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What is the added value of Software-as-a-Service for growers?

Even though many benefits have been defined about Software-as-a-Service for the horticultural industry, Annelot Schmeitz sees there is still a disappointing low utilization rate. She’s currently researching further into the barriers that keep (controlled environment) growers from adopting SaaS solutions on their farm.

Growers from Netherlands, Morocco and Mexico are invited to participate in a new research into Software-as-a-Service. Please find contact details of Annelot Schmeitz below.

SaaS
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. The user will access it over the internet and must keep paying a fee to be able to use the software. The most common (customer) example is Netflix, which you access online, the movies/series stay in the ownership by Netflix, and you have to keep paying your subscription to keep using it.

added value
Annelot Schmeitz, writes her master thesis as part of her marketing internship at WayBeyond Ltd on this topic. Under the supervision of Kylie Horomia she’s researching the barriers that (Mexican, Moroccan, & Dutch) greenhouse & polyhouse growers face when adopting to SaaS solutions.

Annelot with her WayBeyond colleagues on the Fruit Logistica in Berlin

So what is the added value of SaaS for growers? “When using SaaS over single purchase software, the responsibility of development and software maintenance stays at the service provider. There is thus a smaller need for an advanced IT department or big IT infrastructure”, she explains. “Furthermore, it means that the service will keep improving, new features will be added and you’re always up to date. This results in lower implementation costs and improvement in the software quality.”

Most SaaS solutions offered for growers are decision-support tools. “This means that the software will support decision making on the farm by using data and turning the data into insights”, Annelot clarifies. “As SaaS is a very dynamic solution, where the relationship between the solution provider (AgTech company) and the growers are ongoing, the growers influence their own value creation. They themselves thus determine what value the software will bring them and how they turn their data into added value.”

Research
As said, she’s currently researching this topic. What is the research about? “Even though many benefits have been defined about SaaS for the (covered) agriculture sector, there is still a disappointing low utilization rate. That is why the research’s goal is to look further into the barriers that keep (controlled environment) growers from adopting SaaS solutions on their farm.”

To be able to understand this, it is important to find out what the value-in-use is of SaaS solutions for growers (what value do they create while using SaaS?). Annelot is currently doing interviews with growers about this topic.

The research takes place on the Dutch, Mexican and Moroccan market. This allows the research to differentiate between High-, Mid-, and Low-tech farms.

What can growers use the study’s results for?
1. Growers will be better informed about the benefits of SaaS solutions
2. AgTech providers will pay more attention to the grower’s needs. AgTech providers can use the results to become a ‘value facilitator’ and thus put the customer central in the value creation.
3. The study’s result can be used as a testimonial, showing growers the barriers and accommodators of adopting SaaS. As growers seem to highly value the opinion of other growers, they can use the results when considering SaaS themselves.

How can the growers help/participate?
Interviews will be held with growers from all three markets (Netherlands, Mexico, and Morocco), where questions will be asked about the adoption of SaaS solutions. The interviewees currently don’t have to use SaaS themselves. The interviews will be held online and will take maximum one hour of your time.

For more information:
Annelot Schmeitz
UTwente
+31(0)615569191
+64(0)2102988534
ahlschmeitz@student.utwente.nl
www.linkedin.com/in/annelot-schmeitz-731437a6/

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