Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is entering its third phase of maturity. Phase one focused on enterprise applications that became platform products like Salesforce.com, NetSuite, and others. Phase two was about general point solutions, mostly for the small-to-medium sized business market like Pardot, Mailchimp, and Zendesk. Phase three is new vertical-specific SaaS applications as well as more specialized solutions that represent portions of more complicated products.
One way to think about it is that there is an application of record for each job function (that is, a product that people in that job function spend a large number of hours per week to perform their job). The application of record often feeds data into a more general platform (like Salesforce.com) such that data is made available to any other product that might need it. Here are a few examples of applications for job functions:
- SEO Marketer – Moz Pro
- Webinar Manager – ReadyTalk
- Sales Development Rep – SalesLoft Cadence
- Sales Manager – Rivalry
Disclosure – I’m an investor in SalesLoft and Rivalry.
Think about all the different job functions in a mid-sized company. Now, think about the SaaS applications currently used. What job functions currently use a generic solution, but would be better served by a more specialized solution? Look for more SaaS solutions to emerge that help run specific job functions.
What else? What are some more thoughts on one SaaS application of record per job function?