SaaS with a Face: User Satisfaction in Cloud- based E- mail Management with Mimecast

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1 White Paper SaaS with a Face: User Satisfaction in Cloud- based E- mail Management with Mimecast By Bill Lundell, Senior Research Analyst January 2013 This ESG White Paper was commissioned by Mimecast and is distributed under license from ESG.

2 2 Contents Introduction... 3 State of the Cloud... 3 Adoption Trends... 3 SaaS- based E- mail: Benefits and Trade- offs... 4 User Experience, By the Numbers... 5 Service Delivery: Surveying the Provider Market... 5 The Bigger Truth... 8 All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at

3 3 Introduction Software- as- a- service, (SaaS) is becoming a universal delivery mode for many business software applications, ranging from accounting and customer relationship management (CRM), to enterprise resource planning (ERP) and human resource management (HRM). First and foremost, however, it has become a preferred mode of delivering e- mail services. To perhaps an even greater degree than other kinds of software, SaaS e- mail offers organizations an opportunity to rein in operational expenses (for example, support costs can often be better contained through SaaS e- mail) and limit capital expenditures (e.g., for expanded data storage). SaaS has roots in service bureau and time- sharing computing dating back to the 1960s but got a boost in the 1990s with improvements in networking and, crucially, the growth of the internet, which saw the advent of pioneering application service providers (ASPs). Relative maturity and expanded capabilities came with the adoption of the SaaS term but the central concept is the same: Allow organizations to offload responsibilities and costs to specialists so they can have the modern IT services they need without the cost or complexity. These days, SaaS providers also typically do more than simply host software they usually offer their own advanced software, and they update and improve that software regularly. However, the human element continues to be a critical unsung hero of SaaS. Help functions, a staff capable of solving problems, meeting service level agreements, or providing critical functionality are crucial to the success and satisfaction of SaaS users. Still these services and benchmarks are not universally reliable or available among providers. ESG recently surveyed 248 organizations using SaaS e- mail management to gauge their postures towards adoption and usage of these services and, specifically, satisfaction with their providers. The respondent base consisted of 109 organizations using e- mail management services provided by Mimecast and 139 organizations leveraging similar services from other vendors and service providers. 1 This paper will address this research regarding the importance of airtight service and premium customer support in cloud adoption as well as the potential role of complementary SaaS providers, highlighting the example of performance and customer satisfaction rates in the market achieved by Mimecast, an e- mail support and archiving provider. State of the Cloud Adoption Trends The logic of SaaS has proven increasingly compelling for many organizations. The consumerization of IT has driven both consumer and business adoption as a result of web design standardization and usability improvements in tandem with a growing dependence on and familiarity with web- based service (think Facebook, Gmail, etc.). Meanwhile, within the enterprise, older forms of information technology are increasingly being bypassed or replaced with those with more web- like scalability and flexibility (for example, client- server computing by virtualized infrastructures). Previously conducted ESG research has uncovered the following trends in SaaS adoption: Nearly one- half of organizations are now using SaaS to deliver applications. Nearly half of the respondent organizations in ESG s 2012 Public Cloud Computing Trends survey are already using software- as- a- service in some capacity, compared to only 34% at the beginning of An additional 38% of respondents indicated that their organizations either have plans for or interest in SaaS- based applications beyond This trend is not even limited to or dominated by small and medium- sized businesses: More than half (51%) of enterprise organizations currently use SaaS compared to only 40% of their midmarket counterparts. A significant level of infrastructure expenditures is shifting to cloud services. As usage of and spending on cloud services increases, more than one in five current and potential cloud computing users expect at least 30% of their total expenditures for IT infrastructure hardware and associated management software to shift 1 All other ESG research data, charts and references in this white paper are taken from this research survey, unless otherwise noted.

4 4 to cloud services over the next 36 months. This represents a clear and significant change in the way that enterprise IT organizations expect to consume IT infrastructure and software. 2 CRM and e- mail are the two most common SaaS applications. More than one- third of current SaaS customers use either (or both) customer relationship management (CRM) software and/or e- mail solutions, and nearly one- third (31%) of those not doing so already plan to deploy SaaS- based e- mail within the next months. 3 SaaS- based e- mail management adoption. E- mail is one of the most- frequently cited applications for SaaS deployment, and for good reason. In addition to the typical SaaS benefits of containing costs and reducing direct support requirements from IT, as a mission- critical business communication tool, SaaS is useful in linking every part of an organization with e- mail and, often, making e- mail security management more efficient and responsive. Among e- mail SaaS users in ESG s SaaS e- mail management research, management services consumed via SaaS included a variety of critical functionalities (see Figure 1) the top- three most important services being anti- spam, antivirus, and archiving. Figure 1. E- mail Management Services Consumed via SaaS Which of the following e- mail management services does your organizanon consume via the SaaS model? (Percent of respondents, N=248, mulnple responses accepted) Ane- spam 83% Anevirus Archiving 74% 77% Data proteceon (i.e., backup, disaster recovery, etc.) 59% Encrypeon 40% Data leakage preveneon (DLP) E- discovery 23% 21% As general SaaS adoption has matured from cutting- edge to mainstream, many organizations are dealing with a second, third, or even a fourth major SaaS application and, thus, are familiar with the main benefits and drawbacks as well as becoming more discerning about what works and what doesn t. In the next section, we ll explore these trade- offs specifically in the context of ESG s research on SaaS- based e- mail adoption. SaaS- based E- mail: Benefits and Trade- offs 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Some of the most- frequently cited SaaS benefits are outsourcing of infrastructure and services, along with avoidance of capital expenditures. Yet ease of administration through outsourcing comes with a concomitant lack of control most painfully when something goes wrong. Consequently, short- term savings from a subscription payment plan can be obviated by a loss of business from the failure of mission- critical applications. 2 Source: ESG Research Report, 2012 Public Cloud Computing Trends, March Source: Ibid.

5 5 User Experience, By the Numbers Some 55% of SaaS e- mail management users surveyed cited benefits of reducing or eliminating IT infrastructure costs, followed by 52% citing eliminating complexity within IT environments (see Figure 2). Still, overall survey results tell a more complex story. While there are clear benefits to SaaS, there are also apparent performance shortfalls. For instance, while 66% cited vendor support as an important vendor selection criterion, only 34% noted that they had actually achieved improved service and support compared to traditional software vendors. Outsourcing so much IT infrastructure also can leave companies very dependent on their providers for service and support and it may be that typical cloud providers are letting them down. Figure 2. Benefits of SaaS- based E- mail Management What benefits if any has your organizanon realized as the result of using its primary SaaS- based e- mail management services? (Percent of respondents, N=248, mulnple responses accepted) Reduced or eliminated IT infrastructure costs Eliminated complexity within our IT environment 52% 55% Improved compliance 46% Improved user producevity Reduced development, deployment, and management costs Improved service and support compared to tradieonal sojware vendors Increased control over sojware that is managed in IT organizaeon Increased mobility of our workforce Reduced need for change management when new technology is deployed Lower legal discovery costs Reduced need for internal training for IT staff when new technology is deployed Reduced need for internal training for end- users when new technology is deployed Accommodated bring- your- own- device (BYOD) inieaeves We have not realized any benefits from SaaS- based e- mail management services 3% 15% 15% 41% 38% 34% 29% 28% 25% 23% 23% Service Delivery: Surveying the Provider Market 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Drilling down further into different user experiences with providers of SaaS- based e- mail management highlights substantial differentiators in quality and delivery of service. When listing features and capabilities of their various SaaS e- mail vendors, respondents were in broad agreement: Services are bare bones in terms of support functions. For instance, 61% of respondents said they could speak live with a representative however Mimecast customers

6 6 noted satisfaction of this goal at a statistically significant higher rate of 86% (see Figure 3). Indeed, across a broad range of measures, Mimecast customers reported sharply more positive results. Figure 3. Features and Capabilities of SaaS E- mail Providers Which of the following features and capabilines does your organizanon s primary e- mail management SaaS provider offer? (Percent of respondents, mulnple responses accepted) Ability to speak to a live person when needed Regular customer communicaeon Regular product updates Local (i.e., within the same country) data centers Dedicated support engineer to assist with implementaeon Dedicated online training Dedicated customer service manager for your organizaeon Ability to speak with the same support individuals regularly when needed Local service and support Full support for mobile/byod Local (i.e., regional) data centers Dedicated in- class room training 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% What s more, nearly two- thirds (65%) of Mimecast customers have not experienced any service and support challenges compared to only 39% of those organizations using other vendors or providers (see Figure 5). Even those Mimecast customers that have encountered service and support issues are less likely to cite difficulty getting in touch with support personnel, long wait times, and missed service level agreements, among others. The last point is particularly significant because many customers consider e- mail to be a mission- critical application, making service level agreements critical to ensuring performance. These shortcomings are often compensated for by the addition of a complementary service to provide critical functions such as archiving. For instance, a SaaS archive can yield benefits by providing superior support and reliability for key functionality, while still minimizing overall costs of SaaS e- mail. This is particularly true for SaaS services based in a public cloud which offer lower cost service at the expense of lower levels of service assurance. Indeed, this kind of capability can be crucial to achieving reliable business continuity within the SaaS model as reflected in the experience of survey respondents using Mimecast as their provider. Finally, when asked to rate their organization s overall level of satisfaction with a primary e- mail management SaaS provider, more than half of Mimecast customers are extremely satisfied compared to just 20% of non- Mimecast customers. This is further reflected in Figure 6 which shows that Mimecast customers are significantly more likely to remain customers going forward, while organizations using other e- mail management services reported a much greater likelihood of churning (i.e., switching providers). 17% 25% 30% 37% 42% 32% 39% 33% 38% 28% 33% 29% 29% 40% 51% 52% 52% 48% 37% 56% 61% 65% 70% 86% Mimecast customers (N=109) Overall market (N=139)

7 7 Figure 4. Service and Support Challenges with SaaS E- mail provider What service and support challenges if any has your organizanon experienced with its primary e- mail management SaaS provider? (Percent of respondents, mulnple responses accepted) Difficulty finding the right person to solve the problem at hand 8% 27% Missed service level agreements 5% 18% Long wait emes 8% 17% Mimecast customers (N=109) Limited technical support hours 5% 17% Inexperienced support staff Some problems are never resolved 9% 15% 7% 12% Overall market (N=139) We have not experienced any challenges with our primary SaaS- based e- mail management services provider 39% 65% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Figure 6. Satisfaction with E- mail Management SaaS Provider Which of the following would you say best describes your organizanon s forward- looking strategy for sourcing e- mail management technology/services? (Percent of respondents) We will stay with our current e- mail management SaaS provider We will look for a new e- mail management SaaS provider We will deploy e- mail management technology on- site and support it with in- house resources We will look for a one- stop shop cloud service provider who can meet all our e- mail needs Other 1% 1% 6% 5% 11% 5% 1% 22% 58% 85% Mimecast customers (N=109) Overall market (N=139) Don t know 4% 3% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%

8 8 The Bigger Truth Although cloud services are relatively mature, they have not yet universally reached the quality of service levels needed to fully satisfy business customers, many of whom have now accumulated substantial experience working with cloud- based resources. Difficulties or dissatisfaction with support ticketing systems, slow or inadequate phone support, or the lack of in- region support capabilities are clearly visible in survey data. In addition, beyond the survey data, the hybrid adoption of cloud plus legacy LAN means that a strong and accessible project management and professional services capability and live human support are critical to augment basic, one- size- fits- all SaaS, especially for larger customers trying to deal with complexity. In short, while there is still a desire to achieve low costs through cloud- based services, and low costs are achievable an intermediate capability that can match some of the old virtues of in- house IT while leveraging cloud for all it is worth, has great appeal and great potential. Mimecast is an example of how a carefully targeted SaaS approach can add value to a tried and true formula, potentially resulting in better services within a much reduced cost structure.

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