Per IBM Corporations second quarter earnings report for 2012 enterprise IT customers maintain a high interest level in the type of analytical software that can contribute to relevant, if not accurate, predictions of business performance. This software segment of IBM’s business grew substantially year over year. We should note, however, that nevertheless, IBM’s results point to a generally flat to contracting market for enterprise IT software, year over year.
We think the growth in analytical software sales points to a real interest on the part of enterprises to capture unstructured data. Further, these customers need to include this unstructured data within any predictive process used with regards to future business performance. Finally, we think this need on the part of enterprise customers is significant in that it points to a growing role for software like Microsoft® SharePoint®, which is a multi featured solution that provides enterprises with document and list repositories as well as a growing list of collaboration features.
We have excellent recent experience with the SharePoint marketplace. In most cases we see enterprise customers using the product as the foundation for Intranet and/or Extranet communication. With documents, lists (largely composed of data extrapolated from line of business databases), and discussion data all stored in SharePoint, a different set of tools are required to pull relevant information out of this unstructured repository, hence the surge in business for IBM in this space.
Of course, innovative tech businesses focused on capturing enterprise business from niches within the overall process of working with unstructured data stand to benefit, short term, from this buyer interest. Nevertheless, the probable sales cycles for these products will conform to the standard sales cycles for these types of products. Therefore, planning on working long and hard on any opportunities that emerge for your offering as you will need to steer successfully through a complex set of contacts, etc before you reach a sale.
As well, it cannot be over-emphasized that the IBM results, nevertheless, point to a dismal, flat enterprise IT software market. It is critically important not to lose sight of this reality as product marketing strategies are considered for the next one to two years of your business. If you have a product that you think provides an important component to collecting accurate business intelligence from unstructured data, you should seriously consider going to market under present conditions in 2012. If you cannot formulate a sales and marketing plan and need consulting services, we would like to hear from you. Please telephone Ira Michael “Mike” Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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