Tag Archives: Esteban Kolsky

Because Money is Sexy

Denis PombriantThe following is a guest post by Denis Pombriant, CRM industry analyst, author, and CEO of Beagle Research Group.

Why is enterprise sexy again? I take a long view of the question and position it within a macroeconomic trend.  The short answer is that enterprise software is sexy again because its time has come around again.  But here are some details to consider:

  1. More than anywhere else, enterprises live and die on the saying that they spend money for only two reasons: To make money and/or To save it.  So we are witnessing a paradigm shift, which your question alludes to.  Conventional, or I suppose we must call it legacy, enterprise software was built for a paradigm whose major attributes included client-server as state of the art, manufacturing as the primary business activity and one size fits all products.  That’s all gone.
  2. We are also at the end of a macroeconomic wave often called a Kondratieve Wave, or K-wave for short, whose major attribute was information technology (IT) as a competitive tool.  IT has become so much embedded in the fabric of business that it is no longer a disruptive innovation or differentiator.  You either have IT or you go out of business.
  3. The end of a K-wave usually brings a collapse of prices as everything commoditizes.  As your products lose their ability to command high margins, your only choice is to get lean or go home.  Companies that elect to go lean use information technology to shave cost.  Big companies need more technology than any others.
  4. The end of a K-wave (which can last 50-60 years) implies a new beginning.  But it takes time for a new wave to spin up to the point where it can support the huge demands of the enterprise.  Salesforce and NetSuite are each over ten years old and only in recent years have they become successful at penetrating the early adopters of the enterprise.  Social solutions are less than ten years old.  Twitter was founded in 2006 and Facebook in 2004.  It has taken a long time for them to scale to be able to support enterprise volumes and equally long to demonstrate value to the enterprise.
  5. The new enterprise business processes that will demand increasing amounts of these and other technologies are only now being built out.  Until there were tools resident in the cloud, able to collect and crunch massive amounts of data it was futile to try to imagine new business processes but now imagination can take wing.  A great example is Zuora, which has invented subscription management.  Zuora couldn’t have been imagined until cloud computing and SaaS became successful and companies became aware of the pain of doing business in a subscription world with manufacturing oriented ERP systems.  See my book, “The Subscription Economy: How Subscriptions Improve Business” and pay attention to the last chapter on metrics.  Most of the metrics don’t even make sense if all you know is ERP.

So, why is the enterprise sexy again?  Its time has come again.  There is a new business paradigm to be addressed and there is money to be made and saved by those who get there first.  Enterprise is sexy because money is.

About Denis
Denis Pombriant the founder and managing principal of Beagle Research Group, LLC.  His work appears in most major CRM publications both in print and online, in North America and in Europe.  His new research on social media adoption and benefits with Esteban Kolsky was published in August.  His new book, “The Subscription Economy — How Subscriptions Improve Business” is available on Amazon.  Pombriant is always working on a book and he maintains an active research, writing and speaking calendar.  He lives and works near Boston.

Special thanks to Craig Rosenberg, CEO and Editor of Funnelholic Media for connecting us with Denis.

 

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Money, power, intelligence, and enterprise software that works is sexy as hell

The following is a guest post by Craig Rosenberg, CEO and Editor of Funnelholic Media.

Craigpic

Crowdsourcing is sexy.  I took the question: “Why is enterprise sexy again?” to a number of enterprise software thought leaders to get their takes.  It was the best move I could have made.  Or put another way, I would not have said it better myself….

The result, three reasons why enterprise is sexy again:

 

  1. Revenue is sexy

“Because customers actually have money and will spend it. Because the problems that can be solved have real value”
— Chris Selland, VP of Marketing for Vertica from HP Software

“First, I think we’re seeing the crest of the replacement cycle rolling around, delayed by several years of recession. Money makes everybody seem sexy.”
— Chris Bucholtz, Editor in Chief for CRM Outsiders

  1. Software that actually works and delivers value is sexy

“For the first time ever, enterprise software is becoming flexible, adaptable and unshackled from the stringent control of central IT. Autonomy comes high on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and modern enterprise software is enabling autonomy in spades. Given this fact, and the fact that these new, easy to use tool are finally allowing business units to remove technology as a blocker to achieving their strategic outcomes, is it any surprise that some would describe this as enterprise software being sexy?- I think not. Add to this the fact that, from the investment side, enterprise software companies are providing the returns that consumer plays sadly do not, and you have factors that both from a supply and a demand side perspective result in enterprise being different to what it ever has before.”
— Ben Kepes, Advisor, Investor, Commentator on Cloud Computing and Technology Generally

“Enterprise software vendors have a new sense of confidence: the current generation of tools is more refined and more aligned with user needs, and the vendors are becoming smarter about telling the story of how the software can help users. They’re increasingly skilled at using the language of the customer instead of the language of the software industry. To put it in dating terms, they’ve learned to say, “enough about me – let’s talk about you” – and then they’ve learned to talk about themselves in the context of the customer’s problems. And finally, you can’t underestimate the value of software that draws a straight line to ROI. Enterprise software does that very effectively.”
— Chris Bucholtz, Editor in Chief for CRM Outsiders

  1.  Money, power, and intelligence are sexy as hell

“Enterprise software spend is about $250 Billion each year, and growing circa 8% each year.  Money is sexy in my book.

Enterprise software lets companies do what they do, without it you would not be able to use your cellphone, get on an airplane, buy food, clothes, books, music, and most anything else.  Intelligence is sexy in my book.

Enterprise software uses technologies that most consumers don’t even know about (try WebRTC for real-time video and voice communications, in-memory analytics just from the recent batch) and hardware that makes grown men and women drool when they hear the specs.  Leading edge technology is sexy in my book.

Enterprise software has defined, limited, and ended more careers that most anything else in this world for people who underestimated it.  Power is sexy in my book.

Any way you look at it, money, power, intelligence – those are sexy attributes.  Aaron said it is sexy again because he has not had sufficient experience with it.  Enterprise software never stopped being sexy from the very first COBOL program (talk about a sexy language) implemented in time-share.”
— Esteban Kolsky, Independent Analyst on Customer Strategies and Principal and Founder of Thinkjar

 

About Craig
Craig Rosenberg is the CEO and Editor of Funnelholic Media.  Craig works with companies to design, build, and optimize their Demand Chain Strategy.  What is the Demand Chain?  Whereas the supply chain which has repeatable, metrics driven processes that deliver products on time, the Demand Chain is a systematic process built to predictably deliver/over-deliver revenue on time.  Craig helps companies with their overall Demand Chain strategy and advises them on the critical components such as online marketing, demand generation, social strategy, content marketing, inside sales, and sales processes.  

Craig speaks frequently at both live and virtual conferences and other events on a number of b2b sales and marketing topics.  He also contributes to e-books, webinars and a range other digital content. Many in the industry also know him as The Funnelholic. On his popular blog, Craig waxes poetic on topics of interest to those who live and work in the B2B Demand Chain from the top of the funnel to close.