

* Home

* Personal

* Home&Student2016

Monthly/annual payment

Customer Types:

* Small Business

* Medium Business

* Large Enterprises

* Freelancers

* Academic institutions

* Non Profits

* Public Administrations

Key idea

"A whole new experience for digital media creation, enabling you to work lightning fast"

Office when and where you need it. Work anywhere, anytime, on any device. Office 365 is ready when you are.

Landing Page (Official Site):

http://www.adobe.com/

https://products.office.com/

Simplicity

5/5

5/5

Usability

5/5

5/5

Utility

5/5

5/5

Call to action button

Yes

Yes

Service Features

Promotions

Yes

Yes

Compliance with law

Yes

Yes

Security and privacy

Use of HTTPS protocol, privacy policy

Multifactor authentication

Use of HTTPS protocol, privacy policy

Multifactor authentication

Data backup

Backup in multiple locations

Backup in multiple locations

Team support: communication channels

Phone support

Email support

Online consultancy, feedback form

User community

Blog

Phone support

Email support

Online consultancy, feedback form

Diagnostic service

Blog

Social accounts

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn

Help Desk

FAQs, Video Tutorials, User's guideline, Knowledge base

FAQs, Video Tutorials, User's guideline, Knowledge base

Partnership programs

Yes

Yes

Online payment

Yes

Yes

Mobile app

Yes

Yes

Integration with popular cloud services and applications

More than 30 apps

Yes

User interface

Friendly

Friendly

installation and cuztomization

Hard

Simple

Crossplatform solution

Yes

Yes

Trial access

30 days free

30 days free

Free access with limited options

No

No

gamification

No

No

Additional extensions (applications)

Yes

Yes

English language

Yes

Yes

Company ideology

Yes

Yes

SaaS Solution

Basecamp

Evernote

Category

Project management and collaboration tool

Content&Document managemnt

Business model

Subscription billing:

* Internal team

* Work with clients

* Enterprise

Montly /annual payment

Customer Type:

* Small Business

* Medium Business

* Large enterprise

* Project groups

Subscription billing:

* Basic

* Premium

* Business

Annual payment

Customer Type:

Small Business

* Medium Business

* Large Enterprises

* Private users

Key idea


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