Microsoft’s recent announcement that it will begin offering a subscription plan for the enterprise version of Windows 10 signaled a potential disruption to the way businesses access and deploy operating systems. In making the shift to subscription pricing, Microsoft joins a legion of software developers—from Adobe to Salesforce—who now offer SaaS applications using a subscription pricing model. While other industries have embraced SaaS applications and subscription pricing, the CCM space is still predominated by on premise solutions and licensing agreements that cost hundreds of thousands to a few million dollars. 
By adopting subscription pricing, CCM vendors have the opportunity to become true disruptors in customer communications management. However, adopting a subscription model will require vendors to transition from on premise installations to cloud deployment and SaaS. To date, few vendors offering enterprise solutions are prepared to make this transition, partly due to concerns over the security of customer data and partly because the cost of shifting to a new business model is so great. Those vendors that are preparing for the transition are in the early stages. Some have cloud deployment for content repositories, while others have placed cloud deployment and SaaS on their roadmaps. Of the few vendors offering SaaS solutions, most have limited capabilities or cater to niche markets.
It’s also important to recognize that merely shifting to new technology will not disrupt the CCM market. According to Clay Christenson, the professor at Harvard Business School who introduced the concept of disruptive innovation, disruption is not defined by technological improvements in an industry. Instead, true disruption lies in the accessibility of technology. According to Christenson, there are two drivers to disruption—pricing and ease of use. Disruptive pricing opens technology to new markets, generally small to medium businesses, by redefining business models in ways that enable vendors to offer technology at a reduced price. Ease of use involves innovations that make technology accessible to end users without requiring specialized training. Because most established vendors are heavily invested in existing business models, disruptions within an industry tend to come from new players.
The disruptive power of subscription pricing is immediately evident when it comes to CCM solutions. Most enterprise platforms are installed on premise and command hefty sums in the form of annual license fees or flat fees paid up front for software only the largest organizations can afford. With the shift to SaaS and subscription pricing, CCM vendors offer customers a low cost of entry and pay-as-you-go convenience that scales to changing business needs. Small to medium businesses such as regional health payers and community banks now have access to enterprise-caliber CCM solutions at a price point they can afford.
SaaS CCM solutions also deliver when it comes to ease of use. SaaS offers users a high degree of self-service by rolling maintenance and upgrades into the subscription. Rather than relying on in-house IT departments to maintain on premise installations and manage a complex web of permissions, SaaS CCM solutions are maintained and upgraded by the vendor on an ongoing basis. Business users no longer require highly skilled training to employ a complex set of tools. Instead, they access the CCM platform through role-based portals and an intuitive interface that enables users to manage all phases of the content life cycle using simple point-and-click or drag-and-drop commands.
As more customers shift to SaaS applications, the demand for CCM solutions that integrate with cloud deployments will increase exponentially. Vendors that can offer subscription pricing and ease of use have the opportunity to disrupt the CCM industry, providing value for existing customers while making enterprise-quality CCM solutions available to small and medium businesses in highly regulated industries. However, many enterprise CCM vendors may find it difficult to abandon existing business models while new vendors lack critical experience and industry knowledge.
As one of the few vendors offering a pure SaaS solution, Elixir Technologies is poised to become a truly disruptive force in the CCM industry. With over thirty years of experience, Elixir has combined deep industry knowledge and expertise with agile innovation to create Tango+, a SaaS CCM platform architected for the cloud from the ground up. Find out how Elixir’s subscription pricing can make Tango+ the CCM solution for your business needs.
The term “disruption” was coined by clay Christenson, a professor at Harvard Business School. Christenson argues that disruption is not defined by technological improvements in an industry, but through the accessibility of those improvements to new markets. According to Christenson, there are two drivers to disruption—pricing and ease of use. Disruptive pricing makes technology available to new markets, generally small to medium businesses, by redefining business models in ways that enable vendors to offer technology at a reduced price. Ease of use involves technological innovations that make technology accessible to end users without requiring specialized training. SaaS CCM solutions meet both criteria for disruption. With intuitive, user-friendly interfaces and a high degree of self-service, SaaS CCM platforms enable business users to manage all phases of the content life cycle with minimal specialized training or dependence on IT departments. Meanwhile, subscription pricing offers customers a low cost of entry, pay as you go functionality that scales to changing business needs. Ongoing maintenance and upgrades that are rolled into the subscription price. With subscription pricing, CCM vendors open their market to small to medium businesses unable to afford the high up-front cost of an on premise installation or expensive upgrades.