Enterprise SaaS: the challenges and rewards

As a business, we’ve focused very specifically on developing the Plexure platform for the enterprise end of the market. One of the challenges our customers face is that massive data requirements mean most systems built for enterprise have evolved as clunky, on premise or custom-build systems with high installation and setup costs and ongoing overheads. This was something we identified early on and it’s why we’ve built the Plexure platform as a purely SaaS (Software as a Service) delivered model, which gives us a unique advantage at the enterprise end of the market.

This is becoming a bigger and bigger advantage for Plexure as the rate of innovation in the retail space increases. While smaller retailers are able to adapt quickly and trial new technologies, the larger retailers find it difficult to keep pace, largely hampered by legacy systems that are hard - in some cases impossible - to integrate with new technology. Our customers look to Plexure because of our SaaS deployment and highly flexible infrastructure.

While the focus on a true enterprise SaaS offering is now a key advantage for the business, it’s also presented some interesting challenges. The sheer volume of data that our platform manages for large businesses means that it isn't the cheapest system on the market; even with the reduced overheads that SaaS affords, ours isn't a budget option.

The nature of pursuing such large deals means that we see an extremely ‘lumpy’ sales process. Rather than experiencing consistent growth through a steady stream of smaller deals like SaaS businesses that operate in the SMB space, we see large but erratic jumps in revenue. It’s these large jumps that are the true reward for winning a big contract, but also what makes it challenging to drive an aggressive growth strategy.

As the business grows, the jumps in revenue from new customers become a lesser percentage compared to the recurring revenue derived from existing customers, so revenue becomes more predictable and that’s why ACMR is a key focus for the business.

As was highlighted by Plexure’s recent inclusion in the Deloitte Fast 50 index, while the revenue growth has been ‘lumpy’, the net effect has been a truly impressive 1,625% growth rate over the past three years. We see this as further validation that our focus on Enterprise SaaS has paid off.