What if you're the SaaS?


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John Overton's presentation on best practices for building a SaaS company

Published in: Business, Technology

What if you're the SaaS?

  1. 1. Designing the SaaS Enterprise What if you are the SaaS? John Overton
  2. 2. Things to Know Up Front <ul><li>Where are you going? </li></ul><ul><li>Is SaaS and feature or a strategy? </li></ul><ul><li>Converting or ground up? </li></ul><ul><li>Financial transactions? </li></ul><ul><li>What are my core competencies? </li></ul>
  3. 3. SaaS Operations Big Five <ul><li>Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>OnBoarding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>“ If designing a SaaS product out of the gate, the best situation is single instance, multi-tenant. It is a hard and fast law that shouldn’t be debated. Any CTO who thinks otherwise should be fired. </li></ul><ul><li>Byron Deeter of Bessemer Venture Partners </li></ul>Architecture
  5. 5. App Architecture Drives SaaS Operational Model <ul><li>Tenancy model sets course for all other decisions and costs </li></ul><ul><li>Time to market pressure may force shortcuts </li></ul><ul><li>New SaaS apps can achieve “utopia” upfront </li></ul><ul><li>Resist customer pressure to do one offs </li></ul><ul><li>Build ahead or in parallel multi-tenancy </li></ul>
  6. 6. Architecture Maturity Taxonomy <ul><li>Gianpaolo Carraro, Dharmesh Shah </li></ul>
  7. 7. Level 1- Chaos <ul><li>Every time you add a new customer, you add a new instance of the software. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Level 2- Managed Chaos <ul><li>Every customer runs on separate instances of the same version of the software and any customizations are done via configuration. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Level 3 - High Rise <ul><li>All customers running on a single version of the software, and they're all running essentially on one &quot;instance&quot;. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Level 4 – Multi-Tenant High Rise <ul><li>All customers in a multi-tenant, single version of the software model. But, you can scale-out (add buildings at will). </li></ul>
  11. 11. Level 5 – Utopia Multi-Tennant Custom Suites <ul><li>This is like Level 4, except you've figured out an efficient way to run different versions of the software on the same instances. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Architecture Realities <ul><li>Level 1-2 = feature, level 3+= strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Most converted apps are level 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Ground-up SaaS apps should be level 3 or better </li></ul><ul><li>Virtualization can simulate level 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Virtualization reduces DR costs and complexities </li></ul><ul><li>PaaS offerings offer limited relief </li></ul>
  13. 13. Architecture Realities <ul><li>PaaS offerings offer limited relief </li></ul><ul><li>Mission critical issues with continuity </li></ul><ul><li>Expensive compared to leasing options </li></ul><ul><li>Security compliancy issues </li></ul><ul><li>Perfect for capacity bursts, DR and Staging </li></ul>
  14. 14. Architecture Best Bets Level I Hardware App Refactoring Outsourcing Level II Level III Level IV Commodity Servers: Dell,Supermicro Blade Servers: HP, IBM, Sun Op Source, 3Tera, BEA, MindFire OpSource, Amazon, Oracle, SFDC, 3Tera, Verizon, Logicworks, Rackspace, IBM, Mosso, Joyent
  15. 15. Onboarding Ranked #1
  16. 16. Onboarding (First Use) <ul><li>OnBoarding measured in hours not days </li></ul><ul><li>Fast turn ups = higher customer sat and expansion </li></ul><ul><li>Automated provisioning is an art </li></ul><ul><li>Invest and allocate permanent resources </li></ul>
  17. 17. Provisioning Best Bets Level I Applications Virtualization Level II Level III Level IV Enigmatic, ControlTier Ant Virtual Center (VMWare), Ardent, Scalent, ToutVirtual,
  18. 18. Monitoring Challenges <ul><li>Anonymous users </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple clients </li></ul><ul><li>Global access </li></ul><ul><li>Single User Theory </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>IT organizations must monitor end-user experience … to obtain a comprehensive picture of application performance” </li></ul><ul><li>- Gartner (Nov ’07), “The Four Dimensions of Application Performance Monitoring” </li></ul>
  20. 20. Key Technologies Effective Web Application Management <ul><li>Full Visibility starts with the End-User Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Automated Incident Detection </li></ul><ul><li>Granular Service Level Management </li></ul><ul><li>Detection, Root-cause & Remedy </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize Capacity </li></ul>Users Platforms Operations Marketing End-User Experience Management Synthetic Testing Reachability, baselining, load testing Web Analytics Conversion, SEO, traffic, campaign ROI Platform Mgmt Devices, functions, agents, databases
  21. 21. Monitoring Best Bets Level I End Users Synthetic Platform/ Virtualization Level II Level III Level IV Coradiant, CA Wily, Compuware Cloud:Keynote, Gomez, AlertSite CA Wily, HP, BMC, VM Ware, Solarwinds, IBM Tivoli Value: Dotcom-monitor, WebsitePulse OnNet: Naggios, Sitescope, Solarwinds, Alchemy Eye
  22. 22. Security <ul><li>Access absolute need to control credit card data </li></ul><ul><li>Outsource as much of the credit card lifecycle as possible </li></ul><ul><li>PCI compliancy is and will become more expensive </li></ul><ul><li>PCI audits are mandatory for SaaS/OD service providers </li></ul>
  23. 23. Security Focus- Credit Card Global Security Policy PCI DSS KeyStore CC Auth
  24. 24. Security Best Bets Level I Payment Auth User Confidence Key Management Level II Level III Level IV CyberSource, Payment Tech HackerSafe, Verisign, CyberTrust, TRUSTe, BBB OnLine, nCypher, RSA, OpSource (E2E Outsourcing)
  25. 25. New Support Paradigm <ul><li>Role of Support has changed dramaticaly </li></ul><ul><li>Traditionally support is seen as cost center </li></ul><ul><li>SaaS Support is critical for success of business </li></ul>
  26. 26. New Support Paradigm – Customer Service - Konverge Digital Corporation Responsible for Customer Churn         Accountable for customers' utilization of the service Tasked with being first line of customer calls     Ordering, billing & provisioning can be automated Tasked with provisioning and billing issues     Valued group Cost Center SaaS Model Traditional ISV Customer Service
  27. 27. New Support Paradigm – Help Desk - Konverge Digital Corporation Responsible for Customer Churn         First Line Help Desk can be automated Tasked with being first line of customer support calls     Accountable for business meeting SLAs Supporting numerous builds and versions of software     Supports operations Help Desk is technical solver with both internal & external customers     SaaS Model Traditional ISV Help Desk / Support Services
  28. 28. Support <ul><li>Automate tiers 1 and 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Support shifts from users to incident management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>24x7 staffing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change rights, change management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Owns SLA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Outsource </li></ul><ul><ul><li>KB, click to chat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Operations support (break/fix) </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Support Best Bets Level I Outsource Tier 1-2 Outsource 24x7 Ops Support Level II Level III Level IV RightNow, Parature,Talisma,eStara, Tools/Services CSS SlashSupport, Capgemini, Service-now.com, BMC, BladeLogic, Visible Ops, TripWire
  30. 30. Closing <ul><li>Careful planning early </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on hidden costs </li></ul><ul><li>Small costs grow exponentially Levels 1-2 </li></ul><ul><li>Difference between profitability and bleeding slow death </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for multi-tenancy early </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>John Overton </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>