What is Saas? And Learn About Our Top Digital Tools.
At BlueSalt Consulting, as a remote team, we rely heavily on SaaS applications. Are you curious? Perhaps you’re wondering ‘What is SaaS?’.
SaaS stands for “Software as a Service”. This means a piece of software that is sold as a service, rather than the actual software itself – it is hosted and delivered over the internet by a third-party provider (you could compare it to software you might bought in times gone by on a CD-ROM and install on your computer where you bought the ‘software’ rather than a ‘service’. With SaaS platforms, users typically pay a subscription fee to access the software. The benefit of this is that the software is maintained by the provider and there are different price points allowing for scaling up or down. You also benefit from the provider’s continued development work, with new features often rolled out over time.
While this is a great opportunity for business owners to access a huge variety of services, it is an oversaturated market and it can be quite overwhelming to know where to start. Selecting the ‘right’ service can be tricky (and costly if you realise you’ve picked the wrong option after rolling out the solution).
Our Top Picks
If you’re interested in our top picks, our digital strategy specialist Heidy shares the “tried and true” applications that work well for our team:
Google Workspace: Google has created a service that caters to all business needs and offers various pricing options based on your requirements. Hence, this is perhaps our most essential tool for documentation, client meetings, calendar management, and seamless integration with the services below.
Slack: Many tech companies use this tool among their development teams, and it’s easy to see why! It has become an essential means of seamless communication, enabling us to connect as if we were “popping over to a colleague’s desk,” even when working from different locations. There are a broad range of functions but we most commonly use direct messaging and huddles (single or multi-user voice or video-calls, with screen sharing). The use of bots and integrations with other applications is also really handy.
Asana: Serves as our ‘VMB’ or visual management board, functioning like digital post-it notes that help us effectively manage our projects in one space and keep individuals on track with their delegated tasks.
Canva: Our go-to creativity hub for designing marketing assets and creating professional documents. We actually can’t live without this and see this platform growing into something more as they continue to innovate and provide an ever expanding range of functions.
Confluence: This is our corporate wiki, providing a centralised location to store all of our processes and strategies for easy access and organisation. Rather than processes being stuck in someone’s head, this is an easy to navigate repository, complete with written instructions, videos, flow charts and supporting documents.
Clockify: This tool simply tracks our time across projects. With the help of a browser extension, we can easily track time on whichever tab we are working on. It helps us stay on budget with client projects, identify when we’ve got capacity to do more (and when we need to call on another team member to help us out.
Xero: Every business requires a great accounting software and with a growing team, managing timesheets, payroll and client invoices has never been easier. With a huge range of integrations and increasingly sophisticated cash flow forecasting tools, Xero responds to the needs of businesses small to large.
The Secret Ingredient
So what is the secret ingredient for all these tools mentioned above? They all allow for transparency, effortless collaboration and are highly accessible as we all have different work patterns. We also benefit from each service’s commitment to constantly updating, improving and expanding their platform’s offering.
A version of this blog post first appeared on Anna Dixon Consulting’s website, our previous brand.