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SaaS 2.0 offers a host of advanced solutions for enterprises and better customer experience

SaaS based platforms have been disrupting the technology ecosystem since quite some time but we now have all the newer technical upgrades in such solutions that expands the possibilities endlessly and have taken customer experience to the next level. All thanks to SaaS 2.0. One such SaaS product company is Wolken. Discussing in detail about the company with the Cofounder and CEO of Wolken Software – Mr. Rohan Joshi.

Revisiting milestones from the past

I am an engineer from Bangalore University and did my masters from Heidelberg Germany. Back in 1985, I joined Philips in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and was thrown at the deep end by them to help develop products for Healthcare and Financial Services Industry. My work took me to all parts of Europe, Canada, Taipei etc.

I joined Infosys in 1991 and helped plant a flag in Europe. My experience there helped me mould my character and leadership skills.

In 2000, I joined iflex which has since been acquired by Oracle. Iflex was a new experience since it involved product selling in a new geography – Latin America and Caribbean.

Between 2004-2011, I worked as the head of European operations at L&T Infotech for both enterprise and engineering services. I also met my co-founder Sudhir Prabhu whilst working at L&T Infotech.

Addressing the vacuum and launching a solution through Wolken. Future plans

More than me, it was my co-founder Sudhir who articulated that there was a terrific opportunity to disrupt the ServiceDesk space from an on premise monolithic products regime to nimbler cloud based modular products with open APIs which could integrate with all major enterprise solutions including ERPs. Sudhir also articulated how we should be at the forefront to try and convert the ServiceDesk group from a cost centre to a profit centre with a few brush strokes.

Wolken is an enterprise class B2B SaaS product company in the Customer ServiceDesk space.  Our goal is to become the most respected and widely used product by enterprises and MSME’s.  We have around 33 enterprise clients globally and have just begun to address the MSME space with a repurposed Self Service Customer ServiceDesk product.

A brief about Wolken’s business model and the USP of the venture? How is it different from its competitors, if any?

Typically SaaS product companies function like utilities – it’s called the PUPM model. Per User Per Month. However, Gartner has other models which a few B2B SaaS companies use depending on the industry they serve, for instance the business model used for an insurance company will be a lot different from an e-commerce retail company. Typical business models are customer Parameter based, Consumption based, volume tiers and outcome based.

Wolken has chosen the per agent per month model taking customer considerations into the equation. Customers usually demand flexibility, transparency, value alignment and predictability which we provide. Wolken offers both annual  and monthly subscriptions currently and will consider pay as you go imminently.

Details about the various services that you offer

1)    We offer an enterprise class Internal ServiceDesk called ITSM to address Incident Management, Service Request, Change Request, IT Asset Management, Problem Management and Project Management

2) We offer an enterprise class Customer ServiceDesk which is functionally rich, offers omnichannel experiences and reduces cycle time drastically.

3) We also have self-service products positioned for MSME markets for Customer Service and ITSM.

Overcoming the hurdles

Contrary to common wisdom, market is quite big and there is enough for SaaS vendors who are on top of their game. As long as your product is faster, better and cheaper than the top 3 established vendors and you can prove that to new prospects, you have a good chance to succeed. However, unfunded start-ups will face a major challenge and that is lack of brand recognition. Intelligent and Enterprising CXOs have only one mantra to select a new vendor – meet it or beat it. Where ‘it’ refers to existing vendors.

Market expectations and the marketing strategy to achieve the goal

Enterprise SaaS is a rip and replace market. Efficient marketing and inside sales folks pick up signals where a change is imminent. Prospective vendors engage in a proof of concept with the enterprise and then after a period of 4-6 weeks the enterprise make their decision whether to continue or change the SaaS vendor. There is a great opportunity for upsell and cross sell. However, in the self-serve mode, we see a bigger opportunity and a no friction selling mode.

Response to the business proposition? Key clients?

Wolken has lost a few clients largely on account of mergers at the customer level where in case our client merged with a larger company, the existing vendor of that company took over from us, thankfully those numbers for Wolken are rather small. Today, we have 33 enterprise customers, many of whom are in the Fortune 500 category. We are launching our self-service product in November and we expect over 500 MSME customers on our platform in 18 months.

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