Anything is now available as-a-Service
Technology is more accessible, more intuitive, and cheaper. However, businesses still need IT specialists, to create and deliver new applications. With SaaS platforms, this dependency is a smaller amount and lowers the burden to an organization. With this, inevitable queries arise. Understanding the effect of the trendy era isn't any more a matter for technically minded people only. each business owner or project leader ought to answer the basic question: “What will this mean on behalf of me and my business”?
What is a SaaS needs not to be taught to the readers of this piece of write-up? However, there are few things around as-a-Service that some of us may not be aware of or have not given sufficient attention to. The advancements and innovations in cloud computing have made SaaS possible followed by IaaS and PaaS.
Many of us thought till recently that was all and only the above three could be delivered through the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. We have been proved wrong when we started hearing about the models that deliver or would deliver anything in technology or equipment or transportation or entertainment or everything as a service which are now collectively known as Anything or Everything As A Service.
We see models of Functions or Analytics or Desktop or improvised models of leasing equipment available on an on-demand basis. TaaS (Transportation as a Service), for example, is where cars and vehicles are provided to customers as service - with say, autonomous vehicles coming to your doorstep for you to drive to your destination.
Why do companies opt for SaaS?
We will, however, restrict this discussion to SaaS. The question then is why should a company consider SaaS as an option for their technology needs. Those who have some basic understanding of finance will know the difference between CAPEX (capital expenditure) and OPEX (operating expenses). CAPEX is about investing money in assets or technologies the return of which will be received over more than one financial year whereas OPEX is about the expenses that are written off in the P&L of a single financial year. Tax benefits apart, cash flow is the big advantage in the OPEX route.
With the option to pay for the use of applications and services on a monthly or quarterly or yearly frequency, your cash outflow then becomes your OPEX(operating expense).
This is aka on-demand or pay-as-use or subscription model. Under the conventional spending method, for huge investments in the form of capital expenditure, you had to flush out a huge amount of money, mostly through borrowing which would add to your finance cost or dilution of equity. Then, you would have to wait for years to recover the investment and start generating profits.
Uncertain and volatile times or situations like the ongoing Covid19 pandemic have made digital transformation inevitable and indispensable rather than an option. You cannot think of it as something you would do when you have the luxury of sufficient disposable funds. It has now become a life or death situation for almost all sizes of companies in any industry to embrace digitization for their survival and growth, or perish.
How to transform business?
The need for digital transformation for sustenance and growth has thrown up other challenges like an investment for and the gestation period of completing the digitization projects. The mantra is to transform the business to adapt to the present and impending situations, by leveraging digital transformation at low cost without compromising on quality and equally importantly in a faster mode. While this is true for all enterprises, it is more crucial for startups and SMEs who don’t have huge funds to invest and no time to waste in order not to become irrelevant.
Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, and CEOs are mostly technology agnostic. They don’t bother which code the application is written on or what platform it is developed with even if they are techies or tech-savvy. What the business typically looks for are solutions to their pain points that are currently hindering their profitability and growth and sustaining their future growth trajectory.
Why is SaaS important for start-ups?
When we hear the word start-up, what comes to our mind is tech companies though it is not necessarily so. There are three types of start-ups when it comes to using technology
- one using technology for running their business like Ola, Oyo, Paytm, Zomato, Netflix, Airbnb, MakeMyTrip, etc, aka digital business models, the other providing technology as a digital offering to support their core business like healthcare, hospitality, etc, and those developing applications for other companies, big and small, to manage their business.
For startups to survive and grow, digitization of business processes and operations are indispensable but they cannot afford to have an in-house team for getting them developed, in their early stages. What will they do then? They cannot go to big guys in the market. They cannot even go to a startup SaaS developers in the early stage. They need applications quickly and at a low cost, at low OPEX rather than CAPEX. Then how can they accomplish their business needs at low cost quickly?
Solutions to the pain points in the SaaS supply chain
Before we attempt to answer the previous question, let us look at this as an SME SaaS supply chain problem. While SMEs cannot overlook this need for digital transformation, cash flow keeps them in check which in turn becomes a vicious cycle for small companies. What they will need is tools to develop the application themselves, quickly at a low cost or TCO without the need for expensive talents and huge initial
Undaku, founded by three youngsters from Kerala, means ‘create’ in Malayalam. They have come out with a no-code application development platform with tools to help SaaS startups and small companies to create applications to run and manage their operations to help them steer their business to growth and profitability.
The beauty of this SaaS Builder Platform is in its
This is a no-code development tool using which applications can be developed by its drag-and-drop capabilities in an agile fashion thus saving cost and time. There is no need for high-cost software coders or developers to develop and deploy applications in a cloud environment.
SaaS Builder and opportunities for startups
Undaku’s vision is to help the tech startup ecosystem with opportunities to grow their topline and enhance the bottom line. How? Through these three models of delivery. Here is how:
- The Undaku Builder Platform enabling startups and small companies to develop applications. This is without much initial investment for development and infrastructure and more through the OPEX route because you don’t need expensive resources to develop applications using the drag and drop feature of Undaku tools. Here, the recurring expenses are mostly for the usage of cloud environments on an on-demand basis.
- SaaS development startups acting as Resellers/Channel Partners can use this no-code platform to develop SaaS applications for other startups to run their business. It is a win-win for both SaaS development companies as well as startup companies that need applications quickly at low operating costs and TCO. Here, the end-user companies will pay Undaku or the development company for the usage in the SaaS model.
- Undaku itself delivering the applications and consulting as delivered by Resellers and Channel Partners
In both the above models, the common beneficiaries are the end-user companies.
It is not necessary for the SaaS developer and the end-user companies to be startups. They can be existing or emerging enterprises. Though Undaku Builder platform is envisaged keeping startups as their end-user customers in mind because of the latter's
need for less expensive, faster, and less complex requirements, it can be also used by bigger enterprises equally effectively.
This is not to say that the no-code development platform is a brand new concept and there are no similar products currently available in the market. There are many such platforms and tools out there in the market but they are mostly meant for and targeted at large end-user customers and are expensive. In that sense, Undaku SaaS Builder is a new idea conceived to enable startups to grow and expand their business resulting in a situation where all the players benefitting.
SaaS market potential
With nearly 1,000 funded SaaS startups and ten unicorns (those with a valuation of over $1 billion) dotting the space, the SaaS ecosystem collectively generates about $2-3 billion in annual revenue and employs nearly 40,000 people.
“The Indian SaaS space has the potential to create $1 trillion in value and nearly five lakh jobs by 2030,” according to the report ‘Shaping India’s SaaS Landscape’ The report was released recently by SaaSBOOMi, Asia’s largest community of SaaS founders and product builders. SaaSBOOMi, in association with McKinsey and The company, has researched the prospects for the SaaS companies in the country
Undaku SaaS Builder provides great opportunities to Resellers and Channel Partners to build and implement applications, customizations, and enhancements for small companies with minimum effort and time. Undaku Manager, part of Undaku Builder Suite, helps development companies (resellers and channel partners) manage their customer relations, invoicing, collection, support, and customer service.
The Undaku SaaS Builder Suite has all the great features that are required to build a
line-of-business app for the customers. Both the user companies and SaaS developer companies can get started with no prior knowledge of coding or need for training. They have built the platform for any business user to build apps for their business or their client's business.
Using the Undaku platform, by simply dragging and dropping elements, with almost no technical knowledge, you can create a complete working product - say to capture and process your transactions or analyze your business data or manage workflows for your day-to-day operations. Undaku SaaS development platform can be used to create any applications, be it an ERP, CRM, Field Service, Customer Service, Customer Engagement or Experience or a ChatBot or anything you name with minimum effort, time, and cost. You can create add-on applications or forms to your existing business applications like SAP, Oracle Cloud, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, or any such business applications.
Published by Raveena Rana