“Today’s relationships encompass the trifecta of people, processes and technology,” according to an article in the Rust Report. Cloud is perfectly poised to emerge as the winner in the shift of power from vendors to the client. True cloud solutions from experienced vendors embrace the aforementioned trifecta with ease. Software solutions are no longer confined within the walls of the IT department, but are seen and exploited by every function in the business.
Over the past few years the ICT industry has seen a swing from a vendor controlled environment to one that has become increasingly client controlled. To survive and grow, ICT providers now have to rethink how they sell and what they sell.
The past two years have seen marked changes in how product and services are offered and how they are bought. Those shifts have occurred in response to an extremely competitive market where change is inevitable and buyer maturity has grown tremendously. Vendors, in turn, are meeting the challenges presented by this new and evolving landscape with varying degrees of success.
Whatever your industry, customers are most likely delaying projects and looking for new ways to cut costs. This is a good time to take stock of relationship-building capabilities of the team. Are current relationships strong enough to withstand the destructive pressures of today’s tough environment? Do salespeople know how to leverage personal assets and the assets of the company to build “competitor proof” relationships?
In order to avoid being hit by the big vendors or disruptive start-ups, established vendors must act now to strengthen their positioning and reinvent their value chain in the current competitive environment. The rules of the game are changing fast. New business models and delivery methods are revolutionizing the way companies buy.
The same is true for the PR industry. What has always been a challenging part of the marketing mix for many marketers is rapidly expanding into something more complex and powerful. A lot has changed. Just a few years ago, vendors looked at PR as involving traditional communication vehicles such as press releases announcing the release of the latest whatever. Nearly all PR activity was organized around product launches. Today’s relationships encompass the trifecta of people, processes and technology, meaning any relationship – including PR – needs to be well defined. The nature of business has changed dramatically with Cloud Services for example; the concept of a new product announcement is irrelevant. Rather than one or two big events per year, there is a series of ongoing – often daily – events which warrant a new type of ongoing publicity.
Amid today’s backdrop of vendor consolidation, open standards, next generation apps and cloud based deployment options, no one vendor can deliver innovative solutions that meet every industry vertical, business process, market segment and geographical requirement. Consequently many vendors are seeking and encouraging partners to innovate on their platforms, fill existing gaps and ultimately help them drive long-term customer loyalty. The result being that many vendors now have a vast partner ecosystem often filled with solutions at varying levels of integration, support and quality.
Navigating through the storms of technological change requires today exceptional leadership, especially since even the most experienced CEOs can still be handicapped by their past successes. The pressure is high, the stakes are huge and the need to appear in charge is paramount. Technology comes in successive waves. Success goes to those who have the vision to foresee, to imagine what shapes the next cycle will take. Leadership and communication from CEOs are today indispensable in the quest for success.