ACCMan bought to my attention to the fact that FreeAgentCentral, the UK based SaaS accounting solution, is including tax tips into its corporate blog. As he points out this fulfills many uses;

  • Users get free information which they’d otherwise have to search for (read time and effort saving) 
  • The third part contribution both build credibility and increases the feeling of community
  • By offering this additional information, FAC starts to become a magnet for useful stuff that’s directly related to the service offering. That increases traffic but also increases the likelihood that FAC is seen as a trusted resource.
  • In developing community, FAC is sparking further discussion about its service and discovering fresh requirements.

So it’s a double win – the software vendor wins credibility, design suggestions and eyeballs, while the users gain the sense of community, being listened to and a value add.

I had an email from a SaaS startup the other day that asked me to explain what I meant when I said that “SaaS businesses need to think about aggregation”. My response to him went thus;

in this environment, where there are lots of “me too” offerings, I really like SaaS platform plays. This is where a product takes in information from many different sources and puts it in one place where it is easy for the user. Examples could include – Salesforce with Google apps, Zoho allowing login with Google login, FreeAgentCentral giving free tax tips on its blog – it’s all about letting people come in to share
So aggregation can be;

  • single sign-on
  • APIs
  • true aggregation (multiple data streams on one locale)

Good on FAC for seeing where this is heading – what will be the next aggregation play?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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