Participants in technology project planning usually maintain a “need to know” policy about options. There are few enterprise class businesses, or comparably staffed organizations in either the public or not-for-profit sectors that will be satisfied, in 2013 with any technology project plan that does not include a review of at least a broad sample of acceptable solutions along with specific recommendations for actual components of a recommended system. The rationale here for larger organizations is to ensure that a best effort has been made to select the most reasonably priced solution for the requirement.
It’s worth taking a moment to provide the reader with further detail on what constitutes an “acceptable solution.” An “acceptable solution” is one that has earned a level of credibility in the market. Larger organizations usually allocate resources to benchmark their performance against peers to ensure that they are using the products that have gained market credibility in a manner that conforms with industry best practices. The objective of this benchmarking effort is to ensure that an organization’s operations are operating on par with those of its competitors. Achieving parity with one’s peers can dictate that so-called “best of breed” solutions be implemented along the same lines as is found to be the case for one’s competitors. These “best of breed” solutions are synonymous with the “acceptable solutions” to which we have alluded, above.
Vendors promoting “acceptable solutions” will generally get attention from project planning teams at enterprise businesses. Where enterprise organizations have an option of selecting the same “acceptable solutions” (for example, Microsoft SharePoint for Enterprise Document Management requirements) from any of a range of potential vendors, in our experience the same scrutiny will be applied. In other words, an enterprise will be on the lookout for a vendor that has been used by its own competitors, to ensure that a right choice is made with regards to a partner who can get a job done right on a first try.
If a coordinated marketing communications effort fails to produce useful engagement with these contacts (who should be receptive to unsolicited contact), then ISVs, systems integrators, etc. should plan on including the endorsement of well respected individuals in their marketing efforts. These well respected individuals usually carry with them a useful address book, which amounts to a highly promising contact list. The individuals on these contact lists usually participate in project plans; therefore, a marketing communications piece built around a recommendation from one or more of these well respected individuals will often deliver better results, and, therefore, should be explored.
In the next post to this blog we will look further at why it makes sense to include individuals with a track record in an industry within sales and marketing teams.
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