I was very happy to present to a full room at SaaS University in Dallas on January 27, 2010 on the topic of Monetizing Multi-Tenancy in SaaS. This was a detailed look at (50+ slides; available below) the concept of Exploiting the Revenue Potential in Network Effect & SaaS Ecosystem that also had an interactive component (see the worksheet PDF below).
These concepts really resonated with many of the attendees who will certainly be looking at their businesses in a very different way going forward. I was told after the presentation that a couple of attendees from seemingly unrelated companies sitting near each other, an Electronic Health Record company and an Occupational Safety and Health Information Management System, realized that there might be an opportunity for them to work together! Certainly there are data points useful to each other (ecosystem) and the value of the network effect data goes up substantially due to the context each brings.
The greatest thing wasn't just the discovery of the potential ecosystem partner, but the core understanding by the EHR company founder that HIPAA compliance would not stand in the way of leveraging anonymous, aggregate data. Its up to the SaaS vendor to know their market, but don't just assume this won't work for you because of the compliance or governance issues in your market or industry. Know your industry and market before making that determination.
For the rest of the attendees, hopefully this turned the lightbulb on and they will soon begin to understand that in SaaS, the function of the application itself is just one part of the overall Business Architecture. Definitely check out the slides and the worksheet, and of course, your feedback is welcome and encouraged!