Trends Report

The Essential Product Manager/Marketer Role In SaaS Innovation

February 9th, 2011
TP
Tom Grant, Ph.D.
With contributors:
Peter Burris , Eric Hsieh

Summary

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has forced technology companies to re-examine and re-imagine innovation. Tech companies were used to treating everything beyond invention as someone else's problem; SaaS makes successful customer adoption a business imperative for the vendor. Traditionally, tech vendors have treated innovation as their sole prerogative; now, SaaS provides one of several opportunities for vendors to collaborate directly with their customers in the creation of value. SaaS compels profound changes throughout the innovation process, creating new risks and opportunities for tech vendors to master. Product managers and product marketers (PMs) are squarely in the middle of these changes, given their mix of technical and business skills and their ubiquitous contacts both inside and outside the company. SaaS pushes these PMs into the role of shepherds of innovation — assuming that they fully understand what it is they're shepherding.

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