Comments
yourfanat wrote: I am using another tool for Oracle developers - dbForge Studio for Oracle. This IDE has lots of usefull features, among them: oracle designer, code competion and formatter, query builder, debugger, profiler, erxport/import, reports and many others. The latest version supports Oracle 12C. More information here.
Cloud Expo on Google News
SYS-CON.TV
Cloud Expo & Virtualization 2009 East
PLATINUM SPONSORS:
IBM
Smarter Business Solutions Through Dynamic Infrastructure
IBM
Smarter Insights: How the CIO Becomes a Hero Again
Microsoft
Windows Azure
GOLD SPONSORS:
Appsense
Why VDI?
CA
Maximizing the Business Value of Virtualization in Enterprise and Cloud Computing Environments
ExactTarget
Messaging in the Cloud - Email, SMS and Voice
Freedom OSS
Stairway to the Cloud
Sun
Sun's Incubation Platform: Helping Startups Serve the Enterprise
POWER PANELS:
Cloud Computing & Enterprise IT: Cost & Operational Benefits
How and Why is a Flexible IT Infrastructure the Key To the Future?
Click For 2008 West
Event Webcasts
Advice for Mobile Start-Ups: Working with SAP, Part 4
Mobility entrepreneurs are often focused on their specific mobile technology

SAP can be like a giant aircraft carrier moving powerfully across the ocean. It is huge and heavy and if you are a swimmer in the ocean trying to make it change directions to suite your purposes, good luck. A more successful approach is to understand the direction the ship is going and jump on board. Sign on, offer them a hand and help them get there. Perhaps as you gain their confidence they will let you into the wheelhouse where you can learn about their intended strategies and influence future directions.

Mobile software companies and their entrepreneurs often feel their mobile technology and strategy is better than all others. They often feel driven by a messianic mission to carry their mobile technology message to the world, and then scream in frustration when others don't seem to "get it." I understand. I have screamed.

Mobility entrepreneurs are often focused on their specific mobile technology. Many have engineering backgrounds and believe they have solved a significant problem. The challenge they often face is not understanding the business of their potential partners, resellers and target customers. Let me provide the following scenario to demonstrate my point:

There is a large conference room with a long table. There are 2 mobility entrepreneurs, 12 IT managers for a large SAP customer, 4 sales and pre-sales folks from SAP, and 3 representatives from a large system integrator with a focused SAP practice in attendance. The mobility entrepreneurs stand up and present the "world's best" enterprise mobility technology to the attendees. When they are done presenting, lots of questions are asked; the entrepreneurs cover them all and leave to catch their flight home expecting a PO on the fax machine when they arrive. The PO never arrives. Why?

Here are some possible reasons:

  1. The SAP customer has a $14 million problem, and the mobile technology presented will solve only $675,000 of that problem. They need a complete solution, not a partial.

  2. The $14 million problem requires a full range of systems integration, business process design and SAP customization to fix. They want to fix this problem with one overall integrated solution, not many small solutions linked together. Complexity can kill.

  3. The SAP customer has three preferred SAP systems integrators – none have a practice around this particular mobile technology.

  4. The SAP customer is simplifying their IT infrastructure to reduce complexity and no non-SAP technology will be added unless it is approved by 17 business and IT committees. Who has the time to fight this battle?

  5. The IT Managers only want to learn mobile technology that will add to their resume and help them get their next assignment. The cool mobile technology that they just witnessed does not have its own category on the IT recruiters' websites. They want NAME power on their resume.

  6. The SAP system integrator does not support the mobile technology, so recommends some other mobile solution that they support and have trained experts on.

  7. The SAP sales team does not get quota credit on it, but they do on another mobile solution. If the sales person does not make their numbers they are fired, so they do not care which mobile technology is better if it does not help keep their job.

  8. SAP's Industry Principals and Solutions Managers also must be very selective as to the mobile technology they recommend. They would not want to recommend a product that was not on the SAP price list or Certified Partner list, unless there was no other viable choice or this product helped sell other SAP licenses that benefited the SAP sales team. Their priorities would be:

    1. SAP solution

    2. SAP price list solution (could be a partner's solution on the price list)

    3. SAP Certified or Innovation Partner

    4. Only in desperate times would a non-partner be recommended and then only if it helped sell more SAP products

  9. SAP pre-sales teams learn about many different technologies, but if it does not help their Account Executive make his/her quarterly numbers, it is unlikely to be introduced to the customer. However, there is an exception; if the solution, combined with an SAP solution helps close more revenue for the SAP Account Executive, then you have a winner.

  10. SAP customers are often on 5 year plans. These plans include upgrades, roll-outs, add-ons, customization, old product sun setting, mergers and acquisitions, etc. What does this mean to the mobile entrepreneur? It means your product needs a 5 year road map that aligns with SAP and the SAP customer's. If it does not, you are unlikely to survive the first round.

  11. Large software companies like SAP often consider potential partners as possible acquisition targets. Issues like are you private or public, customer base size, intellectual property ownership, market presence, etc, play into these considerations. If two partners have similar technologies, the one that is a better future acquisition target may be chosen for strategic reasons.
  12. The SAP customer may have outsourced their IT to a large service provider with their own recommended mobile solution.
  13. The SAP customer may have a large server deal with IBM, and IBM agrees to throw in a software solution for free if the annual support contracts are renewed...it happened to me :-(
  14. The biggest project and highest priority in the company is around route delivery improvement, and your project is mobile SAP CRM. The route delivery mobility vendor agrees to extend their mobile solution into mobile CRM and since it is a higher priority, you lose.
  15. The CIO will never get invited to speak in front of thousands at Sapphire if they choose your solution.
  16. Your user conferences could be held at Denny's.

In summary, a mobile solution needs to be viewed favorably by the SAP customer, SAP sales team and the SAP system integrator. Not always all of them, but most of them. It needs to align with most of their strategic visions, personal interests and compensation structures. The frustrating part of this list for many mobility entrepreneurs is that none of it has to do with "best" mobile technology. These are primarily business issues that relate to alliances, partnerships, self-interests, marketing, strategic directions and business models.

Since we live in the real world, not all of the players' motivations will be clear or have the same level of priority. Sometimes new technologies appear that do not fit these molds, but once you understand these underlying motivations it becomes more clear.

If you are interested in discussing these issues in more detail and/or learning more about my consulting practice please contact me.

Watch for Part 5 in this series - it gives hope back to the Mobile Start-Ups. You can follow-me on Twitter (see right sidebar) and by RSS.

Related Articles:

Read the original blog entry...

About Kevin Benedict
Kevin Benedict serves as the Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, at Regalix, a Silicon Valley based company, focused on bringing the best strategies, digital technologies, processes and people together to deliver improved customer experiences, journeys and success through the combination of intelligent solutions, analytics, automation and services. He is a popular writer, speaker and futurist, and in the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries. He has over 32 years of experience working with strategic enterprise IT solutions and business processes, and he is also a veteran executive working with both solution and services companies. He has written dozens of technology and strategy reports, over a thousand articles, interviewed hundreds of technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries.

Latest Cloud Developer Stories
Nutanix has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO New York, which will take place November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The...
Intel is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in the Silicon Valley. It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, and is the...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment b...
Wasabi is the hot cloud storage company delivering low-cost, fast, and reliable cloud storage. Wasabi is 80% cheaper and 6x faster than Amazon S3, with 100% data immutability protection and no data egress fees. Created by Carbonite co-founders and cloud storage pioneers David Fri...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build ...
Subscribe to the World's Most Powerful Newsletters
Subscribe to Our Rss Feeds & Get Your SYS-CON News Live!
Click to Add our RSS Feeds to the Service of Your Choice:
Google Reader or Homepage Add to My Yahoo! Subscribe with Bloglines Subscribe in NewsGator Online
myFeedster Add to My AOL Subscribe in Rojo Add 'Hugg' to Newsburst from CNET News.com Kinja Digest View Additional SYS-CON Feeds
Publish Your Article! Please send it to editorial(at)sys-con.com!

Advertise on this site! Contact advertising(at)sys-con.com! 201 802-3021



SYS-CON Featured Whitepapers
Most Read This Week
ADS BY GOOGLE