In any trade, there are always tools that one should never be without, and SaaS products are no exception. Since the inception of SaaS as a practical system at the end of the last decade, cunning developers and entrepreneurs have come up with countless brilliant implementations of SaaS frameworks to cover a wide array of needs.
Today, we’re going to look at 5 SaaS products no company in the modern age should be without. We’ll look at their pros and their cons as well, and see just what they can do to make professional life easier for you and your customers alike.
Number 1 – WalkMe
WalkMe is a new and very impressive interface and tutorial creation suite designed to be scalable for small businesses, personal websites and enterprise solutions alike. Unlike its competitors, such as Flash and Air, WalkMe utilizes HTML5 and AJAX systems to create web asset powered interfaces and applets that integrate seamlessly into pages. This means they load at the same speed as the pages themselves, and are instantly compatible with pretty much any browser out there, even the infamously bad Opera.
This web-powered interface also means this software is aware of the page that hosts it. This opens up possibilities for the tutorials to be content and user action aware, as well as able to automate interaction with the page itself, to give users a hands on learning experience no other platform can.
The editor is point and click, and the API is very easy to customize, meaning that this is accessible to anyone who can afford its very low price. It will be interesting to see what else WalkMe can be used for in the future, beyond just tutorials … possibly breaking ground into other SaaS industries.
WalkMe is relatively new, so it may experience some minor growing pains as they continue to develop and add features to it. It brands itself as a tutorial creation suite, which it is excellent for, but seems to ignore its inherent power to do other things just as useful.
Number 2 – SalesForce
SalesForce is a pricing and product cataloging software suite in the spirit of Access, SQL and Platypus. Unlike these SaaS products, it’s entirely centralized over a cloud infrastructure, guaranteeing a level of security and backup that the others can not promise.
The unique thing with SalesForce is how easy it is to use, and how amazingly simple the customization process for new fields, price books and products is. It takes literally two or three steps at the most to do any particular thing in SalesForce, where its predecessors were far more involved and often in need of programmer assistance for complex tasks.
It also features amazing compatibility to import contacts, product lists and database tables from existing standards such as SQL, CSV, XLSX and more, meaning that migration to this platform is remarkably easy to facilitate, as well as fast. The intuitive interface will be easy to puck up for anyone used to older software, but is equally easy for new users to pick up as well.
SalesForce requires constant connections, as it is cloud-powered. It may be slightly too soon to be wholly reliant on this, but … time will tell. The given or omitted features for different account levels seem a bit arbitrary and nonsensical as well.
Number 3 – Google Drive
Google Drive is amazing, and its cross-platform nature makes it pretty ubiquitous. The only reason it earns as low a spot as number 3 is its freeware nature, which means it’s a bit less on the up and up with CRM. Nonetheless, Google Drive is bloody fantastic.
It’s a cloud-based document sharing and editing system that supports more and more formats and tasks with each passing month. It’s the first online, web-powered office editing suite that isn’t awful, rivaling Word and OpenOffice easily. With the centralized nature of hosting, and the integration with standard Google accounts, it’s easy for multiple teams and people to coordinate with a single document simultaneously, and even watch each other make edits and changes. It allows on-the-go access from mobile and PC platforms simultaneously, as well.
Google Drive can be a bit slow sometimes, and the client side sync program really isn’t very good and is rather consumptive of bandwidth and resources, so you’re relegated to the browser-based interface which may be annoying from mobile.
Number 4 – CheddarGetter
CheddarGetter is a payment gateway system designed to be integrated with all the modern payment systems and banking solutions, with a centralized bookkeeping and record mastery system. The API is very transparent, allowing compatibility with the large public trading and commerce facilities such as eTrade, eBay and Amazon, but is just as scalable for custom gateways on individual sites.
Its capacity to be integrated smoothly with PayPal, Google Checkout and Payola as well as with SalesForce makes it an excellent application to handle online commerce and marketing in the new climate.
It’s a bit basic and kind of expensive, and their servers are a bit dodgy, but they are aware of these issues and are addressing them as quickly as they can.
Number 5 – Twitter
We had to include at least one social platform in our top 5 SaaS products list, and this one just barely beat out Tumbler. Twitter, while limited in its text size and messaging rates, is endlessly useful for short bursts of information.
As society becomes increasingly plugged in, Twitter is an excellent CRM solution to replace the aging and increasingly deprecated help desk and phone tree CRM options, and is also fantastic for getting the news out about updates and issues your company may need to express.
Its passive but persistent nature means that nobody can spam anyone else, and that everyone is heard. Twitter is probably the most useful and secure social SaaS platform of the bunch, and it continues to be applied to new uses daily.
There you have it, these are the top 5 SaaS systems no company should be without. There are a ton more SaaS products that’re also amazing, but nobody, repeat nobody, should be without these gems at least.