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Benefits of Integrated SaaS Solutions Platforms for SMBs

Why Should SMBs Shift from Standalone Business Solutions to Integrated SaaS Platforms?

An integrated SaaS solution is created to function as a complete unit and ties the different functions more strongly together, enabling it to address the unique requirements of SMBs much better than standalone software applications.

Even though they play a crucial role in the Indian economy, contributing around 30% of India’s GDP, SMBs are particularly vulnerable to economic shocks and changing market conditions. You can counter this by building a technology-based business model that can help you to expand across customer segments and verticals while reducing costs. To achieve this, businesses must stop treating IT as an afterthought, and focus on deploying integrated SaaS solutions.

Why should SMBs opt for an integrated SaaS solution?

SMBs struggle with some common challenges and typically adopt a break-fix technological solution to address these. For example, they may have an in-house HR management system, an on-premise standalone solution for workflow management, and use the good ol’ emailfor communication and file sharing.Such an approach results in siloes, leading to fragmented visibility, obstructed flow of data among teams, and a general slowdown of functioning. Moreover, the problem with using different solutions for various purposes is that every time you need to upgrade, you need to:

  • Spend hours researching your options
  • Get the right vendors to code or deploy such a solution
  • Re-train your team to use it effectively
  • Invest in a maintenance contract

“Let’s take an example of something as simple as cybersecurity,”says Balesh Lakshminarayanan, co-founder and CEO of ABSYZ Inc. “Initially, we had a costly solution that included in-house firewalls. We had to have servers and stack, install the software, manage with an admin network engineer 24/7, face power issues, and so on.” After switching to a unified SaaS solution, reduced IT capex and increased flexibility are some of the benefits that Lakshminarayanan has seen.

And it’s clear why. A unified SaaS solutionallows you to implement with ease and scale rapidly, especially useful in unpredictable times when firms must quickly adjust to change. Employees only need to be familiar with one interface, which increases efficiency and enables seamless information exchange between departments.

How SMBs can benefit from adopting new-age, integrated SaaS solutions

More value for money = cost savings

Integrated SaaS platforms, such as Small BusinessCRM from Salesforce, let you eliminate the costs of point-to-point integrations and difficult customisations typically associated with standalone solutions. For SMBs, which are usually short on resources, this allows more value for spends.

Information sharing for smoother workflows

As a small business, you need to offer seamless customer experiences across teams and touchpoints to build high-value relationships and compete with larger firms. Integrated SaaS solutions create a single source of data where information is stored in a standardised, easy-to-understand format. This ensures that all teams have equal, real-time, and cross-functional access to customer information and task progress – critical to collaborating on tasks, avoiding duplication of efforts, and delivering a smooth stakeholder experience.

Easy scalability and reduced go-to-market time

Wanting to scale but don’t want to deal with the transition challenges associated with standalone business solutions? An integrated SaaS solution provides a comprehensive view of the entire process across the organisation, allowing you to manage the transition successfully. The process itself becomes more streamlined with a unified platform – a single, shared approach can be used to roll out new features to all users.

“While scaling with a standalone solution, one may have to change the solution due to lack of adequate support features or invest in features that are not needed. On average, you could lose around six months to one year in training and adoption. Unified SaaS solutions give SMBs the flexibility to upgrade packages depending on their business needs,” says Lakshminarayanan.

Greater security

At a time when data breaches are frequent and large-scale, unified systems provide stronger protection. For example, an integrated solution eliminates the need for third-party solutions, which reduces the chances of vulnerability in your IT infrastructure. Plus, a unified SaaS solution provides an environment of uniform governance with clear hierarchies. This means every user will only have access to the data they require to function, helping avoid confusion and leading to data safety.

Additionally, the vendor is responsible for issuing automatic, system-wide security patches, and they do it in a manner that causes little disruption in your organisation.

Clearly, a holistic SaaS solution is a must-have for SMBs in today’s digital age. Why, then, do some smaller enterprises hesitate to adopt such a solution?

Challenges faced by SMBs in adopting an integrated SaaS solution

It is usual for SMBs to perceive SaaS solutions in general as being complex and expensive. When it comes to deploying an integrated SaaS solution, their concerns usually include:

  • Cost issues: Deploying a unified solution for the entire organisation is seen as a bigger expense than a standalone solution for one particular use case.
  • Time constraints: Businesses switching to new solutions are usually in a hurry to get the solution up and running as soon as possible. Keeping this in mind, some organisations might feel that since an integrated SaaS solution spans multiple functions, it will take more time for its implementation.
  • Not being able to identify the right solution: With thousands of SaaS providers in the market, companies are unsure how to choose the right partner.

These multiple problems have one solution – a reliable and trusted SaaS partner who can also act as an advisor. The solution provider must not only provide the SMB with an integrated SaaS solution that can be customised according to its needs, but also offer a simplified partner experience that can help the customer overcome the challenges it faces before, during and after deployment.By understanding the unique requirements of the SMB, the vendor should be able to provide it with the right mix of tools to grow its business.

Take your business to new heights with Salesforce

With Salesforce CRM for Small Business, strengthen sales, improve customer service and grow business revenue by centralising customer communications into a single platform. Salesforce CRM for Small Business allows for quicker adoption, lower costs, and easier maintenance. What’s more, you can use Salesforce’s free trial to see how a CRM system can benefit your company’s expansion.

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