October 28, 2019

4 Lessons from SaaS Pioneer Amazon Web Services

When it comes to the boom of cloud service offerings, Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a low cost, reliable, and secure foundation for businesses to build and deliver Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions.


Amazon is a pioneer — paving the way in technologies that have changed the way we live and how we do business.

There was a time when ordering everything from pantry items to toiletries on Amazon wasn’t second nature. Now, for many of us, staple items are just a few clicks (rather than an errand) away. That’s not to mention our millions of photos that it stores, our music that it plays, or the videos that we access and purchase through Amazon Prime memberships.Amazon’s low cost, reliable, and secure brand goes beyond the neatly packaged boxes that arrive promptly at our front doors. Just like many Prime users experienced a shift from a storefront to an online cart that went from convenient perk to a service we increasingly depend on, many businesses have done the same with Amazon’s ever-growing and improving SaaS offerings.When it comes to the boom of cloud service offerings, Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a low cost, reliable, and secure foundation for businesses to build and deliver Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. Here’s how the Amazon brand of cloud services has grown exponentially since its launch, and what lessons SaaS providers can learn from it.Don’t be afraid to start small and grow big.Amazon’s launch of cloud services wasn’t a bedazzled grand finale. It was the start of many iterations and additions of services that Amazon would make increasingly useful and effective, spurring its adoption. AWS first launched in 2002, was overhauled in 2003, and then was relaunched in 2006. In 2006, they only offered Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or storage space on a pay-as-you-go model. Since then, they have added Data as a Service (DaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Their SaaS offerings include a range of business applications, customer engagement services, developer tools, Internet of Things options, and more. Along the way, the company has been relatively transparent about its expansion and improvement of service offerings, continuously seeking to improve customer experience. Here are 4 Lessons from SaaS Pioneer Amazon Web Services

Do become a building block for business.

As Amazon grew, it offered an increasing number of services to users, often with a trial period. In 2004, for example, Amazon released two new services: (1) Amazon E-Commerce Service 4.0 (ECS 4.0), which offered unprecedented access to Amazon’s technology platform and product data (2) the Alexa Web Information Service (AWIS), which  provided users with the first-ever access to the vast database information and usage data compiled by Alexa Internet. The first was offered at no-cost and the second was offered at no cost in the beta period. These two applications have since grown to become a host of ecommerce applications and in the case of Alexa, a much improved SaaS product. By consistently adding to and improving services, Amazon increasingly became a vital piece of business infrastructure for a growing customer base.

Help customers both identify and meet their needs.

SaaS services offer many benefits. They provide a flexible way for customers to consume a product, improved operational efficiency, increased agility, and an expanded reach. But, what does that mean to a growing company that has yet to adopt SaaS? Amazon wants them to figure that out. For companies that are determining whether SaaS is right for their needs, AWS commissioned a study from Forrester Consulting that provides a framework from which to evaluate the potential financial impact of developing a SaaS product.  Beyond that, AWS offers the SaaS Factory, which helps businesses to understand the factors that influence the development of a company’s SaaS product. Amazon seems to value the fact that if it helps its customers to be successful, it will continue to be successful.

Support businesses in minimizing operational overhead.

Amazon asks business owners considering their products to let them help, specifically with operational overhead. AWS strives to partner with companies to achieve a faster time-to-market for SaaS providers. By using SaaS, AWS wants companies to offload some of their operational responsibilities in order to spend more time developing their products and improving their services. Even more, AWS aims to be very flexible for users according to their needs, offering customers options like pay for use pricing and the ability to scale. As a SaaS service, the company wants to help their customers’ bottom lines and help them to be more successful, as opposed to simply signing up more business.In the world of cloud services, AWS is the market leader. At the core of its success is its ability to innovate based on the needs of its users, and its commitment to helping customers find success with ease. And although harder in practice than on paper, it’s market share means that they must be getting it right most of the time.

That wraps up the 4 Lessons from SaaS Pioneer Amazon Web Services. Ready to get started? You can here.