AppointmentPlus Blog

7 Crucial Questions to Ask a Prospective SaaS Provider

Although there’s been some recent doubt cast on the whole “no two people have the exact same fingerprints” theory, I think we can still generally agree that people are unique. And the more of them you put together in a group, the more unique that group becomes.

Underneath all the logos, mission statements, and quarterly financials, that’s all a company is — a group of people. So it stands to reason, then, that the larger the business, the more unique it becomes. With the addition of each new person, role, team, and department, the business changes into something increasingly different from every other business on the planet.

So think about it — how likely is it that there is an enterprise SaaS solution “out there” that was built by a company exactly like yours, so that it precisely fits your needs, without any modification whatsoever?

Let me back up for a second. Many of the benefits of SaaS come from the fact that the application isn’t built for one client, but generally for a whole bunch. So one of the main reasons your enterprise looks to a SaaS solution is precisely because of this “one size fits all” idea.

But if you’re expecting that application to suit your every need off the shelf, it’s time for a reality check. The truth is that most enterprises can’t just take an application as it is and run with it, even when it offers a mile-long list of configuration options. A large organization will typically need to have the application modified in some way.

SaaS providers know this, and they have a few ways they can approach customizing their software for your enterprise. Three, to be exact. Three methods that do not involve branching the code, that is. And that’s what you want to be sure your vendor is proposing when they start talking modification.

Branching the code negates many of the inherent benefits of SaaS. Yet not every online appointment scheduling SaaS vendor follows the single-code-base best practice.

The whole idea behind SaaS is that the software — its code base, to be precise — is continuously improved based on input from its entire customer base. As the provider rolls out new improvements to the code base, all subscribers receive those updates. There aren’t multiple versions of the software; just one, continuously improved, superior product.

But if you’re operating on a branch, you’re left out in the cold. The only way to ensure new software releases make their way to you is by paying the vendor to incorporate each individual improvement into your custom branch.

So how do you tell the difference between a vendor who can tailor the application to meet your needs within the primary code base, and one that will ask you to sign over your first born to create a custom branch?

7 questions for identifying the best enterprise SaaS provider for your business

Your due-diligence process must include an assessment of how the vendor will configure the SaaS application to meet your needs. Incorporating this list of questions into your process can help you weed out the applications that might create more problems than they solve:

  1. How much configuration of the SaaS application is possible?
  2. If I need customization not available through existing preference settings, can you accommodate? How?
  3. What are the features of the application that enable me to integrate it with my current systems?
  4. How robust is your API? Can I see your developer documentation? (At AppointmentPlus, we’re happy to share our developer docs.)
  5. How many technical employees do you have who can help with configuration, integration, development requirements, and future rollouts? How do you price those services?
  6. To what extent do you innovate your enterprise SaaS solution? What are your release cycles?
  7. Can you provide examples of integration and configuration work you’ve done with other large, multi-location organizations?

The success of the SaaS application within your organization depends on the answers to these 7 questions. Get the right answers, and you’re a hero.

But no pressure.

Ready to learn more? Schedule your free demo today.