Business & Information Systems Engineering

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 19–31

Product Differentiation for Software-as-a-Service Providers

Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s12599-010-0142-4

Cite this article as:
Katzmarzik, A. Bus Inf Syst Eng (2011) 3: 19. doi:10.1007/s12599-010-0142-4


The market for the new provisioning type Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has reached a significant size and still shows enormous growth rates. By varying size of SaaS products, providers can improve their market position and profits by successfully acting in the tension area of customer acquisition, pricing and costs. We first elaborate differences concerning product differentiation between classic software provisioning models and SaaS. Then, we introduce a micro-economic based decision model to maximize the return of a provider by finding an optimal granularity, i.e. by varying the size of services. This paper makes two contributions in this context: (1) it provides a conceptual foundation for product differentiation within the scope of SaaS and (2) it presents the first implementation of variable reproduction costs for web based software offers. The model is illustrated by a real world case with data from a SaaS provider.


Software-as-a-ServiceProduct differentiationService granularityDecision model

Copyright information

© Gabler Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FIM Research Center Finance & Information ManagementUniversity of AugsburgAugsburgGermany