SSaaS vs. SaaS

Solar support as a service versus Software as a service.

There are a number of leading Solar SaaS companies emerging in the solar industry as the industry grows.  Some of these leading Saas tools and  companies are listed here on this page of SolarAcademy.

As a leading distributor of solar equipment, we (CivicSolar) interact with thousands of solar installers and developers from all 50 states and beyond.

As we define the scope and strategy around our service platform, one question that is at the forefront of our minds is how our customers like to interact with their service providers and their SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) tools.

Some solar installers prefer to build organizations that house major functions like sales & marketing, procurement, and financing in-house. Others prefer to outsource these functions to third party service providers.

The installers that build these functions in house are generally larger in headcount and revenue. And they generally sell one or two uniform solution offerings on a repeat basis. A typical such customer is a residential installer with 30+ employees.  These types of installers generally use various Software as a service tools to design and to sell their projects but also as a platform to coordinate the various functions between departments in their companies.

And then, there are thousands of installers / developers that are selling less uniform solutions. They approach each project as a unique problem.  Most commercial solar projects fall into this bucket. These companies care less about Solar as a service tools but care more about getting high quality support services (for procurement, sales, finance, design, etc.) from their vendors.

Wunder Capital founder Bryan Birsic talks about this dichotomy in minute 5:28 of this Greentech Media panel about the Platform of Solar future.