Saasu continues to double in size annually. So strategically we have spent a lot of time this year undergoing what is called refactoring in addition to capacity development work to allow us to continuously scale to meet our rapidly expanding customer base.
We have recently appointed a CMO (announcement shortly) so marketing activities commencing soon will cause accelerated growth. We need to be prepared for this.
Essentially we have built Saasu to easily scale to manage 1 million users and not the close to 100,000 we have now. Many reports and services have had speed increases as a result of this activity, but this is mostly noticeable with our larger clients who have often been creating upward of 10,000 transactions in a month. These changes will be ongoing, so you will see further performance improvements as time goes on. We don’t aim to “just cope” with the increased customer base, we aim to get much faster in addition to catering for the larger customer base.
The Saasu team knows that while we can create beauty in our new version of Saasu (it will look stunning), we need to be aware that beauty is skin deep. We need to ensure that below the surface we are engineered for performance and capacity.
One of Saasu’s objectives is to be a platform that our business clients won’t outgrow. Many of our larger customers are actually with us after leaving MYOB, Quickbooks and more recently Xero. This churn to Saasu is often about capacity and also our business centric focus. We have significantly higher monthly transaction capacity levels. Business owners should always check these limits on software vendor websites. Saasu is at 10 times that of our main competitors.
One criticism that we have been receiving lately is that we have slowed development in recent quarters. We haven’t at all, instead it’s just like the tip of the iceberg. The development activity isn’t about the screens you see—90% of our activity has been below the surface.
What we have been doing is prepping for a major change in our user interfaces.
First we dealt with cleaning up old code and bringing it into the most up to date framework available, MVC .Net 4.5.
Secondly we have dealt with infrastructure upgrades across three continents and two different suppliers where we store data. This included going from 2 core to 12 core machines in our private cloud array plus upgrading our load balancers.
Thirdly we have been building and implementing all the tools and methods we need to do continuous releases as part of a continuous integration process.
Lastly we have built new components and changed our architecture to deal with the exciting major enhancements, more of which you will be hearing about very soon.
You may not have noticed but we do releases regularly now without having to take the application down (sorry to those of you who have been complaining about not getting to play Battleship). These releases are around 5 days apart and not the old 4 week cycle we were once on. This capability will be very important in allowing us to create a rapid feature build, quality assurance and release cycle for future versions of Saasu and respond very quickly to customer and market demands. For example, in the last 4 weeks we have rolled out 4 new releases, all without any disruption to our customers.
So our development activity has been hidden rather than headline material. We are in the final phase, which is the rebuilding of Saasu screens and reports. This is what the industry call a user interface overhaul. The results of this release will be far more public. Our CDO, Grant Young, will post more info on this soon to give you a feeling for this final phase of the journey. Rest assured, we have listened to you, our customers and we believe you will be pleased.
Stop! All that said we have done a lot over this year in terms of features. See the (ironically long) short list below. Our product update emails and this blog can help keep you informed.
It is easy to forget how much feature based activity we have rolled out, despite the last few months being quiet. In the world of web applications and cloud computing, constant output that is public facing for sales and marketing reasons is one of the top objectives of most CEO’s. That’s not been my style though. I prefer to delay eating the marshmallow and to be longer term in our strategy and keep our goals to ourself. I’d prefer to wait for the work to be done and then talk about it but i do accept customers need to see some direction when things are seemingly quiet. Too much vaporware is sold in this accounting software industry. Those of you who are accountants would agree this is the case with online tax software now unlikely to be delivered by anyone before 2014 at the earliest.
So yes it may seem like we have been quiet, but we are building the next version of Saasu which is not a trivial task. It is designed to take a step beyond our competitors, which have the effect of dating their product offerings. You will see elements rolling out over the next few quarters that we think will excite and delight you. This progress is ongoing and continuous. We are not stopping or slowing down, not by a long shot.
We appreciate your patience.
So here’s a refresher on what we added over the last year…