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|»||Great ideas but trouble executing?|
|»||Internal disagreements that inhibit progress?|
|»||Trouble identifying what really matters?|
Answered yes to any of these?
This full service company is a supplier of computer hardware and software. They also provide complete, high-quality consulting services to install, configure, tune and maintain what they sell. They can even build custom software applications so customers can extract maximum value from their purchases and gain competitive advantage.
The founder wanted to grow the custom software development part of the business. He needed a market segment to focus on and a product suite to drive sales. This meant finding a software supplier that had a good product AND could be a good partner. A difficult challenge in a highly competitive environment.
Vin D'Amico did an exhaustive assessment of markets served by software vendors looking for segments that have been holding up well as our economy struggles. That list was further refined to identify segments that are synergistic with the existing business and customer base.
We identified over 500 software companies of interest. 100 of those were targeted as potential partners. An assessment of their market positioning, reputation and growth potential resulted in 18 finalists.
To complete the analysis, Vin assessed 100 other firms who sell hardware, software and professional services looking for ideas, behavior patterns, messages, partners ... anything that might help us make an informed decision.
We generated an evaluation questionnaire and interviewed all 18 finalists either on the phone or in person. A scoring system was put in place to rate potential partners. Some companies dropped off the list quickly, usually due to poor partner relationship programs.
We decided to focus on product and market segments that fit well with the firm's current sales and marketing efforts. This client has established network infrastructure and storage management practices that had to part of a total solution offered to customers.
We selected a partner who is an industry leader and has a well-established partner relationship program. In fact, the importance of having good synergy between two companies entering into a partnership cannot be overstated. Partnerships only work well when win/win situations are created. With clear goals and due diligence, we were able to create a foundation for success.
One key element in this process is having a clear strategy for your business. If you'd like to learn more about creating such a strategy, read this article called "Defining a Web-Enabled Business Strategy" (pdf).
It's tough to find a good partner.
Following a structured process makes it much easier!
These are most of the market segments we defined for this project. This isn't intended to be a definitive list. There are lots of ways to slice and dice markets.
This particular approach was effective in this circumstance. The nature of your business may require a different type of segmentation.» Content Mgt
We were successful because we clearly defined the goals and objectives for the project and kept key stakeholders informed throughout the effort.