Sunday, September 14, 2008

Business idea giveaway: A SaaS solution portal


Here is a good business idea for anyone of you who want to make it as an enterpreneur:
A SaaS solution portal for business decision makers who are choosing an IT solution for their company.

Here is a picture on how the portal might look like. The portal should have:
- Industry specific pages. (For example the picture above is for IT hosting companies).
- On each page boxes that represent a domain of applications (like CRM, Sales, HR...)
- On each box some sponsored logos.
- Each box will be a link to a list of SaaS solutions in that domain.

Besides the industry pages you should have a news and forum pages to bring customers, readers and for SEO. You could write reviews of the solutions being offered. The goal of the portal should be to gain authority of opinion.

You should also have a registration page for SaaS providers.

The money would come from SaaS providers who want to have their solution on the front page or in the beginning of the listing.

The competition. I found one: http://www.saas-showplace.com/, but they have a serious drawback. They list SaaS providers, not solutions. For example try to find an HR solution from their portal. :-) They have made the mistake of being provider centric not customer centric. A customer does not want to partner with some SaaS provider, but wants to find a solution for his specific needs.

The initial investment? A good web-page guy can do the portal in maximum a month on Joomla. You should make contacts with people from the industries you want to draw a page about and ask what software domain's are needed by their industry. A day to set up each industry domain. Then 4 hours a day for blogging, foruming and commenting to spread the word about the new portal. After gaining some momentum you release a "get on the first page with your logo for $10/day campaing". And when the portal gets more popular you change the $10/day to an auction. (like Google AdWords.)

This would be a very useful portal as it is absolutely very difficult to find a SaaS solution among these hundreds of providers and it is quite difficult for the SaaS providers to find the customers as they usually target a niche audience.

...and hey.. you could do the same portal for non-SaaS solutions. :-)

3 comments:

T said...

http://www.salesforce.com/appexchange/

Märt Ridala said...

Salesforce-s Appexchange is a great portal. Only problem that they are Salesforce and force.com platform based. So they might not be very neutral when choosing between them and the competition.

But maybe Salesforce is already "the Google" in the SaaS space? Perhaps when bringing a new SaaS product to the market you have to consider Salesforce technique and sales channels like you have to consider Google when making a search engine optimized web-page.

Simon said...

we've been working on http://www.saaslounge.co.uk and I recently stumbled your blog post and it matches our biz model almost exactly!