Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

Step Outside and Look to the Clouds at SaaStr

Lynne Sampson
Managing Editor

Today is Groundhog Day. Did you see your shadow this morning?

Did you even step outside your burrow?

I get it. It’s the dead of winter—the mid-point between the December winter solstice and the first day of spring. Much of North America is in a deep freeze. Mountain bike season is weeks away, and we haven’t even hit the best skiing of the season yet. Why venture outside when you can focus on lining your nest?

So often, small and medium business leaders are so busy growing, nurturing and evolving their business that they forget to take the time to look outside, at the trends happening around them.

But Groundhog Day symbolizes a time to poke your head out of the den, check on your surroundings, and look for inspiration and direction in the coming year.

Next week offers the perfect opportunity to do that.  

The SaaStr Annual conference descends on San Francisco next week, Feb. 7-9. Billing itself as “the largest non-vendor confab in the world,” the organizers expect about 10,000 attendees this year.

SaaStr has become a magnet for companies that are building cloud software, or using cloud software, to launch innovative new products and services. The SaaS (software as a service) model has reshaped the way that companies can interact with customers, connecting people together via mobile and social apps in creative new business models. Such companies have the potential to grow very fast—think about how a company like AirBnB went from start-up to global powerhouse in less than a decade.

And that’s the theme of this year’s SaaStr conference: “Scale Together.” SMB leaders with ambitious growth plans can learn from the experiences of their peers, investors, marquee speakers, and SaaS vendors on the show floor.

As a SaaS vendor ourselves, “scale” is a challenge that we hear about a lot. My colleague Jeff Lundal recently wrote, “There is a difference between growth and scaling. Growth is great, but it alone does not guarantee success.

“To be successful, start-ups have to transform from ‘a couple people and an idea’ to world-class enterprises with established business models that can generate massive revenues, without correspondingly massive costs.”

Oracle’s goal with small to medium companies is to scale together with you. Our SMB customers often start small—subscribing to HR, finance, IT or customer experience clouds—and adding more as they grow. With the infinite scalability of the Oracle Cloud, SMBs can ramp up quickly to meet fast-growing demand. They can be confident that they’re working with a cloud that they will never outgrow, no matter how successful they become.

"Scaling Together" is also why we launched our Startup Cloud Accelerator program. We were once a scrappy start-up, just like you. We believe that SMBs can learn from our experience, and that we will benefit from strong relationships with companies on the verge of great success.

So, take the opportunity to venture outside of your nest. Come to SaaStr Annual 2017 and look around at all the inspiring cloud companies that are changing the face of business. Just like on Groundhog Day, those clouds are a harbinger of beautiful days ahead.

Oracle is proud to be a diamond sponsor of SaaStr Annual. Drop by and visit us at Booth #T1.

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