Software Platform Consulting

SaaS Metrics for Enterprise-Driven B2B Networks (Buyer-Supplier Revenue Mix)

Software Platform Consulting

There are many great articles about SaaS metrics on the web (e.g., see here , here and here.) There are also great resources for metrics specific to marketplaces (see here ). But much of my work is with a special kind of network, where one side of the platform is an enterprise buyer (or supplier) and on the other side is their supply base (or customers). Typically one side’s enterprises tend to be much larger than the other side’s. That’s why I call them enterprise-driven.

Change Healthcare’s Intelligent Healthcare Network

Software Platform Consulting

Change Healthcare is going public (again). The IPO provides another opportunity to examine a massive B2B inter-enterprise network, Change Healthcare’s Intelligent Healthcare Network. I previously wrote about this network when it was called Emdeon ( see here ). It’s a story of how a small EDI player became an impressive company through acquisition and organic growth. Every network entrepreneur should know this great story.

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How well do Governments Buy Catalog Items?

Software Platform Consulting

As taxpayers, we should want to know how well our dollars are spent. At the Federal level, most of these dollars are spent on social security, healthcare, and defense (see below). Articles about spending in these areas are easy to find, but the price of F-35s or my dad’s medicare is too complex for this blog. Instead, let’s focus on the prices paid for common commercial catalog items that we can all relate to. Government Catalog Spend.

SaaS Metrics for Enterprise-Driven B2B Networks (Bookings)

Software Platform Consulting

Source: [link]. This is the third in my series on SaaS Metrics for Enterprise-Driven B2B Networks. I spend very little time on issues of compensation on this blog. But it turns out, this is a really important issue for Enterprise-Driven B2B Networks. As discussed in the prior post , many networks of this type, subsidize one side of the network, to make money from the other side.

The Complete Guide to SaaS Revenue Modeling

In today’s climate, it’s more important than ever for SaaS companies to build rock-solid financial models on which they can operate and make key business decisions. The teams at SaaSOptics and Burkland have teamed up to create a comprehensive guide to the most difficult aspect of financial modeling: revenue forecasting.

Fleetcor Acquisition of Nvoicepay Yields Insights on B2B Payments

Software Platform Consulting

Fleetcor (FLT) closed on its acquisition of privately-held nvoicepay on April 1, 2019. Fleetcor’s first quarterly earnings report since the acquisition provides insight into the economics of the B2B payments space. Nvoicepay. Nvoicepay is interesting, in part, because it is a pure-play payments provider. The company takes a payment file from a buyer. It then disburses the funds to the buyer’s suppliers in a manner nvoicepay has determined in negotiation with the supplier.

B2B 50

Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Procure-to-Pay Suites (with Valuations)

Software Platform Consulting

Gartner recently published its 2019 Magic Quadrant for Procure-to-Pay Suites. Once again , I have superimposed valuation information onto the Magic Quadrant. (I I still don’t understand why Gartner has not varied the size of the “dots” to add more information to the charts. For instance, each vendor’s dot could be sized in proportion to their NPS scores, revenue, or valuation. See Spend Matters’ Solution Maps.).

AI 40

The Phreesia Triple Threat

Software Platform Consulting

My last post was partly about healthcare payments in the form of Change Healthcare’s Intelligent Healthcare Network. I did not set out to write another post about healthcare payments, but reading Phreesia’s S-1 compels me to. Phreesia has three “businesses” in one: SaaS applications, payments, and life sciences advertising. Phreesia Threat #1: SaaS Applications. If you have been to a doctor you have some idea of what Phreesia’s SaaS applications do!

SaaS Metrics for Enterprise-Driven B2B Networks (Buyers per Supplier)

Software Platform Consulting

Welcome to the last, and most important, in my series of posts on metrics unique to Enterprise-Driven B2B Networks. The last metric, buyers per supplier, is easy to calculate if your platform is architected as a network. (If If you did not architect your platform so suppliers have one account for all buyers, shame on you.). Suppliers Per Buyer. Every enterprise-driven B2B network proudly tells you they are great at enabling your enterprise’s suppliers.

Upwork Versus Fiverr: Battle of the Freelance Marketplaces?

Software Platform Consulting

Fiverr, a marketplace for freelancers just joined the parade of software companies going public. The Fiverr filing sets up a comparison of Fiverr versus Upwork, the grand-daddy of freelancer marketplaces. Upwork went public last year.) (See See here and here ). Upwork Versus Fiverr: A Different Approach to Services. The most basic difference between Upwork versus Fiverr is fascinating. On the Upwork platform, buyers issue RFQs for projects and invite freelancers to bid on those projects.

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Are Your Embedded Analytics DevOps-Friendly?

Does your analytics solution work with your current tech stack and DevOps practices? If not, any update to the analytics could increase deployment complexity and become difficult to maintain. Learn the 5 elements of a DevOps-friendly embedded analytics solution.

B2B Payments Economics Courtesy of Bottomline Technologies (Paymode-X)

Software Platform Consulting

Last week I wrote a post about Fleetcor’s acquisition of Nvoicepay. The acquisition represented an opportunity to learn more about the economics of B2B payments. The acquisition also prompted me to review Bottomline’s financial reports. Bottomline owns Paymode-X, the largest B2B payment network in the US. Paymode-X boasts payments of more than $200 billion annually and over 400,000 payees. Nvoicepay, by contrast, processed payments of approximately $20 billion annually.).

Two-Sided Markets and a Two-Sided Supreme Court: The Amex Case

Software Platform Consulting

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of American Express (Amex) in an antitrust case 11 states had brought against Amex (see here ). If you are interested in two-sided markets, platforms, and pricing you will want to read the Supreme Court’s decision written by Justice Thomas and the dissent written by Justice Breyer (see here ). Full disclosure: There’s a fair bit of legalese, so I skimmed it. But, it sounds cool to say I read a Supreme Court opinion.)

When Business Models Collide: HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List

Software Platform Consulting

Established in 1995, Angie’s List was the pioneer in the home services marketplace. Home Advisor (IAC) announced last week it is acquiring Angie’s List (ANGI) for more than $500 million. This price represents a 44% premium over Angie’s List’s depleted closing stock price (see below)). I am sad to see Angie’s List go. Triumph of the One-Sided Pricing Plan. Angie’s business model was a prominent differentiator from its competition in the home services market.

As Software Platforms Grow, So Do the Oligopolies

Software Platform Consulting

I love the word “oligoply” It’s a fancy word for a market structure in which a few companies have the large majority of market share. The recent news reminds me just how many markets are becoming oligopolistic–especially those dominated by platform software. Before We Get to Software… Warren Buffett recently announced that he was buying airline stocks. This is a man whose greatest quotes include many disparaging remarks about the airline industry (see here ).

The Five-Finger Approach to Onboarding

As a group who provides the software tools necessary to manage the contracts to cash process, Aysling onboards users and projects daily, and has learned some important tips if you want to be successful when onboarding new clients and/or projects.

Taulia Discloses A Few SaaS Metrics Relevant to Networks

Software Platform Consulting

Early (and Fuzzy) Saas Metrics From B2B Networks. Until a B2B Network catches on, the metrics can be gloomy. (The The first few years of the Ariba Network were pretty dismal, for instance.) The result is that for the first few years of a B2B network’s life you tend to see silly press releases from these networks touting their growth in all manner of odd metrics: percentage growth versus growth in absolute numbers (always huge when you start from zero). new partnerships. awards.

Uber for Truckers: Cargomatic and the Perils of B2B SaaS Marketplaces

Software Platform Consulting

Sunday’s Business Insider had a great article on, Cargomatic, a company promising (as do many others) to be the “Uber for Truckers” By that, Cargomatic means it will match shippers with goods to ship with truckers with excess capacity. On paper it is a great idea in a huge market: less than truckload (LTL) shipping.

B2B 40

Ferreting out Suppliers’ “Dirty Little Secrets”

Software Platform Consulting

Three separate events last week reminded me that every spend category has its “dirty little secrets” Suppliers can exploit these “dirty little secrets” to squeeze a little more from buyers than buyers bargained for. Not all of these secrets are nefarious, but all reflect the inherently deeper category knowledge suppliers have and the limited resources buyers have to “sweat the details” in every category.

Angie’s List and Two-Sided Market Pricing

Software Platform Consulting

For those of us who follow pricing strategy in two-sided markets, last week was a milestone. Angie’s List, which invented the home services marketplace (in 1995) announced it would drop its “paywall” The paywall charged buyers to search its directory and reviews before communicating with contractors. Angie’s List will now offer a freemium model for homeowners (buyers) and will continue to offer a freemium model to contractors/service providers.

Digital Trends Report 2020

As part of our goal to continue helping our community during these times, we wanted to share with you this critical data on the state of digital products across industries and provide context on how businesses are responding to the changing winds.

Take Rates for B2B Marketplaces

Software Platform Consulting

The two questions I’m most often asked are: 1. How do you keep your hair looking so lush and luxurious? How much can a B2B Marketplace or Multi-Sided Platform charge for its services? Some folks call this the platform’s “take rate” ). The answer to the former question will need to remain a mystery, but the answer to the latter follows. B2B Marketplace Services.

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10 B2B Blogs Every Software Nerd Should Read

Software Platform Consulting

The vast majority of tech press is about B2C software companies or software for IT department (e.g., databases, security, performance monitoring and other stuff) that does not excite me. But, there are a few good b2b blogs and newsletters those of you interested in enterprise cloud business applications should follow for inspiration. My nominations, in no particular order, are as follows: Price intelligently.

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The Power and Honesty in a L4M Model. Build One Now.

SaaStr

“To keep you honest, and help the entire company and team keep track of how you are really doing … build a simple, rolling, “L4M” (Last Four Months) model. It just takes minutes.”. The Power and Honesty in a L4M Model. Build One Now. SaaStr [link].

By The Time You Give Them a Raise, They’re Already Out The Door

SaaStr

If someone is looking for another job in Year 1, Even if they don’t take it … You’ve already basically lost them. Do more 1-on-1s Get more 360 feedback Talk more. I know you don’t have time. Make it. — Jason BeKind Lemkin (@jasonlk) October 11, 2020.

5 Things a Data Scientist Can Do to Stay Current

DataRobot together with Snowflake – a leading cloud data platform provider — is helping data scientists stay current with the latest technology and data science best practices so that they can excel in an increasingly AI-driven workplace. Five Things a Data Scientist Can Do to Stay Current offers data scientists guidance for thriving in AI-driven enterprises.

As Soon As You Have Your First Real Management Team — It’s Time to Add Redundancy

SaaStr

Pre-Covid, I was walking on the streets of San Francisco and bumped into a terrific Unicorn CEO. A beloved CEO of a beloved startup. We caught up briefly, and I asked if there was any way I could help. He said, “I’m looking for a great VP of Marketing.” ” Oh goodness, I thought. It really never ends or gets easier. And it’s true … it probably doesn’t. Hopefully, you’ll have one or two great VPs that do stay forever, and go the distance.

5 Tips To Improve the Odds When You Hire VPs Who Were Fired or Quit

SaaStr

As you scale up in SaaS, one thing I can almost guarantee is that you are going to hire some VPs who were either fired or quit their last role. Especially in Bay Area-centric startups.

At About $2m in ARR, Every Great Hire Will Be Accretive.

SaaStr

Who should you hire, with limited budget? A VP of Sales? A Director of Demand Gen? Or A Head of Product? The answer is Yes. A truly great hire is >always< accretive. At least within just a few months. Hire anyone truly great you can find. Find a way.

Your Marketing Site Really Should Be Even Better Than Your Product

SaaStr

Your marketing site has to be: Clearer Simpler More Obvious More Up-to-date Better designed Easier to contact Faster Slicker Better Informing. Than your actual product. Yet, it's almost always not. — Jason BeKind Lemkin (@jasonlk) October 25, 2020.

Testing at Every Stage of Development

Up to 80% of new products fail. The reality is harsh and the reasons why are endless. Perhaps the new product couldn’t oust a customer favorite. Maybe it looked great but was too hard to use. Or, despite being a superior product, the go-to-market strategy failed. There’s always a risk when building a new product, but you can hedge your bets by understanding exactly what your customers' expectations truly are at every step of the development process.

7 Guidelines on Selling Some of Your Stock in a VC Round

SaaStr

"Secondary liquidity", where you can sell some of your shares in a round, is more and more common now. Should you sell if you can? The answer to me is simple: Are you OK if it turns out you never get another chance to sell? If the answer is Yes, don't sell. Otherwise, sell.

Could Someone Be a Better CEO Than You?

SaaStr

So it’s Q4. And the run up to the holidays and the end of the year is sometimes a time we quietly ask ourselves, after a few (or more) years in … Could Someone Do a Better Job as CEO? I did. I still do sometimes.

Pick Up The Phone. Answer the Chat. Be Present.

SaaStr

If your competition doesn't offer phone support, But you do … Watch your NPS eclipse theirs, all things being equal. Isn't that worth a few bucks? — Jason BeKind Lemkin (@jasonlk) October 16, 2020.

Why We Are Never Really Going Back to the Office

SaaStr

Stewart Butterfield threw out an interesting statistic in a recent interview with Fast Company … over 20% of Slack employees have been hired since Covid-19 hit and the shelter order in SF went into place. 20%+ of Slack's employees have been hired since Covid-19 hit.

How Embedding AI-Powered Analytics Can Give You a Competitive Advantage

Embedding dashboards and reports aren’t enough. Futureproof your application by offering instant, actionable insights that will give you and your customers a competitive advantage.

My Top 8 Mistakes Investing in SaaS Startups

SaaStr

Q: What are some of the most costly mistakes done by novice investors? My biggest mistakes in SaaS investing actually in the end haven’t been truly costly because, in the end, power laws mean your winners overwhelm your losers if you do it right. A few winners more than make up for the mistakes.

Best Document Management Software

The Daily Egg

Document management software—or DMS software for short—is the modern way to organize your company’s digital files. These tools eliminate the need for storing paper documents in physical drawers and filing cabinets.

Which VCs Open Cold Emails? Keith Rabois. Aileen Lee. David Sacks. Satya Patel. And More.

SaaStr

A little while back, we did a great digital event, The New New in Venture. We explored how venture has changed since Covid with many of the best, and many I look up to, from Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures to Satya Patel of Homebrew to Keith Rabois of Founders Fund and so much more.

How To Get Better at Recruiting. (We All Need To).

SaaStr

90% of my evaluation of any leader that works for me is the quality of people they can get to work for them. This could be wrong… Maybe it should be 95%. — Todd McKinnon (@toddmckinnon) September 13, 2020. Recruiting is tough. I certainly don’t do it well enough.

Why Distributed Tracing is Essential for Performance and Reliability

Speaker: Daniel "spoons" Spoonhower, CTO and Co-Founder at Lightstep

Many engineering organizations have now adopted microservices or other loosely coupled architectures, often alongside DevOps practices. Together these have enabled individual service teams to become more independent and, as a result, have boosted developer velocity. However, this increased velocity often comes at the cost of overall application performance or reliability. Worse, teams often don’t understand what’s affecting performance or reliability – or even who to ask to learn more. Distributed tracing was developed at organizations like Google and Twitter to address these problems and has also come a long way in the decade since then. By the end of this presentation, you’ll understand why distributed tracing is necessary and how it can bring performance and reliability back under control.