Business Strategy for Software Executives
April 17, 2006
Pushing a “Pull Model”
Are you ready to give away software and fire your sales organization? It might be time to flip the current “broken” enterprise software model from a sales-oriented push to a customer-oriented pull.
By Erik Keller, Wapiti LLC
“Why do software companies need a sales force?” complained Hasso Plattner, then CEO (currently the supervisory board chairman) of SAP in the early spring of 1998. “If customers just looked things up on the Web and talked to some of our people over the phone, they would figure out that we had what they needed and that would be that.”
While this statement by Plattner is open to all sorts of interpretation, it may be the most succinct and directionally accurate statement of how the software industry needs to change in the coming years.
There is a huge consensus that the enterprise-software industry business model is broken; there is no consensus, however, on how it should be fixed. Common wisdom states that all software will be consolidated around a few mega players such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. But these mega players hardly represent the diversity of functional solutions, vertical and niche markets, innovation and business processes that are fulfilled by a growing base of companies. Yet most of these smaller companies struggle in today’s market.
Given this harsh reality, it is likely then that simple tweaks will not fix today’s business model problems and that a radical restructuring is required. And that radical restructuring may involve changing the metrics of corporate success so that rather than pushing products out to the market companies rethink their strategies and pull customers in.
Aligning Product Offer to Sales Model
Does it make more sense for small vendors to OEM and avoid marketing expenses? Nilofer Merchant of Rubicon shares insight on where many software marketers veer off course in this week’s post to the SandHill.com Blog on Sales & Marketing Best Practices.
The Power of Professional Services
A significant portion of software business revenue is derived from services businesses. Tom Esposito of the Insight Group shares advice on how to get the most from services organizations in this week’s post to the Services & Support best practices topic of the SandHill.com Blog.
Don’t Miss the Dispatches from Software 2006
Dozens of press, analysts and bloggers attended Software 2006 and shared their views with their readers. Read perspectives from Vinnie Mirchandani, Jeff Nolan, Tom Foremski and more in the SandHill.com Blog on Software 2006.
The Next-Generation of In-House Software Development
As the economics of software development continue to rapidly evolve, enterprises continue to weight their build-vs.-buy options. The McKinsey Quarterly takes a look at how leading edge companies are streamlining their in-house development.
Poll: M&A Pace Picking Up?
Is it our imagination or does the pace of software M&A seem to be picking up?
Last week, SandHill.com visitors picked the buzzword of Software 2006.
More at SandHill.com:
HP targets SOA market.
iConclude receives $9 million.
Emptoris buys diCarta.
Shinya Akamine named CEO of BlueRoads.
Send us your feedback on this newsletter and the SandHill.com site.
ìWhen you innovate, you've got to be prepared for everyone telling you you're nuts.î - Larry Ellison
Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group
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