|By Jiten Patil||
|August 9, 2012 05:45 AM EDT||
Today's information technology era is driven by software providers of all shapes and sizes. On the one hand we have big or very big providers who have established themselves through very sophisticated business models and ecosystem channels they have invested in for a long time. Tried and tested business processes enable them to stay ahead of the curve when responding to new customer demands - either through large investments in new innovations or because of the market reach they have established over time.
On the other hand, there are several small and medium independent software vendors (ISV) who are focusing on solving very specific problems or addressing niche segments differently. While these small and medium ISVs have created their own space, they are constantly challenged to keep building newer products or adding new features to stay in the game. Another challenge they face is to maintain their market position with changing tastes and a perpetually evolving genre of customers. Customer ‘stickiness' is never guaranteed and this poses a great threat to an ISV's revenue cycles in spite of good engineering capabilities.
ISVs get categorized into two different segments - each one facing different challenges. The first category is ISVs that are either startups, having nascent products or somewhat old players that are forced to redo their product portfolio significantly to deliver renascent products. The second category is ISVs that are establishing product/s but need to take that extra leap to survive through future disruptive market cycles or product revitalization. The game is on between ISVs with products that are either nascent / renascent or ISVs having products under a revitalization process.
For the first category of ISVs it's prudent for them to acquire or build a new mechanism to bring their nascent or renascent products to market without much delay. This mechanism means - apart from product engineering functions that ISVs invest in, the rest of the product functions are aligned and empowered for a quick go-to-market strategy. For example, it's crucial to pass through the ‘marketing - promotion - sales' cycle very quickly and also jump-start the order-to-cash cycle for quicker revenue realization helping back up incremental product releases.
Several non-engineering aspects directly become part of this type of ISV's critical path for success. A separate challenge in itself, this dependency is very much unavoidable. However, it is not surprising that ISVs that own the burden of pushing new ideas and features to market do not have the necessary technology or expertise to implement non-engineering mechanisms.
These functions are non-core to technology companies and add significant overhead and investments - to position and channel the products in the market correctly and in a timely fashion. This is where a custom cloud strategy can play a hydrant role in not only forming but also delivering fast-paced revenue generation cycle. After all, no matter how great a product or an idea is, they each need an equally nurturing environment to succeed. And this is why an ISV's cloud roadmap needs to be capable of creating a boost - to identify or create the right and conducive environment that a product needs for its success.
These ISVs first need to identify a distinguishable cloud roadmap that deviates from or complements traditional ways of implementing a go-to-market plan. The distinguishable factor here means the capability to add the extra speed, agility and ensuring the quality of the process. Another key aspect of the strategy should be to create the model that provides the direct link between the cost arbitrage benefits to the roadmap.
Besides using cloud services for relationship management, ISVs need to plan to leverage cloud tools to enable an end-to-end revenue-generation process. Cloud provides the avenues to roll out marketing campaigns for lead generation and brand building. ISVs need to invest in gaining the know-how of cloud service options so that they can better put them to use. Using social integration tools and platforms provided by cloud, ISVs can expedite go-to-market further. An important aspect of selecting such platforms is to ensure that these tools can be tailored for a business-specific scenario.
ISVs need to think about how cloud solutions can be used for packaging and distribution. Cloud provides natural tenets to help enable product trials during the sales cycle as well as end-user deployments. Facilitation programs like application exchange, app stores and cloud brokers provide an extended platform and network that can help speed up the revenue-generation cycle.
As businesses scale and more products are added to portfolios, cost and complexity tend to escalate because of the sheer size of the market and the targeted customer base. Before this becomes the bottleneck for revenue-generation cycles, ISVs should employ strategies like continuous delivery of promotional content, new product trial offers and value-added features.
Gone are the days when businesses had to invest in creating a large support infrastructure to remain connected with their customers and increase after-sales happiness quotient. Engaging customers and providing them with the required support services is another non-core cloud use case for ISVs now.
Some of the strategies identified above are better implemented using on-demand models to optimize the ISV budget and speed up revenue cycle. Choosing cloud services will become a natural choice for most ISVs, although rolling out an integrated strategy with disjoining process parameters and heterogeneous tools can pose difficulties in implementing an end-to-end working roadmap. This is where ISVs should look to the cloud-enablement function to guide the product roadmap and bridge the gaps appropriately.
In a nutshell, ISVs can fast track the revenue generation cycle via a well-thought-out cloud strategy for non-core business functions. Define and shoot for smart objectives including:
- Rolling out marketing campaigns, promotions and social integration for products to enable go-to-market in weeks vs. months
- Improving customer and partner experience in real time
- Improving ISV sales without doing non-core technology or expertize investments
- Integrating and delivering on-demand business processes that can help with ordering, measuring, billing, settlements, better customer engagements and managing an end-to-end support life cycle more effectively
For the second category of ISVs that are revitalizing their product portfolio - they may leverage existing investments in non-core business processes as long as it is paying off and not affecting future competitiveness. Some of the above strategies are valid for these ISVs as well. They can pick and choose what suits them well in their current situation. At the same time, a farsighted strategy for them would be to start experimenting with these cloud use cases and start developing means for doing things in a nimbler way.
ISVs ultimately need to plan for continual growth, which is the essence of the business and their survival. To that effect, ISVs need to embrace more contemporary ways. Different ISVs are in different business situations when it comes to implementing new generation technologies that will ensure their competitiveness in the years to come.
Needless to say, making more money is the mantra for businesses. What else can ISVs do?
Check out this next article: Nine Things ISVs Should Do Next
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,887
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 2,012
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 2,171
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,996
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,530
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 2,073
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 27, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,872
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,896
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,848
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 2,009
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 2,058
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 2,115
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 2,045
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,705
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,753
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,050
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 2,232
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,983
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,340
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,210