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Selling Information Management To An "Appified" Enterprise


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If you’re a salesperson for an on-premises information management platform, you’ve got a problem. Apps.

Those damn apps give too much power to the users and now IT departments aren’t spending their money on your system. You have spent years building up your robust and perfect system that has every feature and configuration setting imaginable. What could go wrong?

IT guy, rejoice! We’ve added more features and whatever you want to do, you can do with our platform... just pay the ongoing maintenance fee and I’ll send you this year’s model...

Wait, what? You’re not renewing? You chose what as your new system!?

There’s an adage that you’re going to want to remember right now, but it’s going to be a tough pill to swallow... If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Microsoft seems to get this.

They’ve got SharePoint and now they’ve got SkyDrive, ok, they’ve had SkyDrive, but now they’re integrating with SharePoint. SkyDrive is a cloud repository primarily for file sharing and online storage and they literally name Apple iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox in their messaging as points of comparison. The funny thing is, SkyDrive was started as a consumer product, not an enterprise product. What’s going on here?

Why would Microsoft want to have SkyDrive? If you think about it, isn’t this what SharePoint and Office365 have already promised us that it would do?

Yes, but it comes down to this, SharePoint won’t ever have a shiny free icon on your iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows 8 device. SkyDrive does.

Microsoft knows that if it doesn’t get a strong consumer footprint that in this insane BYOD (bring your own device) culture that it has the potential to lose ground in the enterprise. That’s how strong the appification of the enterprise is. Appification has moved the mighty giant Microsoft.

Microsoft is showing with SkyDrive that they’ve learned some lessons from Box and Dropbox. They’ve learned that a consumer product can quickly bridge a gap and become an enterprise product. They’ve learned that the consumer products that make the leap and become an enterprise product can take significant market share. They’ve even learned how the freemium model and iterative development work.

They’ve now got that figured out and they’re Microsoft. 2GB Free? 5GB Free? No, 7GB Free! We’re Microsoft! To the Cloud!

With SkyDrive, Microsoft is putting up their best defense against their apped-up competitors, putting up their best offense against their legacy platform rivals, and making a bold preparation for the future with a simple statement that I never expected to hear from Microsoft, “download our free app”.

So, back to you, how do you sell your platform? Guess what, you don’t. For better or worse, lately, a growing number of companies don’t give a damn about your retention schedules, disposition support, legal holds, or even their own information management policies. For better o

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Selling Information Management To An "Appified" Enterprise

  1. 1. #AIIM13 #AIIM12 Selling information management to an "appified" enterprise Nick Inglis Director, Professional Development AIIM @nickinglis
  2. 2. #AIIM13 Two Talks In One  Talk One: ECM Companies  What are we doing?  What do we do?  What should we be doing?  Talk Two: ECM Salespeople  Three Salespeople, Two Good, One Great  Are you small? Are you big?  The product development agenda: Set it
  3. 3. #AIIM13 #AIIM12 Talk One: Companies Selling information management to an "appified" enterprise
  4. 4. #AIIM13 What Are We Doing? Math. ECM + ??? = $$$
  5. 5. #AIIM13 Examples Microsoft: ECM + Collaboration = $$$ Box: ECM + Apps = $$$ Nuxeo/Alfresco (Open Source): ECM - $$ = $$$ CRM = $$$; CRM + ECM = $
  6. 6. #AIIM13 What To Do? Stop doing math.
  7. 7. #AIIM13 What To Do? Image Credit:
  8. 8. #AIIM13 When ECM Is Ubiquitous… ECM Is Commoditized.
  9. 9. #AIIM13 Remember ECM? Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization’s unstructured information, wherever that information exists.
  10. 10. What Has Been Our Selling Proposition? Most ECM Solutions Over The Last 5 Years #AIIM13 – “We are an enterprise platform for everything.” “Comprehensive solution.” “Can it do X?”, “Yes.”
  11. 11. What Has Been Our Selling Proposition? #AIIM13 When you do EVERYTHING, you are the BEST at NOTHING.
  12. 12. #AIIM13 Are We Cloudwashing? How do we leverage the cloud to the benefit of organizations? Are we helping companies or just making sure the answer to the cloud buzzword is “yes”?
  13. 13. #AIIM13 Solving The Problem API Apps CRM ERP HR ERM Collab
  14. 14. #AIIM13 Solving The Problem Do What YOU Do Better Than Everyone Else
  15. 15. #AIIM13 Solving The Problem  If You’re Small  Niche  Solve big problems in small segments Broad Niche 1/2 of 10%  1% of 100%  or 
  16. 16. #AIIM13 Solving The Problem  If You’re Large  Don’t plan on world domination  Start with a solid product  Broad applicability of product  Solid API to provide multiple niche opportunities
  17. 17. #AIIM13 #AIIM12 Talk Two: Salespeople Selling information management to an "appified" enterprise
  18. 18. #AIIM13 Solving The Problem  Three types of sales people  “My Product Is The Best”  “My Product Is The Best For ____”  “I don’t know who my product is the best for”
  19. 19. #AIIM13 My Product Is The Best  Short term  Confident salespeople will be successful  Long term  Unhappy customers  Misalignment between product and business needs Image Credit:
  20. 20. #AIIM13 My Product Is The Best For _____  Long term success  Adoring customers  Alignment between product and business needs  Smaller success up front  Larger success long term
  21. 21. I Don’t Know Who My Product Is Best For #AIIM13  Your options:  Figure it out  Resign  Get fired Image Credit:
  22. 22. #AIIM13 Unique Features  What are the unique features of your product that sets it apart?  What types of companies would benefit most from those unique features?  Do you know enough about the industry to make that call?  Take AIIM Training  ECM Sales + (ECM, BPM, Your Product Category)  Ask An Expert Who Is NOT From Your Company
  23. 23. #AIIM13 What does your product do better than everyone else?  There is always an alternative to what you’re selling.  Why should your prospects purchase from you rather than your competitors?
  24. 24. #AIIM13 What does your product do better than everyone else?  What is your niche?  Don’t wait for your marketing team to position your product towards that niche.  Own it, explain why you’re the best option, sell it.
  25. 25. #AIIM13 Understanding Your Niche  Who are the 10 customers who are the most satisfied with your product?  (Not who makes you the most money)  Can you group the 10 most satisfied customers into less than 3 groups?  Go after similar companies.
  26. 26. #AIIM13 Driving The Agenda  If you’re small and you start getting a lot of wins… you will set the agenda of product development.  If you’re large and you start getting a lot of wins… leverage prior wins for future wins. Image Credit:,_Mechanical_Transport,_1911).jpg
  27. 27. #AIIM13 API Turnkey Solutions = Niche  API Your Way Into A Successful Niche  Sell a specific set of connections to your product for a turnkey niche solution. I Sell This API With This API With This Niche
  28. 28. #AIIM13 Conclusion  ECM is a solution: don’t minimize the value of the management of content  Understand your product  Know what you do better than everyone else  Leverage APIs  Niche your way to success
  29. 29. #AIIM13 Thank you.