Free Enterprise Software Online?
from the 1999-calling... dept
1999 is calling and they want their business model back. You may remember at the height of the boom, one of the popular business models was to give away something for free and support it with advertising. Many of those companies are now dead and gone, but some still insist that it’s a business model that can work with proper execution. Now that the whole online CRM space has heated up with Salesforce.com getting plenty of attention and Siebel trying to buy their way into the space, a new company has come along with plans to offer a free hosted CRM application that will eventually be supported by advertising. This certainly sounds familiar. I remember testing out a few similar services around 1998 and 1999. So far, this offering from FreeCRM.com seems to fall short in terms of matching features with the bigger players, but I can see how some might find this useful. Whether or not they can bring in enough advertising (or people willing to bounce up to the premium version) to support the company is another question.
Comments on “Free Enterprise Software Online?”
ASP - Not for Me
Any company that uses an ASP to run their critical business applications is nuts.
I looked but couldn’t find them – I’m sure somewhere in the Techdirt archives there are a slew of articles about all of the companies that were left in the lurch when their ASP went belly-up. The ASP holds all of your data, and when they go your data goes with them. Even when the failed ASPs made arrangements to get the data to the customer, how long does it take to get a replacement application up and running?
All I could find was this article, but the shortcomings then still apply now.
Re: ASP - Not for Me
I think the rules fro ASP have changed in the last years. ASPs run their services in a highly professional 24×7 environment with full backup in case of disaster, often with mirror in physically different locations. This is much more than an in-house IT department can offer mostly. ASPS are mostly more professional in handling the software and doing upgrades. This saves enormous amount. The biggest plus for me it’s the ubiquity, as employees can be everywhere to access the services. Partners and suppliers can easily integrated in an ASP solution. So with cheaper and better bandwidth there is no way around ASP in the next 10 years…
CRM for SaaS
Customer retention is the antithesis of churn rate, and the apparent solution is an Enterprise Billing System like (https://www.subscriptionflow.com/crm-for-saas/), which can help you lower churn rate through targeted advertising, smart dunning for failed payments, and sending email reminders to customers who have missed payments. Subscription Billing for Enterprises appears to have worked for SaaS companies in this scenario because it helps them to keep customers without having to spend money on acquisition.