SaaS with a purpose
23/08/2012 - Today's best business software doesn't impose restrictions on the user. It should give them the functionality they want, delivered by whichever method they prefer.
Software as a service (SaaS) has created a host of different platform options for businesses, and has enabled Greentree partners to offer their customers a greater range of choices when it comes to service delivery.
But one Greentree partner has taken the SaaS model another step forward, creating what it calls "SaaS with a purpose" — and it's a runaway success.
Australian-based JR.bizlink, a specialist in accountancy, developed an end-to-end service package 10 years ago specifically for the pharmacy industry.
Many Australian pharmacies are small, independent concerns, and JR's SaaS platform, powered by Greentree, meant each business could have its own system without having to purchase its own computing infrastructure.
It enabled pharmacies to manage all the financial aspects of their business, and to get expert online financial advice from JR as well. More than 300 pharmacy businesses across Australia have since signed up for the Pharmacy Services model, but JR soon realised that it could work for other industries as well.
Flexibility breeds popularity
Uptake has been impressive: growth in demand for the service model has ballooned from 10 per cent a year in its early days, to 30 per cent in the last three years, and that trend is expected to continue, with JR's SaaS model now being adopted by dentists, hotels, farms, and even property companies.
Close to a thousand Australian businesses are now using it.
"Because Greentree is so flexible, we're able to manipulate it to make sure we're covering all their needs," said Teresa Hooper, JR partner, architect of the SaaS model.
"You wouldn't typically find that in a normal SaaS system."
Douglas Pharmacy Group, is one of the larger groups utilising the system. Douglas has been a key element to rolling out JR's innovative solutions for larger organisations, offering itself as a Beta tester.
The success of the system earned JR.Bizlink and Douglas Group a Customer Collaboration Award at the Greentree we3 Awards.
Lyn Guy, group accountant for Douglas Group, says the system is "brilliant", delivering KPI reports to pharmacists in plain language they can understand; plus the reports can be tailored for specific types of pharmacies.
The online functionality has cut payroll processing time in half, as well as reducing errors in GST returns. End-of-month reports can be finalised in a matter of hours, as opposed to days.
"Through this system we're able to value-add in a very cost-effective manner because so much of the work is automated," Hooper said.
"It's interesting to note how much news coverage there is about SaaS today.
"We've effectively been providing it, with Greentree, for at least 10 years. It's not something new, as far as we're concerned."
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