An updated Ultimate Guide to as-a-Service: What we’ve learned in the last 10 years

| By: Craig Fulton

As the software marketplace continues to evolve, the “as-a-service” model will only grow more important—and more profitable. But to take full advantage of it, providers need to know how to leverage this model effectively, for their customers and for their business. It’s not just about the product itself, but how you market it—which in today’s day and age can be immeasurably important.

At ConnectWise, we know the as-a-service model inside and out. 10 years ago, we decided to share that expertise with others by releasing our popular eBook, The Ultimate Guide to As-a-Service. A decade later, we felt it was time for an update to ensure this free resource remains as accurate and useful to you as possible.

What’s the update all about?

We’re proud to have put out a comprehensive guide to as-a-service software to help businesses dip their toes into this service model and retain customers. Over the years, we've heard from countless technology professionals that our guide helped them reconfigure their businesses for the future by adding new practice areas and building monthly recurring revenue.

While much of the information and advice in our guide is as relevant today as it was a decade ago, the software marketplace has undergone some seismic shifts in the years past. For starters, customers today have more options than ever before, meaning service providers have to adapt rapidly to the increasingly competitive landscape if they want to remain relevant.

Many companies we’ve talked to over the years say their business is being stolen by other solutions providers. All too often, these providers undercut them with sub-par services at lower prices. Others are investing so heavily in sales and marketing to attract customers that it seems impossible to compete.

The truth is, today’s as-a-service world puts customers in control. More options and lower costs for switching providers, mean it’s more important now than ever to build and maintain strong relationships with your customers. To be successful in this market, providers have to think strategically about how to mold their offerings and value propositions to the needs and wants of modern customers.

This might sound daunting, but it’s ultimately a logical progression in a marketplace that has always been dynamic. You wouldn’t sell a house today using marketing tactics from a decade ago, and you shouldn’t rely on 10-year-old practices to sell as-a-service software, either. We’ve updated our as-a-service guide to reflect that.

Our expertise has only sharpened in the last decade, and we’re thrilled to share this new and improved version of our guide with you. Here are just a few of the insights you’ll discover inside.

The benefits of migrating to as-a-service offerings

Why offer as-a-service technology to your customers? Because they’re asking for it.

Outsourcing services has become the norm for many businesses that recognize they don’t need to do it all themselves. For software providers, breaking into this market opens up more opportunities for greater customer loyalty and, ultimately, greater revenue.

Ways to maximize efficiency in the customer journey

What exactly is the customer journey? It’s how we encourage you to think about your business process and the path you embark on from start to finish as you reel in new clients.

The goal in any engagement with customers is to meet and then exceed their expectations. However, you don’t need to wait until you’re far along in the relationship to get started. From your very first interactions with customers, you have the opportunity to build a relationship that goes above and beyond what they need—while keeping your costs proportional.

To help you out, we’ve outlined a six-step customer journey that spans the customer timeline all the way from initial marketing to final billing, offering effective advice on how to maximize efficiency and retain clients.

Tips & tools for creating a competitive marketing campaign

Time and cost are just two of the challenges that stand between many as-a-service providers and effective marketing campaigns. However, the importance of strategic marketing cannot be understated.

Since the as-a-service software space is growing more competitive by the day, it’s essential that you make a great first impression on prospective clients—highlighting who you are and what you can do for them in a compelling way. But first, you need to understand your target market.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the ways in which businesses can conduct effective market research, develop buyer personas, and create targeted messages. We’ll also map out the differences between outbound and inbound marketing, and offer tips on how to strengthen your business’ online presence.


In our guide, you’ll find practical examples of how businesses can start thinking about the customer experience. The as-a-service business model hinges on client retention. And when it comes to client retention, customer experience—not customer support—is the biggest differentiator. Seemingly small changes can ultimately make a world of difference in a customer’s experience—keeping them satisfied and loyal.