As companies continue to expand their SaaS stacks, it's crucial to develop a solid team strategy for SaaS procurement, management, and implementation. Without these interrelated processes in place, users can struggle to maintain visibility or security into their SaaS stack and to maximize the successful implementation and performance of each app.
But first, what exactly is SaaS implementation?
SaaS implementation is the adoption and integration of software applications into an existing tech stack or business workflow. The process is often complex and requires prior assessment of business requirements, budget, benefits and more.
The Sastrify solution, acting as a reliable service provider, has aided more than 100 clients, some with hundreds of cloud tools, in successfully implementing SaaS. To help support your implementation process, we've compiled all you need for smooth SaaS adoption.
Below are the best practices for getting your software solution up and running swiftly and effectively. Download the checklist below and continue reading for an in-depth view at tasks to complete before getting started, what you'll need to manage ahead of time, and the four paramount steps to implement SaaS correctly.
Before getting started
To set your organization up for success, you'll need to develop your internal team's skills and get a few things in order before beginning the SaaS implementation checklist. Here are four areas to focus on:
1. Get Clear on Company Goals and Business Objectives
What is your startup or enterprise aiming to achieve? Whether you're focusing on tool discovery, cost and time savings, increased transparency, or improved utilization levels, it's crucial to ensure your whole team, from the department heads to project managers, is on the same page. If you already have a management platform in place for setting OKRs (Objectives & Key Results), this step would accompany the stage where you set "Objectives".
2. Align on Expectations
Many times, companies start this complex project wanting to save costs, then realize they use more software services than IT knew about, or potentially even have multiple licenses for the same tool across the company team. In these cases, it might end up being the achievement of transparency that's most important.
Whatever your situation, consider what your enterprise wants to create and implement, when you aim to achieve it, and how you can leverage this process over time. This is where your implementation roadmap and timeline become essential.
3. Decide Key Stakeholders
Discussing key stakeholders in advance is crucial, as they will vary by organization team. They might include:
- Decision-maker or C-level executive
- Admin who directs procurement activities internally
- Tool owner who makes purchasing decisions or aligns with decision-makers
- Accountant to monitor all transactional documents
- Implementation manager overseeing the implementation project
4. Define KPIs
Defining your KPIs, or Performance Indicators, is how you monitor the results of your implementation over time. For example, financial KPIs might include growth development in revenue, net profit margin, or operational cash flow. These aspects form an integral part of your software implementation plan.
Key resources to gather ahead of time
The preparation for the implementation also involves gathering some key resources you'll need throughout the process:
1. Tool contracts
Compiling all your SaaS subscription contracts is the first step to automate your SaaS procurement and work toward significant, long-term savings. If you can store all contracts in one place for easier access going forward, even better.
2. Most recent invoices
Compiling all recent invoices of your most important tools creates company-wide monitoring of total SaaS costs, simplifying the budgeting process. It also gives your implementation team a better understanding of the business needs and potential risks involved in the process.
3. Subscription renewal dates
Remember: Successful negotiations take time, so you'll want to begin the re-negotiating process ahead of your renewal date. Ensure you know the renewal dates for all your software subscriptions (new and existing) and have reminders set in a calendar.
4. Designated tool owners
Assigning a tool owner for each SaaS subscription is crucial. This user is responsible for making purchasing decisions and aligning with decision-makers. Have a list prepared of all the tool owners for existing subscriptions and add who the tool owner will be for each new SaaS deployment.
Checklist for successful SaaS implementation
Now that you've finished the preparation, it's time to execute the software implementation plan. Sastrify’s SaaS procurement solution simplifies the entire onboarding process for customers. Here are the four steps:
1. Upload your subscriptions:
Customers can do this seamlessly on the Sastrify platform. From there, our technology will automatically define a list of all your SaaS subscriptions, making performance monitoring, and management easier.
2. Set renewal dates:
Sastrify’s customer enablement team will assign renewal dates for each subscription based on the documents you provide. Our features ensure you never miss an auto-renewal or re-negotiation window.
3. Assign tool owners:
Deciding on a dedicated owner within your enterprise team increases transparency and efficiency and eliminates the middleman.
4. Easy integrations:
Work smarter, not harder. Integrations with third-party applications can affect the success of your SaaS implementation. The Sastrify technology seamlessly integrates with Netsuite, Xero, Quickbooks, and Sage, as well as Freshbooks and Zohobooks.
What else should you be aware of when implementing software?
1. Service Level Agreements
While focusing on a smooth implementation process, it's also crucial to consider service level agreements (SLAs) and security issues. SLAs offer a guarantee of the service level you can expect and form the basis of the ongoing relationship between client and vendor.
SLAs usually cover areas such as uptime, privacy, data ownership, and customer service response times.
Security, for the data of both your company and your customers, should always be a significant consideration in any implementation project. It's crucial to assess any security vulnerabilities within the system and address these as part of the overall software implementation plan.
With our team, implementing SaaS solutions doesn’t have to be cumbersome for customers. Walking through the simple preparation and completion steps can get end-users ready to easily implement new software using Sastrify's features.