We are halfway through the year now; doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? And what could be more fun than SaaS?
While 2013 might not have seen the end of the world yet, it did see the end of many preconceptions regarding SaaS, business and technology. So, without further ado, I present my semi-annual ‘Top SaaS Applications’ list for this year.
Note that when I talk about the top SaaS providers the new players are not necessarily better than the older ones. I am rating this SaaS by popularity, innovation (game-changers that moved the industry forward) and how impressed I was by the product.
Keep an open mind when reading this list, as SaaS has a broad definition and covers a wide range of applications.
#1 – Kongregate
Kongregate is the kind of provider I rarely talk about in my writing, as it has its roots in gaming. But, since cloud gaming (with SaaS-based browsers) are one of the fastest growing “civilian” applications, I had to mention it.
The SaaS features that advance gaming also apply to other technologies as well. Gaming integrates social SaaS platforms with social network functionality. It develops attractive APIs that integrate Flash, HTML5 and Java. Even if you’ve never played a video game in your life and think they’re the worst thing to happen to kids since pixie sticks, you can’t deny the fact that gaming technology is impressive.
#2 – Google Drive
What once used to be Google Docs, Gmail and a bunch of other services, has now been unified and rolled out into Google Drive.
So what exactly does this Google SaaS do? Drive is a cloud document sharing, storage and editing tool integrated into Google services. It’s free, it works and it’s quickly replacing all other similar systems out there.
#3 – Infusionsoft
Infusionsoft earns a spot on this list because it has brought CRM to the startup business niche. Infusionsoft is customizable, scalable system and has varying levels of complexity. It is affordable and practical for small businesses but also supports the business as it grows.
#4 – Desk.com
Desk.com’s been around for a while, but they earn this spot for their push to adopt social networks into their system. They use these networks as a supplementary outlet for call centers and help desk systems. Desk.com does not replace the traditional call center but rather unifies it with social networks to create a single contact system. This unification is a new directive on their part, and has literally reinvented the company itself.
#5 – Time Cockpit
Time Cockpit covers a critical SaaS component -time tracking. Many other providers have time tracking systems, but not as advanced and dedicated as Time Cockpit.
SaaS has a long way to go, but so far, these are my top 5 SaaS applications for (the first half of) 2013. Stay tuned for my end-of-the-year SaaS list.