SIGNL4 is a mobile SaaS solution built to address the needs of on-the-go operations teams across many industries. Stemming from German parent company, Derdack, SIGNL4 looks to provide agility and reliability where other solutions on the market may not. Aside from its core strength in persistent mobile team alerting, this application has been developed taking ino account recent trends in software consummerization. Today we will hear firsthand from Matthes Derdack, CEO at Derdack, how SIGNL4 approaches software development while keeping up with changing consumer demands. Let’s take a look at what he had to say.
How SIGNL4 Addresses B2B Software Consumerization
Hi, Matthes. Thanks for taking the time to share your insights with us. I have gone ahead and prepared a series of questions to get to the bottom of what makes SIGNL4 a industry leader in mobile SaaS innovation.
How do mobile devices change the future of enterprise software and SaaS offerings specifically?
“‘Mobile first’ is nothing entirely new. I heard former Google CEO Eric Schmidt outlining such directive for Google as far back as 2010. Progress in hardware, in software and cloud computing makes it possible to accomplish a growing number of tasks from anywhere, including on a bus or in a football stadium. We see specific jobs and tasks to be more prone for anywhere handling and execution than others. We’ve specialized on facilitating a rapid response to critical situations and technical incidents. This naturally involves mobile technology as such response needs to be guaranteed regardless of the location of responsible or affected people, workers and experts. Alerts, notifications, ad-hoc collaboration are perfect examples of location-independent actions. Whatsapp is the premier application for this in the consumer world.
There is another aspect of it. People are using mobile devices all the time for personal tasks, entertainment and communication. B2C applications and services were first. Enterprise and B2B apps are thus enforced to following trends introduced with B2C apps. Gamification, user interfaces and many aspects are thus pushed into the B2B world by consumer apps and services.”
Why did you see a need for SIGNL4 despite already offering Enterprise Alert through Derdack?
“Simplicity. Enterprise Alert is a highly powerful, yet somewhat sophisticated product. It is more a platform than a single-purpose product. Its almost limitless capabilities come with sophistication and complexity as a downside.
We have been approached by many prospects over past decade looking for a simpler, straightforward or even light-weight solution for mobile alerting. Ultimately, SIGNL4 is our cloud product and Enterprise Alert is our on-premise solution.”
Where does SIGNL4 functionality pickup where other B2B software products are lacking?
“We see SIGNL4 as a complementary solution to existing and future applications, services and platforms. With SIGNL4 we are able to add a powerful layer for critical communications and alerting. We give people in charge of mission-critical operations a tool to accomplish their tasks better, so they can become even more reliable and productive, while keeping their work-life-balance intact at the same time.”
How are integrations made possible in SIGNL4? Is this easy for the customer?
“Ease of use is what we strive for, so we launched the product with the simplest interface imaginable – email. Each ops team is assigned a unique email address in SIGNL4. When you send an email to this address, SIGNL4 notifies all active team members. It is as simple as that. A 2-way webhook also allows for embedding into other IT applications or platforms. We are currently working on additional 2-way plug-and-play integration features.”
In the past you have spoken on the importance of efficient customer onboarding. Why is this so?
“This is one of ‘make or break’ points of any SaaS solution. You loose your prospect on the way to utilize your product, there is no second chance. A lot of effort needs to go into the onboarding process. so we constantly review and improve our process, taking into consideration user feedback as much as possible. And it doesn’t stop with the onboarding. Every single feature of the product needs to be self-explaining beyond its usefulness. It is a challenge, no doubt.”
How do you implement “Design Thinking” in SIGNL4? What scenarios was SIGNL4 built around?
“Design Thinking became a part of our corporate culture and product engineering process in late 2012. It is a great tool but not easily implemented and sustained. There are certain elements of Design Thinking we try to use as much as possible. Above all, the fundamental idea is to experience your product from the customers perspective, i.e. ‘in their shoes’, which is challenging enough, to be honest.
Our initial idea was to build SIGNL4 as a tool for technical operations teams, be it in IT, manufacturing operations, facility management and other areas that involve technical monitoring of critical systems and services. This is where we come from. However, there is much more as we continuously discover. We have already explored some exciting, yet quite unexpected applications of SIGNL4.”
What differentiates a SIGNL4 alert from a notification?
“The fundamental purpose of SIGNL4 is the communication of critical events and alerts to people in charge. A simple email or (push) notification is insufficient to guarantee attention and response in mission-critical scenarios. Sometimes we even talk about life-saving scenarios. Hence, we have implemented a variety of concepts and features to ensure attentiveness and a rapid response. Those include persistent or repetitive notifications, fallback channels like text and voice, the processing of alert acknowledgments and automated alert escalations. This entire sphere of features overcomes the limits of ordinary notifications and provides for the required level of reliability of the SIGNL4 alerting process.”
What do you see in the future for SIGNL4 and the customers it serves? What is next for SIGNL4?
“There is a huge pipeline of great features and concepts that we are going to implement in the coming months and years. Unfortunately, I can’t disclose too much at this point but our ears are listening very carefully to customers and market trends. We aim at making SIGNL4 a highly popular item in an “anywhere operations toolbox.”
The very next thing is drag & drop duty and shift scheduling, but this is only the first release of our schedule for 2019 and the years beyond.”
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