What a week this week has been! We started it off with a two-day startup accelerator bootcamp arranged by Microsoft at Microsoft Flux in Helsinki with 19 other startups from 7 different countries. The day after the bootcamp on Wednesday we were building our modest stand at Slush at 7 o'clock in the morning to be ready for all Slush visitors. Exhausting, but definitely worth it!
We are Doing the Right Thing
The amount of interest Bisnest got at our demo booth hugely exceeded our expectations. Of course we ourselves have always thought that we are doing something that will help small companies in their day-to-day tasks, but now we got that belief validated by a larger audience. The feedback we got was mainly focused around two themes.
- We are using Office 365 as a platform
- We allow our users to customize Bisnest by selecting functionality for indivuduals instead of subscribing to a company-wide subscription level
Office 365 as a Platform
Many of the visitors were surprised by how far we have come in such a short time. The answer is two-fold. First of all, we have decades of experience in building business applications, which is very important of course. The biggest reason to our velocity though is the fact that Bisnest is completely built on Office 365. We use Office 365 as our platform that we build Bisnest on rather than just integrating with it at various integration points. This means that we can just tap into a lot of functionality that already exists in Office 365 rather than having to build that ourselves.
One example of this is authentication - You can't even log in to Bisnest if you don't have an Office 365 subscription, because we don't have our own credential store. Also, if you decide that you want to configure your Office 365 tenant with 2-factor authentication, then you automatically get that in Office 365.
Another example is document management. We will never create document management functionality in Bisnest. Instead, we will store all documents that we generate in Bisnest in SharePoint Online, which is a part of Office 365. This way you automatically get all the features around document management in Office 365 also for the documents produced in Bisnest, such as versioning and Office client application integration with Word and Excel for instance.
And because there is a huge amount of functionality that we don't have to do ourselves, we can keep a higher pace, and can also keep our price point as competitive as possible.
Features vs. Subscription Levels
Let's face it, there are not that many persons you know that like to pay for something that they don't need or want. That is still the way subscription levels work. Most of our competitors sell their SaaS products through different subscription levels. Each level contains the features from the previous level, and introduces a new predefined set of features, some of which you need, but many of which you don't. And to make things complete, the highest subscription level usually introduces that killer feature you want, but need to spend a fortune on all the rest of the features that come along with that subscription level, but that you don't really want to use.
With Bisnest, you only pay for what you use!
And as if that would not be bad enough, the subscription level is a company-wide selection, meaning that all employees you deploy the service to, will pay the price for the subscription level you select.
That is why we have always aimed on selling Bisnest by the feature on an individual level. This means that you can customize Bisnest for each of your employee by selecting the features each employee needs to have, and only pay for the features you select and not for a predefined set of features someone else has decided that you should have. With Bisnest, you only pay for what you use.
Thank you all for visiting our demo booth at Slush. We value your interest and feedback, and will definitely take all of that into account when moving forward with Bisnest. Our development efforts so far seem to have been in line with the feedback that we got, and we now know that there is definitely a demand for Bisnest on the market for software designed for small businesses. Thank you!