Altimeter Report: Customer Bill of Rights – Software-as-a Service

If you’re in the market to buy web based collaboration tools, community platforms, CRM, or any software as a service application, know your rights before you buy.

A few months ago Charlene Li, founder of the Altimeter Group launched her Engagement Database report, which showed which brands were most active with their customers in social sites. Today, we’re proud that partner Ray Wang launches the Software as a Service Bill of Rights for customers, you can view, download, or share the document from his blog.

Our research wasn’t created in a hole, we want to help the community that we serve and involved 57 ecosystem partners for their feedback, input and guidance. We’ve also made the research available using Creative Commons–meaning we encourage it to be shared with others.

How to use the Software As A Service Bill of Rights

  • If you’re a buyer of any of these markets, use this document as a checklist to ensure your rights are being met.
  • Have a dialog with your vendors, asking them where they fall within these bill of rights and where they differentiate.
  • Encourage your existing vendors to follow these rights as you negotiate your next renewal.
  • Will you list software vendors that agree to adhere to the software bill of rights? If not what incentive to developers have to sign on?

  • Web Templates. Right now, buyers should beware. They should use this Bill of Rights as part of the buying and approval process during consideration of purchases.

    Over time, someone will identify which vendors are following these best practices for customers.

  • Sigh. I wish I had this document about a year ago. We went from a legacy system to a SaaS solution. As a middling sized company, we found ourselves in the no-man’s land of being to big to be satisfied with a canned one size fits all solution and too small to really have the resources to do a truly comprehensive due diligence.

    We could have used the Bill of Rights exactly as proposed, a document “in the middle of the table” that both sides could have used to define our relationship more specifically.

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