Positioning Part 1: Putting a wet finger into the wind
There is nothing more important to the success of your venture than proper positioning—at every step of your marketing and sales process. I see positioning as not just a branding exercise, but a powerful tool in the nuts and bolts of campaign creation and process.
My own definition: “Positioning” is what you CHOOSE to say about anything—your product, service, sales call, or girlfriend.
Let’s start with a background story:
Years ago, working in the creative department of a newspaper publisher in Edmonton, I was asked to help save a large account who was threatening to pull his advertising. “Make it work,” commanded the publisher. With that, his part in a familiar exercise was pretty much over. My part—saving an advertiser from himself—would be more difficult.
In the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise’s character—a workaholic sports agent—decides that he’s had enough of trying to sign as many athletes as possible with his “show me the money” attitude and opts instead for fewer athletes on his roster where he will create a more “personal relationship” with them. He decides to write what he calls his “mission statement”—hoping the other sports agents in his organization will follow suit with his idea. Instead he gets fired!
The point I’m trying to make here is that Jerry felt that if he proposed this idea to others like him (those in his chosen field), that it would resonate well with the others and that he could make a “difference” in the way they do business. This is what I plan to accomplish with this blog; make a difference to our readers by merely suggesting (through a mission statement of sorts) to find more time for the things that really matter.
So here’s “my mission statement”—the miniature version that is. Hopefully it won’t find me packing up my personal belongings once it gets published. Read the rest of this entry »
The software as a service (SaaS) model is now mainstream in many functional areas of business, quite outperforming its on-premise counterpart in this tough economic environment. Consider customer relationship management (CRM), transportation management, talent management, payroll processing, travel and expense (T&E) management, strategic sourcing and procurement, and many other point (or departmental) solutions in many sectors.
Last month I listened to several discussions about the importance of choosing the right reporting tool when installing a business intelligence (BI) solution. Here are some questions that were raised: Is the reporting tool really relevant when deploying a complete BI solution? Which type of reporting tool should I choose when deploying a BI system? Choosing the right reporting tool may not be as easy and simple as it appears. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this series began to analyze the recent merger of Progress Software Corp. [NASDAQ: PRGS] and Savvion Inc. With this acquisition, Progress has made a large leap into the business process management (BPM) space, from which has been notably absent. The article asserted that Savvion BusinessManager 7.5 [evaluate this product] is one of the most mature BPM suites in the market, with the ability to handle high volumes of workflows that coordinate people, data/documents, and enterprise systems.
The product’s architecture is standards-based, multi-tiered (i.e., with separate presentation, business process, and integration flows), service-oriented, and with well-documented application programming interfaces (APIs). Thus, like its Progress siblings, Savvion is relatively easy to interface to existing infrastructures and development environments, and even to embed into partner products.
Late 2009 and early 2010 were characterized by a number of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the vibrant and buoyant business process management (BPM) space. The merger of Progress Software Corp. (NASDAQ: PRGS) and Savvion Inc. drew my attention in particular. Why? Because, to my mind, Progress has thus made a large leap into the BPM space, a market where it has been notably absent.
Namely, from Progress’ analyst event two years ago, I vividly remember its displayed “federated wheel” of solutions, which ranged from an application development platform (Progress OpenEdge), a service-oriented architecture (SOA) management and governance product (Progress Actional), enterprise service bus (ESB) and messaging middleware (Progress Sonic and subsequently acquired IONA), and data integration products (Progress DataDirect), to a complex event processing (CEP) platform (Progress Apama), and so on and so forth. Lombardi Software was pegged there as a strategic partner solution for missing BPM capabilities, but I am aware of only a few common clients that have come from Progress and Lombardi’s joint effort since (although some companies might have coincidentally deployed both products).
A little while ago, in her post Beware Supply Chain Excel Users—YOU are DOOMED!!!!, my colleague Khudsiya Quadri warned Microsoft Excel users that Excel is not a good option when enterprise applications are expected to be used. Reading her post and the comments that followed is a good exercise in learning different perspectives from different people. However, in my post, I’ll refrain from agreeing or disagreeing, but rather I’ll open another discussion that is also related to Excel—the user interface (UI). Read the rest of this entry »
Recently, I had a briefing with Jerome Ternynck (MrTed’s chief executive officer [CEO]) about the company and Version 9 of its product TalentLink. One key statement that Jerome made on talent acquisition was that before you manage talent, you need to make sure you acquire the right people for your company. Many human capital management (HCM) vendors have talent acquisition functionality as part of their offering, but MrTed specializes in this first and essential step of the talent management spectrum.
A Little Bit of History
MrTed was founded in 1999 by two recruitment specialists—Frederic Trinel and Jerome Ternynck. In 2000, MrTed raised a significant amount of venture capital and released MrTed’s flagship product called MrTedTalentLink (in November 2000). Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this series analyzed the late-March acquisition of long-struggling inventory optimization (IO) provider Optiant by long well-performing supply chain management (SCM) provider Logility. I then discussed Logility’s acquisition history to set the stage for the current offerings that Optiant will join.The 2004 acquisition of Demand Management, Inc. (DMI) and its Demand Solutions brand was especially valuable as it provided more than 800 active customers in the growing small and midsize enterprise (SME) market for Logility. Today, Logility’s customer base encompasses about 1,250 companies located in more than 70 countries, which gives Logility the largest installed base of supply chain planning (SCP) customers among application software vendors. Moreover, Logility is possibly the only SCP vendor that can meet the needs of SMEs, large companies (i.e., from US $200 million to US $1 billion in revenues), and Fortune 1000 markets (with over US$1 billion in revenues).
Part 2 thus first analyzed the Demand Solutions product line [evaluate this product] to the SME market through DMI’s global value added resellers (VAR) network. The article then started to analyze the Logility Voyager Solutions suite [evaluate this product], which is a broader SCM offering for the upper end of the market. The final part of this blog series now continues with the analysis of the Logility Voyager Solutions suite and analyzes how Optiant might fit in.
InetSoft Technology is a business intelligence (BI) company that has been very active this year, focusing on the process of improving their entire BI solution and to gain presence in the market. Among other things, they recently upgraded their mapping capabilities in their Style Intelligence software, launched a free dashboard software application, and added support for enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in their dashboard application.
In this brief interview, Mark Flaherty, Vice President of Marketing at InetSoft Technology talks about some of its new product features as well as some interesting views about the BI market. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this series established that service supply chains have many planning levels and time horizons, which can be roughly divided into the following categories: the immediate period around the day of service, and forecasting and planning for the day of service. My blog post then expanded on the various approaches to the challenges on the actual day of service.
Part 2 delved more deeply into the intricate execution issues on the day of service, starting with optimized scheduling, or the “W-6” optimization challenge: Who, does What, with What, When, Where, and for Whom? Mobile communication was established as the best means for dispatchers to communicate the schedule and job details to the resources, receive updates, notify customer cancellations, and continually optimize their schedule in response to all changes. Additionally, astute dispatchers use location data from global positioning system (GPS) tools to continually optimize schedules and divert the right resources to an emergency job.
Yet, the service chain is bigger than just optimized scheduling on the day of service. Even the best optimization algorithms can hit an early limit if the rest of the chain is ignored. If a service company’s workload is, say, 150 percent of its capacity for an extended period of time, then no level of optimization can overcome this reality.