As-a-Service Advantage

by Mark Swanson

Everywhere you turn, a new as-a-Service offering is available that promises you and your business the moon and stars. Often, outsourcing sounds too good to be true; after all, if all of the claims outsourcing companies made were true, then you would be able to run a successful business without doing any work!

I wouldn’t recommend outsourcing everything because every business needs to have a unique story, something that sets it apart from the competition. As-a-Service offerings should never replace your company’s core strengths. You have to take the time to really analyze the things that you do best. What defines you as an organization? Do you design winning strategies? Bake the very best cake? Build the better mousetrap? These are the things that you should never consider outsourcing, the crucial things that should take the lion’s share of your attention. When it comes down to it, no business exists completely on its own. Relationships with vendors and partners do play a key role in how successful your business becomes.

What are examples of ‘chores’ that could be passed on to an as-a-Service offering?

As I said, anything that contributes to the value of the company’s offering or to the overall culture of the organization should never be outsourced. Payroll is a great example, as is IT support or your company’s phone system. It just doesn’t always make sense to have a full-time employee on staff to make sure everyone’s anti-virus software is up to date, or a telecom engineer who can re-load your company’s phone server every time it goes down. With offerings like Communications-as-a-Service, if you are having trouble with your phone or simply need to make changes to your system, like adding an employee or new lines, you just pick up the phone and say, ‘I need this done.’ That is the beauty of as-a-Service: in addition to the flexibility it offers, you have the support of an entire team of experts who are accountable to you to handle issues and support your business, and it is properly staffed to do so.

How do as-a-Service offerings make your business better?

Your customers don’t know or aren’t concerned with the fact that you are using an as-a-Service type offering when they receive invoices or that you have a hosted phone system when they dial your phone number. Their only concern is that the service they are receiving from you is good and is what they expected. To them, it is implicit that all the other stuff works seamlessly in the background. By utilizing as-a-Service type offerings like Communications-as-a-Service, it frees you and your resources to allocate your valuable time to focus on your core offering and to build a better, superior service experience for your customers.