Disruption needs trust. SaaS vendors who are attempting to disrupt a traditional incumbent need to do everything to build the credibility that creates trust from customers.

logo The other day I visited SaaS vendor iPayroll and was pleasantly surprised when I looked up at the entrance to their building. iPayroll decided that their market (payroll services for small/medium businesses) needed to really trust them for their most sensitive of data. iPayroll decided that securing naming rights to a building would give them a level of credibility that would build trust with their customers. It’s a reasonable enough thought and it would seem to work for iPayroll and the market they’re in.


logo Just up the road in a lovely, but unmarked, building lives the global headquarters of Xero. Xero also deals with SMEs and handles their sensitive financial records. Xero too realised that trust was critical but their approach to gaining this level of trust was to go through an IPO and gain the credibility of being in the public eye. Xero banked on this credibility building trust for their brand. It to is a reasonable enough contention (not to mention other good reasons for IPOing) and it seems to have worked well for Xero thus far.

My point? There’s many ways of doing it, and really it doesn’t matter how you do it, but SaaS businesses have no option but to built a credible story and leverage that credibility to create trust for their customers (and potential customers).

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.

  • We’d name the building too, but we’re not even allowed to put a sign up. Some heritage building thing. We’d have neon flashing lights if we could πŸ™‚

  • @Rod – I did wonder – I mean it’s not like you to downplay things πŸ™‚

  • Falafulu Fisi |

    Rod said…
    Some heritage building thing.

    This is why I hate heritage protection bylaw. It utterly violates private property rights.

    In my street, there was a house which was built in the 1930s that was under protection via the heritage bylaw. The owner seeked permission from the council to demolish the building as it was leaky and not only that the foundation was unstable. Soon after the publication notifications about this application, there were some individuals who don’t live in my street who objected to the application to demolish this house by the owner. It went on and on for about a year and finally, the council gave the green light to go ahead (for the demolition). Even on the demolition day, protesters were blocking the the bulldozer from getting in to the property, where cops were called in to the scene to remove the protesters. This is mad, such bylaw should be abolished/repealed.

    If your house was built in the 1930s/1940s Ben, and it has been classified as a heritage property by the local council, what da ya reckon Ben when you feel impotent of being unable to do something to it (even renovating it), without being required to ask permission to do so? Your rights has been violated, hasn’t it? The society has no right to what is yours, even on the ground that it should be preserved so that I (or other members of the society) could enjoy its history/looks, etc… The rights to those attributes of the property belong solely to the owner and not the society. If the society (via council) value those historical attributes of the property , they should own them, ie, buy those properties at market price when they’re available for sale.

  • @FF Luckily I built my own house a couple of years ago so the historical places trust will leave us alone for a century or two!

  • We don’t have flash offices, however in many respects you could call our places of operation ‘historic’ haha… We didn’t have ‘known’ personalities on board either, so really all we had was product and delivery.

    Our credibility plan was twofold.

    1. Product: Look after the first 1000+ users. Almost overkill on support, so they would tell others. Their voice became our credability.

    2. Delivery: We don’t focus on our office, only the datacentre. And it’s one of the most credible out there:

    Web based project management software is a critical tool, so referrals from customers and solid infrastructure are our key points of credability.

  • C’mon Ben, where’s your response to the big announcement? It’s been on the Xero Blog for 24 Hrs already – I expected much better from you πŸ™‚

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