A method to aggregate and analyze multiple data sources is working for ServiceSource, a cloud services provider that offers a combination of managed services and its software to analyze data and help increase customer renewals.
ServiceSource represents a new generation of cloud services providers that are growing fast by offering a combination of managed services and SaaS-based tools that integrate with enterprise technologies, be they SaaS-based or on-premise.
Gartner Research predicts the cloud services market to increase from $68 billion in 2010 to about $149 billion by 2014. The companies providing cloud services are focusing to some degree on using data and analytics to provide an initial framework that is integrated into the SaaS environment.
For example, Marketo is one of the fastest growing SaaS providers. It provides marketing automation services. And who can deny Salesforce.com's growth? The service has had considerable success with its sales automation technology.
Gary Liu of ServiceSource said in an interview earlier this week that its growth can in part be attributed to the demands companies are facing from Wall Street to boost revenues.
That's also what we hear from Marketo. Companies are searching for incremental revenues. Automation is providing a way to do that.
Here's how it works for ServiceSource customers:
- The client gives access to the data sets.
- The data is put through the ServiceSource data management engine. The data is normalized and then put into an intelligence platform.
- That allows ServiceSource to do benchmarking and tie it to metrics within a dashboard environment.
The enterprise is just getting a taste for the power that automation offers. Sales has traditionally been a manual task where the relationship is of the first importance. That's still true. But the use of automating technologies that integrate with a SaaS platform is what we expect to continue to see as the year unfolds and the cloud services market expands its scope.
For ServiceSource, the challenge is in showing its systems work and can provide increased revenues for the organization. In a smart twist, ServiceSource proves itself by earning its compensation on how sales increase. The pay for performance model is apparently pretty popular with chief financial officers. Now there's a shocker!
The system seems to be working. ServiceSource says that it is seeing a 20% increase and sometimes as much as a 40% increase in customer renewal rates.
And the proof of its success? ServiceSource recently announced its intentions to pursue an initial public offering. That has to be worth something, don't you think?