Drive business process innovation with SaaS applications

There are a wide variety of business processes that can be managed with software as a service (SaaS) applications. Today we’ll focus on a few examples to give you an idea of what’s possible, such as:

  • Monitoring water or power usage
  • Managing spending and suppliers
  • Understanding and adjusting marketing campaign results

Managing Utilities

Let’s talk about the first process—staying on top of utility bills and maybe even reducing them. Utilities are just one type of infrastructure service that can be managed by a city. Most of us don’t think much about what’s involved in getting fresh water to homes and businesses.

How does a city monitor and repair problems? How can the city plan for and respond to peak demand or storms? SaaS solutions such as IBM Smarter Cities can help cities maintain and improve service levels without increasing their IT infrastructure, while helping the city innovate along the way.  The City of South Bend used SaaS to improve its storm water management approach in a cost-effective way.

Supply Management

The second process that SaaS applications can manage is strategic supply management. Businesses are increasingly reliant on their global supply chains to be successful, and many spend an average of 50 percent of their sales with suppliers.

With companies focused on rapid global growth, procurement executives need to operate locally and globally, to manage risk and compliance, and to build and manage a supply base that can provide competitive advantage. SaaS solutions provide rapid time to value as companies run strategic procurement programs worldwide.

One global logistics client successfully leveraged IBM Emptoris SaaS solutions to standardize global sourcing processes, significantly reduce costs and bring critical new spend categories such as transportation under management. The solution increased visibility and transparency as well, which enabled the company to build better relationships with their business partners and access higher value throughout their sourcing programs.

Marketing campaigns

Finally, with company budgets shrinking, getting and keeping customers is a priority. Who is responding to this month’s marketing campaigns? What are customers buying? Or, why aren’t they buying?

A key element of being agile in the market is to be able to adjust and redirect marketing investments. Using SaaS solutions, businesses can analyze promotions and determine which stores or websites are performing well, in order to change their approach to get the best results.

Hear from below about how they use IBM Smarter Commerce capabilities to manage their business. Again, as with the other processes, the SaaS model allows marketers to focus on the business issues rather than on scalability and other IT issues.

With these few examples, it’s easy to see that a wide variety of industries are choosing SaaS solutions to manage their business processes. Share your story with us on Twitter using the hashtags #IBMSaaS and #IBMCloud.

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Janet Sifers

About Janet Sifers

Janet Sifers is a senior strategic marketing and business development leader who currently leads marketing strategy for IBM SmartCloud Solutions, an extensive portfolio of over 70 industry-leading SaaS and BPaaS offerings. Over the past 20 years, she has led several global marketing and business partner programs, alliances and acquisitions.
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