Where is the reporting and docgen industry headed?
The same place all other software is headed: SaaS.
SaaS tends to be a better solution at lower cost. (The why behind that could fill several pages, but that combination of better for less makes it very compelling.) So it has moved from “everyone should do this” driving the early adopters and the software marketing departments to actually happening.
The marketing and news has dropped off as it’s become a fait accompli. And throughout the industry everyone is, at various speeds, moving most everything to SaaS.
We at Windward are seeing this movement in a couple of ways. Some of our customers still buy the software. They want it local because of tradition, security concerns, performance, etc.
What the future of reporting does NOT look like.
But more and more are considering a SaaS solution. And some are insisting on it.
This makes for an easy transition. We are creating SaaS versions of each of our products, so customers can get either a standard on-premise solution or a SaaS solution. There will always be some who do on-premise for security reasons. We have some customers running on a system that has no connection to their corporate network or the Internet in order to deliver maximum security.
But as time goes on, it will trend more and more in the SaaS direction.
As to the functionality of the reporting itself, we’ll continue to implement more and more of what is specified in our DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files (each about 4,000 pages long). We’ll continue to have the PDF, HTML and printer output mirror the original template closer and closer. (We’re already better than any alternative that is not printing from Word.)
And we’ll continue to make the UI for crafting selects easier and easier. This is a never-ending battle because the goal is that with one click, it does what you’re thinking. And so we stay on top of new ideas that are constantly coming out from the best people in the UX area.
And with all the thoughts about new directions, new features, etc., what’s most important is that we stay focused on providing a superlative solution. That’s in all aspects — support, account management, etc. — as well as new functionality and new products. We’ll continue to do so because that’s our promise to our customers.