And how DaaS may trap the unwary b2b leader.
As a Service (in the cloud)
for b2b subscriptions (repeatedly sold into a customer organisation).
Data as a Service.
Turns out it’s a thought provoking topic.
What if the ‘as a service’ angle is about transforming data into intelligence and driving genuine measurable results?
What if those measurable results could be predicted for customer organisations? People pay good money to see around corners.
How critical or “must have” would that be. Could this be the route to lifting the Must Have Score benchmark closer to 10/10?
Would it also rocket retention, boosting the Revenue Retention benchmark for established b2b information companies from 106% beyond 120% as a ramp, not a roller coaster?
How do you deal with different customer requirements from “do it all for me” through to “I want to examine every result?”
How do you transform the data into intelligence to give answers for decision making across different user groups and use cases (e.g. executive information system for senior people versus analyst)?
How do companies communicate the value of their data when customer projects may i) use many other sources and ii) the in some instances the results are not realised for many years?
DaaS in the news
As well as provoking thought, DaaS is also in the news. SubsClub was held the day after a joint venture between Lloyds List and Vertexa.
Connecting dots, this comes after the Montagu acquisition of Lloyd’s List from Informa. Montagu also own Jane’s, a brand I worked on back in the ‘90s explaining what the world wide web was to global law enforcement peeps! It was a long way from DaaS.
But I digress. To my mind, the joint venture means Vertexa’s offering is enhanced with precision, accuracy and trusted heritage from Lloyd’s list intelligence, and Lloyd’s list benefits from their depth, breadth and what’s actually happening on the waters.
DaaS in SubsClub
Data-as-a-Service DaaS is a topic that pulled in a great mix of b2b subscription leaders across data, product, pricing, marketing, commercial and strategy. From established subscription brands with existing expertise in DaaS like LexisNexis and the tech-native General Index. I would list the other brands there, but that would give the game away about the people making in roads.
DaaS feels like a more natural and achievable evolution for b2b information companies than Software-as-a-Service SaaS. Because we’ve grown up supplying forms of data, even if it’s been delivered in formats outside of the cloud. And periodically rather than continually. But that doesn’t mean it’s an open goal for b2b information companies.
But if does feel like a refreshing antidote to the magic solution, “Let’s add more product” to the challenge of increasing revenues. There’s so much feature bloat out there. So little connect with customer requirements and more importantly, a clear connection with measurable results. There’s only so many times that “just add more product” is going to roll a six.
Should you follow the rabbit down the DaaS rabbit hole?
And if you drink the DaaS potion, will you grow, or will you shrink?
The headline benefits include stickier solutions that increase in price as the customer derives more value. Probably reaching different user groups and creating multiple use cases. This connects with the Substribe mission to rocket retention, by driving in account revenue expansion (the thrust) and protecting the installed base (the fuel).
But, there are potential pitfalls. What happens when you pipe data into a client organisation – how do you know what happens to it? How do you keep close with your customers? Is it possible to understand the impact it makes on the customer’s business results?
From a data perspective, what makes for the right kind of data? Is it possible to create additive layers of value to expand revenues beyond the data itself? And how do you avoid the data being commoditised aka “the commodity trap”?
Not everyone can be a price reporting agency.