Software as a Lawn Service

June 2, 2011 at 7:54 AM | Posted in Business, SaaS | 4 Comments

Software as a Service (SaaS) is the business that I am in and I continually seek ways to understand it myself and to explain it to others. This is important as  what we do can look a lot like hawking software and so we can end up crossing beaks in the wrong birdcage.

I see it this way: I have not owned a lawn mower in thirty years and have used lawn services for all that time. It’s not that I don’t want a nice yard or a beautiful one  — I do. But I don’t want to do it myself. It’s not because I don’t know how to do it — I grew up mowing lawns and took pride in cutting it once this way, once that. I just put more value in doing other things: coaching when my kids they were young, playing golf, running, swimming, a million things. So, for me, I’ve never done a cost justification on the cost of buying lawn mowers, edgers, hedge clippers, fertilizer — you name it. I want to get the best service I can afford.

Something else: while I know how to mow, I don’t know how to, for example, aerate. I would plan to do it and perhaps do it the first year and then I’d give up on it. I’d think the lawn looked ok without it. Then after a few years, the lawn would be a mess. This is a lot like companies planning to always implement the latest release of software — but 90% don’t.

At Plex we provide a Service. We are for those companies that want to focus on the things that make them money and let the IT people focus outward to their users and not inwards towards their own computers and such. This idea is both easy and hard to get across … depending.

So, if someone were to ask me how I’d compare the 10 year “cost of ownership” of owning equipment and doing the work myself vs. a service I’d look at them like they had two heads. But if they want to talk about the value I’ve gotten from NOT having to do it – I’d bend their ear!


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  1. I love the analogy and the comparison is spot on. Taking a complex topic and putting it in simple terms.

  2. Nice analogy. I’ll pass it to Harry!

  3. That’s a great analogy Tom. I think I’ll incorporate it into my own pitch😉

    • I think that you can improve on it but you also may find a gardening fanatic in your audience –ouch!

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