Last week we sent one of our best engineers on a mission: to take a good, hard look at how we really stack up against the competition. Obviously, we have done this before, and quite extensively, but we felt that this was a good time to take a look and we selected what we consider to be a key SaaS competitor. We took advantage of their free trial offer and signed up. This is our story…
Our engineer spent 20 hours doing this evaluation. It was obviously done without any contact with the vendor in question. In fairness, some of the problems encountered may have been quickly addressed if we had “normal” support (or not?). However, working on the assumption that today’s SaaS solutions should be intuitive and not require support – at least for basic implementation, we pressed on.
You can’t evaluate what you can’t use!
Unfortunately, this led to our biggest challenge in this evaluation. Our engineer quickly complained. “It is difficult to evaluate because I can’t figure out how to do stuff!” he said.
“I have watched 10 instructional videos and RTFM and I still can’t figure it out. For me it’s obvious that you need a course and dedicated time to evaluate this product.”
“For example, there is a configuration section where you can do some config settings, but I only found out later that the real config is in the setup. Why not have it all together? Does what you did in one section impact the other? This was difficult to grasp. There were a LOT of setup/config possibilities or should I say demands? It appears that you have to go through this in order to get set up, configured and ready to start.”
It was our understanding that the solution being evaluated was targeted at the SMB and emerging enterprise markets. As such, we expected to see customization potential, but all driven by ease-of-use. Our goal at SAManage is to deliver a solution that can easily be customized but quick to deploy. Our customers are up and running in a few hours, not days or weeks. Yes, SaaS has to deliver on customization, but it should not require extensive training time to become an expert before customization can be tackled. The solution being evaluated certainly did not appear to have this as a basic design philosophy.
Back to our engineer:
“This is obviously targeted at large organizations that have a lot of time and money to customize it to their liking.”
Here is a running commentary on part of his evaluation:
After logging in, the interface looks dated. the app is not intuitive. Need to click and try before you figure out what action to take.
Good: you can configure the screen. New information is opened in a new ‘tab’. And you can switch between tabs.
Good: action items: combined list of incidents, tasks etc.
Bad: service is slow, not a good 1st impression.
Bad: you think you click on a drop-down list, but it brings you to a different selection screen.
Bad: going crazy because of scrolling messages! Can’t see how to stop it.
Clearly focused on a very different market to us — looks like a BIG enterprise application. But, I am reminded that it really is focused at SMB and emerging enterprise. Tough to understand how organizations of this size would have the resources to get this implemented.
Again, NOT intuitive at all! Trying to find out how to access the self service portal. All I get are the videos again or customer success stories… If you click on support and do a search you get a login. Not good.
Did I say it was NOT INTUITIVE?
If I was evaluating as a prospective customer, I would have given up long time ago. You need training before you can work with this tool.
It is a very tedious and time consuming process to work through this app. Nothing is intuitive. Did I say this before? But, let’s press on regardless…
You can configure your own statuses. Also the ‘tabs’ are quite nice.
This looks like dropdown, but it isn’t. Takes you to another screen? Not right.
Trying to establish a user for the self-service portal. Clicking on “Generate” takes me to a login screen.
Even if I click on the Self-Service setup guide I get the same login screen.
Oops, somehow I was logged out, but I can still perform some of the actions?
Makes no sense!
Managed to get something, but still not there…
You need to configure more I guess, setting up self service by itself is not enough. I can’t add data. I can click submit though 🙂
That’s about where it ended. We’d like to take the opportunity and thank Ben – we love you Ben and truly apologize for having you go through this pain.
Do you really expect customers to go through it?
Quite honestly, this was a very unsuccessful attempt at evaluating this competing offering and doing a comparison with SAManage. Turns out that you have to be an expert to use it and you need quite extensive training to become an expert. 20 Hours wasted? Or 20 hours well spent to encourage us knowing that we have built a SaaS solution that truly delivers on the promise of SaaS, whereas a leading competitor has failed miserably. At least, in our honest opinion and after giving it our best shot. Easy-to-use, quick-to-deploy – that is our mantra. Software that you will love to use.
Try a Service Desk You’ll Love to Use
Growing weary of your legacy on-premise IT service management tool? Tired of the high cost of ownership? The endless cycle of being forced to upgrade to newer releases with little value? its time to try an IT service desk you’d love to use.Time to evaluate our SaaS ITSM competition – here is what we found: Click To Tweet