Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Benefits of Google Apps Scripts

One topic from the technology track of our recently launched Virtual Peer Group sessions focused on the benefits of using Google Apps Scripts to automate workflow and create more customized and differentiated cloud solutions for your customers. I see two major forms of benefit this technology has to offer – one is the customer benefit and the other is the CSP benefit.

As for customer benefit, Google scripts can be used to automate workflow and business processes. This creates greater efficiency when utilizing off-the-shelf apps for discrete business applications - simplifying the user interface by reducing repetitive tasks and consolidating complex processes into a single key click has to increase employee productivity and satisfaction while reducing end-user support. Using scripts, data can be validated and integrated with other back-end, data-driven applications such as the company's CRM. This customized overlay can be branded to represent the customer's unique business focus. Here is an example I found online today...

As for CSP benefit, scripts go to the heart of turning generic apps into customer solutions. This will differentiate your business from your competitors in a big way. More importantly, they can represent a new revenue stream for your cloud solutions business. Custom script development can be a source of one-time consulting revenues as well as a source of ongoing recurring revenue (especially if you productize the app and re-market it to other customers).

Finally, customized cloud solutions will make your relationship with the customer "sticky". And once you start the recurring revenue wheel spinning, you never want it to stop. Some of the questions we will continue to explore as a group are:

1. What are the compelling applications for Google Apps Scripts?
2. Where to find the resources necessary for the CSP to develop them?
3. How to most effectively monetize the result - as either one-time or recurring revenue solutions?

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