As the adoption rate for enterprise software deployed in the cloud advances, change was inevitable for companies providing cloud hosting and managed software services. Is this then an opportunity?
One smaller managed service provider (MSP) focusing on ERP deployments and with some accompanying social media/marketing and analytics capabilities, contacted JRocket Marketing. The mission? To analyze their businesses capabilities, assets, partners and install base and map their optimum go-to-market strategy.
JRocket Marketing knew that industry insiders were warning MSP’s: “They must differentiate either by vertical or some other way, otherwise yes, they could get eaten up. They’re going to have to start thinking about how to stay viable in today’s evolving world.”
Yet, analysis of this client’s customer base indicated that current sales were highly MSP centric:
Additionally, further saturation of the MSP market was occurring via value-added resellers (VARs) evolving their business models and new competitors coming into the space. Even well-stablished MSP’s were starting to panic a little. And still another wrinkle existed: many of the industry MSP’s established vendor partners on the software side were looking enviously at the additional MSP revenue opportunity. Smaller-sized MSPs, like JRocket Marketing’s client worried that they might risk getting pushed out of vendor relationships where they had invested considerable time and money.
The question: what unique offering could a comparably smaller, yet well-established MSP provide to clients? The overall JRocket Marketing mission:
- Simplify/make the client’s Value Proposition resonate Immediately to all six key audiences (customers, prospects, employees, partners, influencers, investors)
- Position the Company as Hot and Happening (an Innovator)
- Don’t mess with the EBITDA/CAGR, as the company was VC-funded
- Provide the sales sizzle to attract target buyer attention and separate from the other MSP/cloud competitors
- Leverage interest/growth in cloud solutions to mine new markets
To complete the project in a rocket-fast 30-day window, JRocket Marketing conducted 36 interviews to get a full 360-degree pulse from all sides:
- 12 Internal Employees
- 8 Customers/Partners
- 1 Lost Sales Deal
- 15 IT Analysts
- Competitive Research
JRocket Marketing concluded that ERP’s time as it currently existed was nearing the end of attraction/viability due to two key factors: an onerous 9-18 month sales cycle, and ERP product maturity/saturation.
The simple fact was that, after 30+ years, many ERP solutions are very similar. Further, the buyer was now less focused on the ERP brand label than they were on the new mobile access devices and accessibility factors. The cloud had answered some companies desire to shift off of big upfront hardware expenditures –but the buyer market was still stuck on old fashioned ERP review cycles!
JRocket Marketing recommended that its client change its currently stated go-to-market strategy from this:
“To be the leader in fully managed hosting of enterprise software for companies seeking reduced operating expenses and greater levels of availability, security, application control and user support.”
“We are ERP as a Utility – ‘Light-Switch’ Style Industry SaaS Solutions With Big Data, Infused Analytics and a Social Business Edge, All Wrapped in the World’s BEST Disaster Recovery System.”
With a sample marketing spin like this:
To ensure that the new strategy would be appealing to the buyer community, JRocket even seeded a survey question into a top industry IT analyst’s survey engine to 300 respondents. Here is the question posed and the results from prospective buyers:
If you want your company capabilities, current solutions and assets examined and analyzed to build a unique value proposition that will separate you from your competitors…one that is thoroughly analyzed vetted by industry analysts … then you are a perfect candidate to be a JRocket Marketing client!