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When Too Much Success Can Kill Your Company

30 Jul 2015 by Howard M Cohen

When you announce the launch of a new software product, friends often say things like, “I hope it sells well.” This is very well intentioned on their part, but if all you do is “hope” it sells well, you may find yourself buried by your own success.

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani first intoned that “hope is not a strategy” at the 2008 Republican National Convention, referring to then-Senator Barack Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope.”

These wise words apply well to the business of creating and selling software. You need more than hope for growth. You need strategy. In fact, you need several.

Scalable delivery strategy

Your underlying goal is to be able to scale to market demand at any level. We all remember when the U.S. healthcare marketplace was introduced and couldn’t scale to meet demand. It became one of the biggest embarrassments of President Obama’s administration.

Choose which cloud provider you use to deliver your applications at least in part based on its ability to scale. When your new app takes off like a rocket, you don’t want to be ordering new servers and storage to add to your insufficient infrastructure. You simply want to scale out for more memory, more storage and more processing power to meet the demand. The right cloud service provider makes that easy.

Scalable support strategy

Support is a people-intensive business. The more customers you have in your support program, the more workers you need to be able to maintain your Service Level Agreement (SLA) with them.

Since hiring is not an overnight process by any stretch of the imagination, it’s important to have alternatives. Identifying and engaging the right support organization helps you avoid potential embarrassment and poor reviews when customers can’t get answers to their questions.

Scalable sales and marketing

Many Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) before you have entered the marketplace believing they could reach their entire market by fielding their own sales force. None proved correct.

The IT partner channel has continued to thrive and grow for more than three decades because it gives companies like yours the ability to put “more feet on the street” selling your software than you could field yourself. Best of all, channel partners come complete with an existing customer base to sell to, giving you new customers who already have established relationships with your new partners.

Channel partners are no longer impressed by “lush margins.” They know one of their competitors will take the margin right down. Quality partners are much more interested in how many new services they can deliver surrounding your product. Can they install it? Configure it? Support it? The more you answer yes, the more customers they’ll get to say yes.

Many vendors have introduced their own “marketplace” from which to sell products that are adjacent to their own. If your software runs, for example, on a Microsoft® platform, you have the Windows® Marketplace, the Office Marketplace, the Microsoft Azure™ Marketplace, the Microsoft Dynamics® Marketplace, the Enterprise Cloud Marketplace and others in which to display your software.

Gain insight

Insight has helped many ISVs migrate their applications to the cloud, list them in various marketplaces, develop new sales channels through introductions to qualified service providers, scale out their cloud delivery and user support systems, and more. Talk to us about your software products and how we can help you meet demand, no matter how successful you become.