Interview With Christophe Primault Founder at CloudWork and GetApp
 

Interview With Christophe Primault Founder at CloudWork and GetApp

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As business and marketing manager I use Saas software of all types all the time. It’s simply a job prescription. Through the years there has always been one source I search for the best and leading edge of software development. This Website is GetApp.

Easy to navigate and huge beyond your wildest imagination, GetApp is a directory that holds within it a treasure of every possible application and piece of software you might imagine.

After doing some research, I discovered that Christophe Primault the founder launched a new service named CloudWork  that easily keeps track of your business applications and ensures the best flow. Intrigued with this service I requested to conduct a short interview with Christophe.

The results are as followed:

Interview With Christophe Primault Founder at CloudWork and GetApp:

christophe primaultTell us a bit about yourself and what made you choose your line of work?

I am the co-founder and CEO of GetApp: the largest independent marketplace for cloud-based (SaaS) business applications since 2010 and CloudWork, a recently launched platform that allows anyone to build connections between business apps.

My background is in enterprise IT and after leading the marketing activities for NCR´s Financial Division, I ran two other companies before moving to the SaaS world.

My mission is to help small business be successful with cloud applications. SaaS gives small businesses access to enterprise class solutions for a fraction of the cost big companies have been paying and this represents a huge opportunity for them to compete with larger organizations in an innovative and productive way. I want to be part of this story and help small businesses to operate “all-in-cloud”.

On a personal level, I am a happy dad of three. I like long distance triathlons, I’m a a proud Ironman finisher, I love open water swimming, and sailing. I live in Barcelona, which is one of the best places in the world to operate a global business while enjoying my hobbies…when time allows.

CloudWork, is emerging as one of the most prominent players in the cloud apps management services, What was the 3 key insights that led you to start CloudWork?

CloudWork_for_LightBG_450x450Connecting apps together was a natural next step for us after helping businesses find the best apps for their needs with GetApp.

Businesses typically start with one or two cloud apps and once comfortable with this set up, they add new applications to operate more business functions. Today almost 25% of all small and medium businesses operate more than five apps, but a business’ information and data often remains siloed and disconnected in various apps, negatively impacting the initial productivity gains that can be obtained from moving to the cloud. After discovery, integration is next on the cloud apps adoption maturity curve and we wanted to be first movers in this market.

If small businesses are to get the real value out of their SaaS choices, they need for their apps to talk to each other. To remain competitive, they need to focus on providing quality services and to be able to innovate to meet new customer demands. They don’t want to be chained to updating all of their SaaS apps or to having to move data from one app to another to get work done.

Beyond the crying need for an easy to use and affordable SaaS integration solution, we realized that nobody really wanted to crack this difficult market. It is seen as a necessary evil by SaaS vendors, they’d rather work on making their products the best fit for the market they serve, and it’s an almost impossible development for most SMBs, they don’t have the right resources in house.

So the combination of high demand and difficulty to serve a market was a good signal that motivated us in developing a product.

Do you feel that solutions such as GetApp have changed the way companies market and sell their applications and communicate with their clients? Can you give us what you view as most significant changes?

GetApp is only one of the channels that SaaS vendors can use to market their solutions. I would always recommend to test different techniques: traditional ones such as content marketing, SEO and SEM,of course, alongside more innovative growth hacking ideas.

The big difference with traditional software comes with the fact that SaaS is sold on a subscription basis. The revenue does not come up front anymore but over a long period of time. So you need to focus not only on customer acquisition, this is what GetApp does, but also on customer retention: this is where CloudWork contributes by facilitating integration with other apps that a business may use.

SaaS marketing is metric driven. If you don’t understand the KPIs you need to track, you´re unlikely to make it. You must be comfortable with metrics such as CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) + LTV (Lifetime Value) and MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) + churn in order to understand the viability of your business.

SaaS marketers who are great with digital marketing techniques, are metrics driven, and innovative in the way they use technology to grow a business: well, we call them growth hackers.

What do you forecast is the next big thing to be changed? What kinds of developments are you forecasting in the near future?

In the market we serve – small and medium sized businesses –  as the adoption of SaaS matures, we envision that they will want a one-stop shop in the cloud to manage their business.

We have a vision to provide a “Cloud Operation Center” to SMBs where they can discover, manage and integrate all their cloud apps. This is more a 5 years projection into the future  as we are still in an immature market but we are testing new product developments and once we have a sound understanding of the market requirements and we are convinced that we can build strong synergies with the other services we already offer, then we will try to take a product to market very quickly.

What in your opinion are the key factors that will determine successful marketing & sales efforts of SaaS in 2013?

Co-marketing is one the most interesting routes to market for SaaS: trying to piggy back off other SaaS vendors in order to access their user base. They need to hack other vendors to fuel their own growth. Helping SaaS vendors to do exactly that is one of our objectives with CloudWork.

If you had only one marketing tip for new Saas startups, what would it be?

If you are a new SaaS startup, I would urge you to understand very quickly if your business is financially viable. Unfortunately, for most of them, it won’t be the case so the earlier you know and the more realistic you are about the financial prospects, the less time and money you will lose.

Start with a MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Don´t fall in love with your product before you take it to market. Don’t spend too much on acquiring your first clients: focus on your first paying customers and then assess your CAC and your LTV. If your CAC is more than one third of your LTV, then you may not have a business.

Get App

If your business is viable, then we would love to hear from you! SaaS startups can register their solutions with GetApp at 

http://www.getapp.com/users/register. We’re always keen to discuss how new SaaS can develop integration tools. SaaS vendors can contact me at christophe.primault@cloudwork.com.

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