Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

February 21 , 2006

Jerry Weissman

Icing the ìHot Seatî

Emerge unscathed from line-of-fire Q&A sessions with these tips for how NOT to handle tough questions.

By Jerry Weissman, Power Presentations, Ltd.

You've told a compelling story, you've designed dazzling PowerPoint slides, you've delivered your message confidently, and now you open the floor to questions. Unless you manage this part of your presentation effectively, all of your other efforts will go up in smoke. You must stand tall in the line of fire, and learn how to handle tough questions.

Software executives find themselves in such situations almost daily Ö whether speaking to a reporter, meeting analysts, presenting at a conference or headlining an IPO road show. Fortunately, speaking consultants abound with advice about managing Q&A, ranging from media training to mock practice sessions. Unfortunately, a number of counterproductive practices have evolved along the way.

After coaching more than 500 IPO road shows, including those of Cisco Systems, Intuit, Yahoo! and Dolby Labs, Iíve developed a set of the most productive ways to deal with difficult speaking situations. Here are the most common speaking misconceptions today, coupled with the right way to survive the ìhot seat.î


New Offshoring Study Available Now!

Thereís no question that many software vendors are offshoring to improve their operational efficiency. But what characteristics distinguish the software companies that are best leveraging offshoringís potential?

A new Sand Hill Group study, ìSoftwareís Offshoring Leaders,î surveyed more than 50 software executives and reports on the latest trends and strategies: How have attitudes about offshoring changed? What are the latest recommendations for best practices? What new obstacles have cropped up? Get the latest insight on leading strategies and see where your company stacks up. Click here to get more information or buy the full report for $395.

Improve Your Offshoring Success

The ìSoftware Offshoring Leadersî study found that communication remains one of the biggest challenges for offshorers. Ron Hildebrandt of Enkata says that eliminating the customer feedback ìgapî will improve results and recommends five best practices for offshoring partnerships in this weekís post to the Blog on Offshoring.

A Case for Russia

Most software companies are currently sending offshoring work to India. However the Sand Hill Group offshoring study found that rising costs in the region are causing software vendors to consider other regions. Dmitry Loschinin of LUXOFT presents the advantages of diversifying in Russia - an offshore market that is growing 25 percent per year ñ in another new post to the Blog on Offshoring.

The Blog is ready for your perspectives. We publish insightful strategy and opinion pieces by a variety of software executives, analysts and professionals. If you would like to contribute a post, email

Forge a Partner Alliance at
Software 2006

The final agenda for the software industry event of the year is online now. Software 2006 will take place April 4 and 5 in Santa Clara, Calif. The event will feature a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including the Alliance conference-within-a-conference. Alliance will host the top 100 CEOs of emerging software companies in a town hall-style meeting with top executives from the largest enterprise software vendors. Alliance attendees will discuss the state of the software industry ecosystem and forge new partnerships. Be a part of this unique event! Discount registration ends March 2 so sign up now!

Listen In! New SaaS Podcast Online Now

Software as a Service is bringing sweeping changes to the industry. Learn more about the important implications and the resulting investment opportunities in a new podcast from, ìSaaS Comes of Age.î publisher M.R. Rangaswami hosts a lively discussion with Gordon Ritter, general partner at Emergence Capital Partners, Michael Topolovac, CEO of Arena Solutions and Joe Kraus, CEO of Jotspot. Listen now >>

Webinar: Successfully Transitioning to the SaaS Business Model

Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite, will be hosting a live webinar forum on Wednesday, March 1 at 11 AM Pacific (2 PM Eastern) to discuss the intricacies of financial management in this new software as a service world. Zach will be joined by NetSuite CFO Jim McGeever and Kevin Thompson, who pioneered the subscription model at Red Hat. In this webinar you will learn the financial management implications of traditional vs SaaS business, how to get revenue recognition right for profits and compliance, and much more. Sign up today!

Poll: Big Buys Changing Open Source?

How will deals like Oracleís Sleepycat Software acquisition change the future of open source software?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers gave their opinions on what the recent layoffs mean to Oracle's consolidation strategy.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

Donít Miss McKinseyís Tips on China

Building a business in the worldís largest market has never been easy. Technology vendors now face a rise in local-market competitors. The McKinsey Quarterly provides a set of tips for high-tech companies wanting to compete in this high-growth market.

More at

HP, Oracle Ink SOA Deal.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

MySQL receives $18.5 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Microsoft acquires MotionBridge.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

Ian Sullivan named COO of Provade.
See whoís made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments >>

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Parting Thought

ìSeventy percent of success in life is showing up.î
ó Woody Allen

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group