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Key takeaways: what did we learn at SaaStr Annual?

The software-as-a-service community met to discuss the most pressing issues and greatest opportunities currently affecting the industry. Here are my highlights from the conference.

SaaStr Annual, the largest gathering of the B2B Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) community, is the preeminent event for independent software vendors (ISVs) and SaaS solution providers in North America. In particular, the event gives ISVs the opportunity to network and learn from peers, industry leaders and solution providers that can help extend, scale and grow their businesses.

Last week (February 5-7, 2019), Paysafe’s Platforms and Integrated Payments teams traveled to San Jose, California – the tech capital of the world – to network with and learn from some of the leading SaaS provides in the world at SaaStr Annual 2019.

Joining 12,500 attendees, 300 speakers, and 100 exhibitors at the event, we experienced more than 40 hours of content, and took part in over 30 hours of exhibiting and across a three-day period.

Here are our three major takeaways from the conference.  

1. Code is the new universal language

The number of international entrepreneurs and software developers that attended the event was impressive. We met people from all corners of the globe, and they all speak the same language – software.

Exploring opportunities in new countries and regions is one of the main ways that SaaS providers scale and grow, so as this continues to become the new norm it is easy to see that SaaS and globalization will increasingly go hand-in-hand, shrinking our globe through smart, cloud-based technologies.

We found this to be an extremely important takeaway, as one of the primary questions we fielded throughout the conference was about our ability to facilitate multi-regional, cross-currency payments. As a company with roots all over Europe and North America, Paysafe’s global reach was a popular topic in our conversations.

2. Business continuity and product focus are key

Many of the attendees at SaaStr events tend to be start-ups or smaller organizations. For these businesses in particular, delivering the best product to market without losing focus or divesting resources is difficult, but many successful CEOs and thought leaders believe that getting one product to market is more important than exploring multiple products or line extensions.

However, investing in ancillary services, such as payments and security solutions, to improve the overall value proposition of that flagship product is highly recommended. Paysafe’s APIs, for example, make it easy to add payment acceptance to a SaaS platform which makes it easy for SaaS organizations to stay focused on their product’s core functions.

3. Operate lean and partner smart

Most SaaS companies tend to operate lean, especially in their early years. In order to operate this way successfully, they must rely on strategic partnerships.

So it was unsurprising that much of the advice from successful SaaS CEOs focused on scaling businesses through making the right partnerships. Finding the right partners can help a SaaS business get a product to market, focus on meaningful strategies, and expand its revenue potential.

Payments is the perfect example of how the right partnership can make all the difference. Aside from Paysafe’s innovative payment APIs and secure solutions, our partnership and revenue programs are incredibly flexible and can scale with our partners as their business and product needs change.  

There were a number of other interesting topics and takeaways from SaaStr Annual, but we found these three to be the most interesting. Global footprints, keeping a strong product focus, and finding the right partners are all important strategies for today’s SaaS provider.

We had a great time at SaaStr Annual 2019. Can’t wait for SaaStr 2020!