Archive for the ‘Enterprise Software’ Category

Enterprise transformation – Is it real this time?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Over the past 20 years or so that I’ve been involved in the enterprise software industry, I’ve heard endless predictions about how the industry is going to dramatically change and how this technology or that technology, or new delivery models like software as a service are going to put the established vendors out of business.

As far as I can tell, not that much has actually changed. Sure enterprises are using some cloud apps and improving mobile device support. But where the rubber actually meets the road, enterprises are still running their own infrastructures and closely guarding their content and data behind layers of IT administrators. The players aren’t changing much either, with Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and SAP accounting for the lion’s share of revenues.

IDC FutureNow, for its 2016 industry predictions IDC is saying that converging technology forces – primarily mobile computing, cloud services, big data and analytics, and social networking – will lead to wholesale digital transformations that will essentially blow up everything we know about enterprise software today. As enterprises embrace emerging technologies, IDC predicts we’ll see the creation of what it’s calling the “DX economy.”

According to IDC, besides determining the winners in nearly every industry – the companies that embrace the new technologies will win while those who don’t will lose – the DX economy will fracture the enterprise software industry. Per IDC’s press release about its research:

Nearly a third of today’s IT suppliers will be acquired, merged, downsized, or significantly repositioned. In this environment, enterprises will have to constantly monitor and assess the solutions offered by their suppliers and partners and be prepared to realign these relationships as needed.

Talk about disruption.

But the big question is whether IDC is right. Is this the moment when the enterprise software industry truly changes, or is this just another hype cycle?

Both sides have a case. On one side, you have the massive investments enterprises have already made in hardware and software which simply aren’t going anywhere. On the other, you have increasingly tech-savvy customers demanding a more cohesive and personalized experience than ever before. There’s also the much-discussed Internet of Things (IoT) that IDC says will be a “fertile area” for DX.

There’s little question that digital transformation is one of the hottest topics in the enterprise space today. But is it real or just another passing fad? Let us know what you think.

In your spare time, be sure to head over to IDC’s FutureScape landing page to soak in a series of 33 on-demand presentations covering many different industries and market segments. Full disclosure: I have not actually watched them all, but many do look promising. I’m interested in learning what’s up with wearables, for instance.

Buried in Information

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Every company I’ve worked for has had some type of system for capturing and storing important information. It’s great that technology allows us to share important work documents with other employees, even ones we may not know personally. But is all of that information good for us? I stare at my computer screen all day and read a ton of stuff, then go home and read for personal enjoyment as well. But, frankly, I find that there’s just too much data to process.

logo_aiimOn a grander scale, how do enterprises deal with capturing, storing and sharing so much information? Well, the folks at the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) have some good ideas for how to deal with all of that data. Check out today’s article in CMSWire by AIIM president and CEO John Mancini to learn more.

The Purpose-Driven Show Rolls On

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

We had another successful event in San Francisco featuring John Seely Brown as part of the OpenText Purpose-Driven Speaker Series.

Brown is a visiting scholar at USC and the independent co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge. During the talk he shared his thoughts and research on intrinsic motivation, incentive systems, learning organizations, organizational design and facing new challenges.  He had a touch of laryngitis, but was able to carry on. His voice isn’t normally quite this gruff. The video below contains a few highlights.


 
 

Register now to see John Seely Brown’s talk in San Francisco on October 18

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

John Seely Brown, a visiting scholar at USC and the independent co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge, will be sharing his unique views on technology in the human context during his upcoming talk at the Westin San Francisco Market Street hotel on Tuesday, October 18th. His presentation is part of OpenText’s Purpose-Driven speaker series. Part scientist, part artist and part strategist, his views are unique and distinguished by a broad view of the human contexts in which technologies operate and a healthy skepticism about whether or not change always represents genuine progress. He will be sharing his thoughts and research on intrinsic motivation, incentive systems, learning organizations, organizational design and facing new challenges.

This free event is sponsored by OpenText , a global leader in content management and social software, including OpenText Social Work Place which helps purpose-driven teams assemble, stay connected, and achieve breakthrough results.

Register online at http://jsb-purposebiz.eventbrite.com/ and follow the event on Facebook.

Watch John’s keynote on YouTube here.

Join us for an engaging talk by The Smithsonian Institution’s New Media Guru in Washington, DC on September 21

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Michael Edson, Director of Web and New Media Strategy at the Smithsonian Institution, is the next speaker on the schedule for OpenText’s Purpose-Driven Speaker Series. During his talk, Michael will unveil a series of provacative new ideas about the changing relationship between technology, organizations, and the future—and what we should do about it. Michael’s presentation and discussion afterwards should be valuable for leaders, employees, and collaborators engaged in all types of work.

You can RSVP for this event here.

 

Simon Sinek’s Talk was GREAT!

Monday, July 11th, 2011

I was in NYC today listening to Simon Sinek’s talk and I have to say that I was totally inspired by his ideas and the benefits of using the “Start With Why” framework. It  is a simple, yet elegant way to think about defining or refining the purpose of your organization. You may want to pick up a copy of his book. It may cause you to rethink your business.

Message for the day: Start with Why and inspire people around you to achieve amazing things!

Here’s the video from our event:

Simon Sinek OpenText Talk

Come check out Simon Sinek’s Talk in NYC on July 11

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Simon Sinek, author of “Start With Why,” will be speaking at a special breakfast presentation from 8:30– 10:30 a.m. at the ACE Hotel in New York City on July 11th.

Come have breakfast with Simon and leave inspired and armed with the right arguments for why you should fight to keep your personal and organizational aspirations at the center of the conversation. You’ll learn why “starting with Why” will inspire everyone in your organization to take  action.

To RSVP, go here.

Purpose-Driven Speaker Series Kicks Off in July

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

We’ve been working with OpenText on an exciting new speaker series focused on what it takes to become a Purpose-Driven organization. The speaking series will kick off in July with our first presentation by Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action.” He will be talking about the simple tools and strategies that organizations can use to define and talk about their unique purpose. Simon will be talking about how “starting with Why” has helped organizations around the world become more focused and successful.

Many of our speakers will also serve as judges for OpenText’s Prize for Organizational Purpose – an award of $10,000 will be made to the charity of the winner’s choice. Please share your stories with us about the role that purpose has played in your team or organization.

Here’s the line-up so far for OpenText’s Purpose-Driven Speaker Series:

Simon Sinek – July 11th – New York City
Michael Edson – September 21 – Washington, D.C.
John Seely Brown – October 18th – San Francisco
Andrew McAfee – November 1 – Boston

You can learn more about this speaker series here.

 

Tapping your (big) partner’s brand – six strategies that work

Monday, November 29th, 2010

In almost any tech industry segment you’ll find a few very large companies surrounded by dozens to hundreds of complementary smaller companies that do everything from filling in functionality gaps to adding industry specialization or providing service and support. This ecosystem is important to the big company’s success and most, to varying degrees, works to grow and nurture their ecosystems.

But if you’re a small- to mid-size company, being part of a big company ecosystem is anything but a free ride to success.  This is especially true from the PR and marketing side.  Many times I’ve heard small company execs talk about how signing a deal with Oracle or Microsoft will lead to instant credibility and visibility, followed shortly by big sales. They are usually crestfallen when it doesn’t materialize quite the way they thought.

Gold PartnerBig companies have a lot going on. Their PR teams and product managers are invariably overworked, and have a huge number of mouths to feed.  That joint press release you wanted? Not going to happen.  Maybe a quote, if you’re lucky. And the response from the media is worse?  Reporters and bloggers simply do not care that you’ve become a Gold Certified Platinum whiz bang partner of the year. Not only do they not care, but will get pissed if you even send them the press release.

For sure, there is huge brand-building potential from partnering with a big company. How do you tap into that potential, and ride the coattails of your big-brand partner?  Here are six strategies I’ve found to be way more effective than issuing a press release about your partner status.

Target the partner’s bloggers – Most big companies have a thriving cadre of bloggers at various levels within the company. These are not professional journalists. They are looking for ideas and content assistance.  By educating them about how you fit in the big company’s ecosystem and help boost sales or increase customer satisfaction, they may be inclined to write about you in their blog, or you could even supply a guest post.  Be sure to read the relevant blogs and comment often.

Create compelling content – As noted, big company marketing types are typically very busy.  That means they won’t be doing any work on your behalf. However, if you come up with some smart contributed articles, they will often be willing to be quoted, are even add their name to the author byline.  Editors will be much more interested in the article if there’s a big name on the byline.

Support initiatives – Most of the time, the major players won’t give small upstarts the time of day. That can change when the big company has a major product launch.  They are often looking for endorsements and quotes to show how the industry is backing the new initiatives. Be ready with Johnny-on-the-spot press releases, quotes and spokespeople.

Partner events – The big partner events can be a good opportunity to make some noise.  Ideally, you can work your way into one of the keynote speeches.  If that doesn’t work, be sure to place as many of your customers, technical and product experts on panels and workshops as possible, and then funnel information to reporters and bloggers covering the event.

Partner beat reporters – Media outlets, whether online or print, devote inordinate amounts of space to big companies.  Many, such as the Wall Street Journal for instance, have reporters fully dedicated to only covering IBM or Microsoft.  It’s worthwhile letting these reporters know how your company fits into the space. They won’t write a dedicated story about you, but you can get mentioned in other coverage.

Self-publishing and social media – Scrapping for coverage in a brand-centric world is hard work. As a supplement, you can control your message and build your brand on your own.  By using social media tools, and publishing articles, videos and podcasts on your websites you can create significant buzz. This is where engaging the partner can be useful to creating more exposure and building your credibility. For example, you could interview the partner for a news podcast and use that as the basis for a thought leadership, brand building effort.

Working with big partners is never easy. It takes real organizational commitment to building the relationship in the first place and developing product and sales opportunities. The same goes for trading on the partner’s brand name. Done right, however, the payoff can be significant.

What communication strategies have you found to be successful on the partner front?

Helping Customers is a Smart Strategy

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

With technology in particular, there’s a tendency to get excited about a whiz-bang bit of “breakthrough” or “innovative” or worse “unique” gizmo or piece code that some smart guys in India cooked up for you. Seriously, who cares if something is unique or first if it’s completely useless?

I’m the first to admit that technology is cool, and I can easily get excited about a gadget just because it’s cool. I have many gadget sitting on shelves gathering dust for that very reason. Once the excitement was past, it turned out that the gadget wasn’t all that useful, reliable, or helpful.

In his Convince and Convert blog, Jay Baer makes the point that finding out where customers can use your help can improve your marketing efforts. He advocates implementing your marketing activities in such a way that customers will find some utility in your communication. One example I have is a newsletter we get from a local auto repair shop full of quirky tidbits and useful tips on gardening or cleaning out the attic. My wife actually takes the time to read it, and then gives me the coupon for an oil change.

Applied to technology marketing, helpfulness should be a big part of your strategy. It’s important to remember to always tie your messages back to what your product or service actually does for the customer. Ask the question, how does this help make the customer’s life better in some meaningful way. Ideally, you should be able to make that case that if people fit a certain profile, they will be significantly better off using your product then they were previously, or if they used a competitive product. If you are struggling to understand your audience’s needs, maybe it’s time to do a bit more research and message development.

Tools like ROI calculators that give customers a way to evaluate whether or not your product will help save some money are incredibly valuable. Yet, too often I hear about how hard it is to figure out ROI. These days customers are most interested in saving money so demonstrating how much money your software will save is a great strategy for anything in the B2B world.

On the B2C front, a big part of the iPhone’s success ties back to the huge catalog of apps. While many of them are fluff, a large number are actually helpful. Once people find something to be useful, they tell their friends who in turn run out and buy an iPhone. The real genius in the iPhone isn’t the touch screen, but a friendly UI that lets people discover and use truly helpful apps.

Want a blowout success? Think long and hard about how you can help your customers. What are their pain points and how can you help?


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