“Customer service is the key to SaaS”


4 October, 2013

“Customer service is the key to SaaS”

There is no need to delve into the reasons why we took on Javier López-Cózar as our new Technical Director. We asked him about the evolution of cloud services, their future and their “forbidden paths”.

First question … iOS or Android?

Firefox OS! (He smiles). Seriously, both systems have their strengths and weaknesses, and if the two monopolize the mobile systems market, I think no professional in this sector should take up any of the two sides.

We’ve been talking about “cloud services” since 2006. How has the user profile of these tools changed over time?

We must remember first that, after the great boom in mobility, the average user consumes a lot more technology than in the early 2000’, and therefore his knowledge of the sector is also much higher. We can now add functionalities which previously were not even contemplated because of the additional difficulty generated for the user.

Nowadays, Software as a Service model (SaaS) is the answer for companies that do not want to buy, install, maintain or upgrade any hardware or software: they simply use the application through the Internet and with any browser. Its use is widespread, and is indeed becoming essential in some environments.

SaaS, cloud services, cloud computing … Various terms for the same concept. Are we not making prospective clients lives more complicated instead of attracting them to these services?

Sometimes I have the feeling that not even the people who work in this field know how to use these terms correctly… Cloud computing is the overall term, and I think the metaphor of “the cloud” works well for the end user, and once it is clear that cloud computing is the model, we can add that IaaS, PaaS and SaaS are types of services that are differentiated by the resources consumed: IaaS refers to Infraestrucutra, PaaS to the Platform and SaaS to the Software which others can use “in the cloud”.

One of the main disadvantages of cloud computing is the feeling of insecurity that can be generated in the user – what can we do about it?

First we have to get rid of the idea that cloud computing is “dehumanized”. Why not counter this insecurity explaining to the user what’s behind these services? There are people that watch for your work in the cloud, they just do so remotely.

With Help Desk systems we can deal with this insecurity. One example is the support system we have just implemented for Ventour: this service helps our clients manage their queries and incidents simply, providing quick and appropriate responses. It tries to combine the human touch and technology for the user, letting him know that, if at any time he thinks he has lost his work, he has can access to a copy. I believe customer service is and will remain the key to SaaS.

You’ve turned from developing “ad hoc” apps to developing a tool for creating apps. What do you get from working for GVAM?

Dedicating myself exclusively to a project allows me to increase my knowledge, evolve and to improve technically. Furthermore, in the “traditional” process of developing an app, short-term updates are not the norm, they are usually short-lived projects where reusing is more common and practical. Working on a project in which evolution is sought constantly is a great challenge.

What I liked most about GVAM is the importance they give to R & D and to improving the user experience. Furthermore, given the importance of apps nowadays, GVAM is well positioned to reach a business sector [the museum] which still has a lot to experience.