In February of this year, I attended SaaStr 2019, in San Jose. As you can imagine it delivered on the mandate of shared experiences, inspiring & connecting founders of SaaS companies spanning the globe. The line up was strong, with a range of awesome sessions spanning product, sales, funding etc.
Almost three months later, one session that remains with me is an interview with SaaStr’s Jason Lemkin & Ryan Smith of Qualtrics.
Qualtrics is an Experience Management platform, collating data around customer, brand, employee & product. The company was built around the idea that immediate feedback makes for a better product, automating research that was typically outsourced.
Invotra is a flexible enterprise intranet/portal that connects & engages hundreds of thousands of users through internal & external collaboration, elegant distributed publishing capabilities, smart KM abilities & a seamless UX.
The company was built around the idea that the intranet was the heartbeat of an organization, and organizations needed to maximize the power of the data that existed within. We also wanted to break the mould & return full control to enterprise – having witnessed, first hand, the effects of that control being outsourced to the supplier.
Despite being very different products in terms of day to day function (surveys versus intranet/extranet/collaboration) the talk struck a loud chord with me, due to the similarities between Qualtrics & Invotra, in terms of what drives us, in many regards.
- Priding ourselves on making software that’s easy to use. “What does the user want” is asked repeatedly
- Returning full control & enabling customers to self serve – without having to ask us to do it for them
- Software becoming more appealing because of the addition of features that support the platform, maximizing the data provided
- The importance of focus and the long game play – Invotra are just getting started in that regard
- Scar tissue – in our instance, what we gained from being the first SMB/SME in on UK Govt’s landscape back in the day where Invotra stood shoulder to shoulder with global SI’s – and letting it prepare & propel you into the next phase! We took our Government experience and brought it into the corporate world, much like Qualtrics did with their academic experience
The most important parallel is this – Experience Management. This is what really drove it home for me – it’s about the journey. Being in the cloud SaaS space at this time, continuously improving great software – software that A) people want to use and B) that makes a significant difference to their day-to-day work life. Bar none, it’s what drives us. Every. Single. Day.