Monday, November 21, 2016

No More User Management Mess?

SaaS is great.  No more having to worry about buying, configuring, deploying and maintaining software on premise, no more vendor lock-ins (in theory), no more waiting for years to get new functionality deployed.  Great!  Not everything is perfect however.  One of the nasty side effects of transition to SaaS is that each SaaS platform implements its own user management.  If you only use one SaaS service, that might be manageable, however as the number of SaaS services expands, managing user accounts across all these services (not to mention not having a single way to enforce login policies) becomes a major nightmare.

The good news is that a new crop of Cloud-based Identity Providers has come up to solve the problem.  They range from Microsoft Azure Directory Services, to  Amazon's version, to Okta which extends the enterprise Active Directory (or other LDAP services) to the cloud, to One Login, which bills itself as an SSO for SaaS.  It's exciting to watch this non-trivial problem being solved in creative and innovative ways.

A service that we've been working on (*association disclaimer) aims to not only provide SSO for SaaS, but also to unify the authentication policies across all SaaS services, as well as help finance folks manage the seat-based cost of SaaS is KoalaSSO.  Sign up for Beta if you are considering moving your IDP infrastructure into the cloud and/or facing the user management across SaaS challenge.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

The Cost of Running Business on SaaS

Have you ever wondered what it costs to run a business exclusively on SaaS?
We have put together a fictional company with roughly 100 employees to see what they would be facing in terms of a monthly or yearly bill.  It came out to A LOT less than they would have to spend "in the old days", but maybe a tad more than some would have expected.

UsersPrice per userTotal / moYr
OfficeLive 36570$12.50$875$10,500
Support Zendesk (plus plan)10$59$590$7,080
DevelopmentAtlassian (JIRA & Confluence)20$125$1,500
File StorageDropbox60$15$900$10,800
Work PlanningTrello50$10$500$6,000

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bills and Invoices from Expensify

I've been using Expensify for some time now to handle the expense reports and it has saved me countless hours of mind-numbing, ungratifying work.   Now Expensify is expending their portfolio sideways by adding the bill management and invoicing to the mix.  It's nicely integrated with the workflow (get the bill -> add it to expense report -> add expense report to the invoice) and should eliminate even more administrative distractions out of your day.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Scripting in Google Apps is a Powerful Secret Weapon

Not many people know about about Google Apps Action Scripting, yet it's one of the things in Google's arsenal that increases the value of the product exponentially.   Much like Microsoft's Office Macros that allowed some seriously useful new functionality to be written on top of data gathered in spreadsheets or word documents, Google Apps Action Scripting allows taking the data and documents to the next level.  Unlike Microsoft, Google Apps Scripts can run across multiple products making sense and shifting data between the apps.

Here's an example of what can be done with a simple Google Apps Action Script:

This script for example will copy all the Gmail image attachments into the Google Drive, making the images searchable with OCR and providing for a much easier access.

(for those that can read the code, notice how elegant and simple the scripts can be)

As an added benefit, this type of scripting capability gives IT departments something useful to do (this may sound sarcastic, but IT people need incentives to get on board with SaaS and believe-it-or-not, they want to provide value to the organization)

It will be exciting to see how it evolves, but my money is on Google Apps at this point as the ROI between the collaboration, scripting, and revision management is getting to be very high!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Capture Leads at the Tradeshows with Zoho's new Leads Capture App

iPhone only for the launch, but a great addition to Zoho CRM and a breath of fresh air for all of us who have had to grapple with the decision of how many (if any) $400/piece badge scanners to get for the tradeshow..  Zoho's answer - NONE!

Link to the App