SaaS is here to stay. Start-ups in this business sector are springing up like mushrooms, and the forecast for cloud computing industries looks strong. Forrester Research Inc. estimates more than 40% year-over-year growth through 2020 for the SaaS business in the US. The opportunities for SaaS Start-ups point toward a future of success. But, when there are many of them vying for the same opportunities, it remains difficult to emerge as a so-called unicorn with a valuation over $1 billion.
Make the Leap: Expand Beyond Your Own Boundaries
“One way to make the leap is to widen the market; expand beyond the initial boundaries of your market. Get global! Especially for SaaS companies, getting into the global market is an opportunity to grow ahead of your competition”, explains Anexia’s Managing Director in New York, Adam Rogers. There aren’t any goods that have to be shipped, there aren’t any opening hours needed and the market for software doesn’t show too many differences between countries. The reasons to go global are clear.
When opening to other regions, companies enter into new markets and so to new customers. But there are also upselling possibilities for existing clients that may have international offices and therefore the need for services in other countries as well. Additionally, products become more attractive with high-value global offers, which may allow for premium pricing. For more details about the benefits of going global, check out this article on Cloud Strategy Magazine.
Worldwide Hosting and Language difficulties
But, of course, going global comes in with some challenges:
English is surely business language Number One, so selling B2B products can often be done in English, even when selling internationally. On the other hand, personalization and localization are becoming increasingly important in a diverse and competitive economic environment. An ability to offer translations of your service is surely a plus.
The choice of a worldwide hosting provider or – more specifically – the cloud provider is another challenge that is often ill considered at first. Where can a SaaS provider host their services so that customers all over the world experience a fast and high-value SaaS product experience? “You need your infrastructure to be located where your customers are,” sums up Adam Rogers.
But, here come the difficulties.
Deciding on one of the big player cloud solutions, the services are hosted globally, but in a limited number of countries and areas. This can often create latency and customer experience issues. It also creates problems if customers are located in Safe Harbor countries that do not legally allow for their data to leave their home country.
If you decide to host in more countries and search for additional local hosting providers, you’re facing the problem of different contracts, SLAs, service support, invoicing, and currencies, all of which complicate the time and effort to run a business.
To solve these problems, Anexia has focused on installing a worldwide cloud that now counts 70 server locations in over 40 countries. With Anexia, a SaaS provider can have one contract with one cloud hosting provider and set up servers in dozens of different areas of the world, often as fast as over night.
Managed Worldwide Hosting Avoids Problems
The next question is: Who is in charge of managing the hosted software? The wider the market gets, the more server locations that are being used. Monitoring this infrastructure and keeping the Operating Systems up to date becomes more complex. Be sure to arrange a SLA (Service Level Agreement) with the hosting provider so that the infrastructure is able to grow with the demand.
Anexia is recognizing a huge interest in worldwide hosting services. More and more companies already know that quality cloud hosting and worldwide hosting are a must.
In an interview with Sys-Con at the Cloud Expo 2016, Adam Rogers, Managing Director of Anexia Inc. in New York, explained how Anexia can help with the definition of each individual SaaS provider’s unique set of needs.
If you are interested in going global, don’t hesitate to contact our experts.