Station: The Golden Years of SaaS Management

Thursday, February 21, 2019
Nick Williams

The minds behind Station noticed a huge hole in the market and capitalized; companies are almost unanimously moving towards subscription model web-based applications, and yet their employees are using regular web browsers to navigate them all.

The problem is that standard web browsers are inefficient, unwieldy, and consume a vast amount of computer resources.  

Station has targeted one of the major downsides of SaaS-based workspaces—devices can very quickly become bloated with piles of different software, and subsequently, it’s easy to get flooded with an overwhelming amount of notifications and updates.  

Station bundles all of your apps up into a neat little package and allows you to navigate through them from the comfort of a visually-pleasing dashboard.

Does the above image feel like a familiar sight? Does it fill you with existential terror? Close your eyes, meditate, and bring yourself to this terrifying situation: It’s Tuesday, right before lunch. You’re finishing up those last little edits on an important document…

All of a sudden, the COO of your company rushes up to you, flustered and red in the face. She looks like she’s had about 6 espressos too many, and there are visible droplets of sweat beading down her face. You can tell she’s had a hell of a day and an even more stressful week.  

This is the moment of truth. This is like if you were on Survivor and you’re waiting for Jeff Probst to count those jury votes to see if you’ve won the million dollars.  

Your COO pulls the phone away from her face, and it is practically sticking to the sweat on her cheek. She asks you, hurriedly—“I need you to show me the analytics report in January for X site, right now. I’m on the phone with them and they are NOT pleased.”  

You know that you have the Analytics report for X site open, but on which of your 45 tabs spread across two instances of Google Chrome? You need to find it, like, yesterday, and you need to do so without showing your boss that you have 2 Facebook, 1 Etsy, 1 Netflix, and 1 Tumblr tab currently open.  

While you fumble around trying to find the right tab, your boss is visibly on the verge of exploding into dust. Seven minutes later, you finally find the right tab, but the moment has long passed. You’re going to have a REALLY fun coffee date with the COO tomorrow morning at 8:30.  

The sad thing? If your company would have invested in an office-wide license for a SaaS management software, this horrific crisis might have been averted. The Station press kit describes their product succinctly:

Browsers were never designed for work. People deserve a more productive way to access & use their web applications.”

SaaS management software is the trendy new kid in high school that just moved to small-town Montana from Brooklyn. Everyone else was just minding their own business, developing their regular old SaaS software and phone applications, and now all of a sudden everyone is starting to wear berets and skinny jeans like that cool new guy.

SaaS bundling software, in other words, is the hot new trend.

There are many different companies trying to break into this quickly expanding market, but Station seems to be emerging as the clear front-runner. Other companies have tried to penetrate the space before, but what Station brings to the table is sheer polish and functionality.

Station is the “purrfect” app management software

Station received a golden kitty award from Producthunt for Product of the Year, beating out Mozilla Firefox Quantum with almost 8000 votes. A pretty nice feather in their cap—on the other hand, it isn’t exactly surprising.  

With Station, co-founders Alexandre Lacheze and Julien Berthomier were always shooting for the stars. Stemming from noted startup studio EFounders—it is clear that Station was looking to make immediate waves in the increasingly competitive SaaS development market.

As Berthomier tells VentureBeat last spring, the founders maintained no illusions about their potential place in the market:

“The same way Apple and Google have built operating systems to host their ecosystem of mobile applications, we are building the operating system for SaaS applications.”

With over 12,000 users spread across some major adopters like Spotify and Dropbox; an excellent retention rate averaging around 4.5 hours per day, participation in the Y Combinator program, and a successful investment round totaling 3.25 million from noted SaaS and web-based investors like Accell—it’s pretty clear that Station has made believers out of many people. Perhaps all those people are sick of spending 25 minutes clicking through tabs trying to find that half-composed Gmail.  

At the end of the day, even CEOs aren’t above browser bloat.

Don’t change the Station, we’ll be right back

If you’re a Lord of the Rings nerd, it’s hard not to see the infamous “one ring to rule them all” verse when reading Station’s tagline, “one app to rule them all.”

In LOTR, the whole “one ring to rule them all” idea drove people insane with power lust, ultimately leading to a group of hairy-footed hobbits, and a bunch of other fantasy trope badasses, to embark on an epic journey, mowing through thousands of orcs and other miscellaneous evil dudes to destroy the ring and restore peace to Middle-earth.  

Here’s hoping Station’s timeline differs from LOTR, but hey, they appropriated the tagline, and now they’ll have to live with the results.

The tagline does make sense though because Station is basically the mama kangaroo app to all of your other web-based applications. She puts all of them in her pouch and carries them around and takes care of them and makes sure they don’t get into trouble.

“Work faster” and “stay focused” features

The clean, responsive UI and ease-of-use are the main selling points for Station, but it’s the additional features that help set it apart from the competition.  

One of the coolest features is the universal search bar, which lets you search for keywords across every application you have integrated.  

All of your application’s notifications are kept in a specific notifications tab, which helps untangle some of that visual clutter associated with little red notification prompts everywhere. You can also silence notifications for different lengths of time using “Focus Mode.”  

Focus Mode is good for times like when your division’s Slack channel might be totally popping off with hilarious Drake memes about your TGIF plans, but if you have a 5-page report to finish in the next hour, it MIGHT be a good idea to take a little space—just for a little while.

The great thing about Station is that, since it quarantines all of your work applications in one place, you can separate your work applications from your regular-life applications with ease.  That crossover can be a killer for your downtime, as seeing a million unchecked notifications can really interfere with your tranquility and relaxation.

“Centralize everything” and “tailor your workflow”

On a broader level, Station provides a bunch of functionality that can really save a bunch of time and money in terms of business and employee management.

The app can be used to create a dashboard template, which essentially means that new employees can have their digital workspaces curated during the onboarding process.

That means no more spending a week just getting accustomed to all of the different software and messaging services your new employer uses—because on day one everything is laid out right before you.  

Lastly, the Team Repository function really helps with company software management, because it centralizes all of the applications that your team members use, and how much they use it.  

Say goodbye to those hundreds of auto-renewing SaaS subscriptions your account is still paying for because some salesman who worked for your company for three weeks swore by it.

It’s becoming increasingly important to maintain a tight database of web apps that your employees get actual, tangible value out of. Just jettison all of the rest.

Say goodbye to web browser frustration

Technology and app blogs and review sites have been raving about Station because it solves a problem that is unique to modern workplaces. Macrumors named Station as one of its best apps of 2018, and it seems like Station’s relevance is growing as our workplaces evolve.

The bottom line is that Station separates and contains your work and home spaces while making both of them easier to navigate and less stressful.  

Applications are meant to be tools, but once we start being controlled by all those “new notification” icons, we’re in trouble.  

No more invasive push notifications, or millions of confusing tabs and sign-in processes. Station streamlines and returns the control of applications back to the user, and in today’s climate, that is huge.