There are always dozens of reasons to spend a few days in Las Vegas. The late night parties, the shows, the spectacle of the Strip and some of the world’s finest restaurants in the world, are more than enough to keep one busy, occupied and thoroughly entertained for a few days anytime of the year, much less the dreary, frigid days of the beginning of February.
For Total Product Marketing, our reason for a spending a few days at Caesar’s Palace? Star-gazing at the actors of my current favorite comedy show, “Parks and Recreation” as they filmed a segment at world-famous Nobu Restaurant? Well, that would be a close second.
The correct answer: Parallels 2013 a Hosting/ Cloud conference run by Parallels. Parallels is a leader in virtualization and automation software that optimizes computing for consumers, businesses, and service providers across all major hardware, operating system, and virtualization platforms.
The Hosting / Cloud industry as we all know is here to stay. Technology is moving to the Cloud and it’s a matter of when, not if. The industry is still very young but with the speed of technology and the pervasiveness of the Internet, going from young to middle-aged to old can happen in a blink of eye.
As we made our way around the exhibition booth talking to ISVs, service providers, infrastructure delivery vendors and many others, we got the feeling that there’s a race to build, sell, and repeat. Clearly, there is a lot of opportunity here and companies recognize this.
We were having a few cocktails and chatting with a vice president of operations of firm that offers systems integration services for ISVs that are looking to take its applications to the Cloud via the Parallels’ APS. (The Application Packaging Standard (APS) is a set of specifications that simplifies delivery of SaaS applications by packaging them in a standard format). APS is an open-standard and covers provisioning, management, and integration of cloud-based services and applications.
For ISVs, working with such a system integrator is really a no-brainer. The integrator brings expertise and the tools to develop, deploy, optimize, and maintain APS applications efficiently while also bringing the knowledge and expertise of dealing with the Cloud service provider on the back end to get their client’s technology up and running. It takes all the guess work out of the game and allows the ISVs to just concentrate on building more software features. Perfect scenario right?
Not according to this expert in Cloud operations that we were talking with. His lament was that these companies think that just partnering with an integrator like him was the end-all and be-all solution to generating revenue: “whew great! Working with this integration firm helped us get to the Cloud faster than we could have ourselves. Now we can sit back and wait until the sales start flowing in”.
One half of that statement is true. The other is not.
ISVs are building applications that aren’t always winning their markets. Why? The answer is that they haven’t done any kind of work from the product marketing and analysis side to see if what they are building has any value; they haven’t done work to craft the right messaging for the buyers and they haven’t figure out how to support the Cloud service providers sell their technology for them.
It’s certainly not the first time (or will be the last time) when technologists demonstrate a “if we build it, they will come” mentality. It’s just another piece of evidence that reinforces to me why this industry is still young (although this mentality is certainly not limited to industry newbies!).
Upon hearing of what TPM offers, this vice president honed on the following as why companies like these need product marketing:
1. Product Marketing converts technical positioning into key messages that your customers can understand. TPM can help your company’s long winded and confusing message and simplify it to the appropriate audience.
2. Product Marketing creates marketing plans for customer acquisition and retention. TPM leverages Content Marketing through many channels including Social Media and measures and analyses the success of your marketing plans.
3. Product Marketing uncovers new markets, segments and puts forth business cases to support new initiatives. TPM can help look at adjunct markets to propel growth and fuel new ideas.
And common mistake made in product marketing:
So spend some time to sit down and figure out what you’re building for whom, and why they should be interested. And if you don’t have the time to do that, give us a call!