My SaaSNorth 2017 Key Takeaways

Kudos to the guys at L-Spark for putting on a big-time conference which would not have looked out of place in the mecca of SaaS, San Francisco. Great venue, great speakers and the who’s who of players in the Canadian SaaS ecosystem make this conference a must-attend for me, and it’s only in its 2nd year.

I was asked to put together some of my key take-aways from the conference, and I’ll preface this by saying we’ve been in SaaS for a number of years and just crossed $500k MRR, so what I found valuable might not be the same as others in attendance. There was a plethora of advice and resources for startups as well. So with that being said, on to my list!

1. Grow Quick or Go Home

At a session entitled ‘Money talks’, the comment was made that the biggest driver of valuation in SaaS was still the year over year, month over month, and even week over week growth rates. Grow quick or go home was the mantra.

2. The Importance of the Customer Journey

I was reminded by multiple speakers about the importance of taking a ‘customer journey’ through your processes. From your website to the sales process through onboarding and customer success, seeing the process through a prospect or customer lens will pay major dividends. The key is removing friction and frustration at every stage.

3. Lead Generation & Scalability

A major epiphany for me was about marketing lead gen sources and their ability to scale. At this stage in our growth it’s important to invest in not only those lead gen sources that are working, but also to identify and double down on those that can scale. If you can’t scale the source, it might not be worth spending time/energy/resources on it.

4. Ancillary Services

At the Shopify keynote, they talked about keeping your eyes open for ancillary services that you can provide which might not be core, but can provide value with little work. It was an eye opener to hear about Shopify Payments, Shopify Shipping, and especially Shopify Capital. They are definitely thinking big and outside the box of traditional SaaS.

There you have it. My major take always from the SaaSNorth conference held in my hometown of Ottawa. I’m already looking forward to next year!

About Paul Emond

As the Founder of Versature, Paul Emond provides the strategic vision and direction for the company. He is a serial entrepreneur with 20 years of experience starting and growing great companies. His last venture,, was named to the Profit 100 list two years in a row and was sold in 2012 . Under Paul’s leadership, Versature has experienced 450% growth over the past 5 years developing an extensive, loyal Versature customer base of over 7000 subscribers as well as establishing an MSP partner network coast to coast. He has disrupted the communications industry with the launch of the Versature TRUST initiative, the first and only initiative of its kind in telecom, providing insight and full transparency to the public about Versature system status in real-time and historical system performance data. Paul has developed a unique company culture that has attracted and retained top talent to Versature for well over decade. Versature is recognized for business excellence by the Canadian business community and the telecommunications industry including Canadian Telecommunications Employer of Choice in 2015, Best Ottawa Business in 2015, named one of Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Companies in 2013, and Business of the Year in 2012.