Solutions Success Story: How Honeywell Provided Customers with a Full Solutions Experience
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Dealing with Solutions Complexity
The complexity of today's go-to market models for solutions can make heads spin within the marketing and sales groups of technology companies. It’s very typical for a customer to deal with 3-5 separate companies in order to piece together their own solution. One company might provide the hardware, another may provide the application software, and an additional 1-2 companies could be needed to provide the full range of integration and deployment services that bring it all together. It can be quite a smorgasbord of companies and capabilities. In cases where the customer takes on the responsibility for creating the solutions from component parts, no one vendor “owns” the solutions from end to end. It is a long and sometimes risky process that many companies elect to take on by managing the integration of the solutions pieces themselves.HSM and the isvSTORE.com: Integrating Hardware with the Software
Honeywell Scanning and Mobility (HSM) decided to create a method by which their customers could effectively manage at least some of the solutions provisioning themselves. HMS, a leading manufacturer of scanners and imagers with a rapidly growing business in rugged, handheld mobile computers, sells its technology to many of the leading logistics, healthcare and retail customers in the world through a network of distributors, ISVs and resellers. Like many technology companies, HSM found it difficult to drive the kind of solutions their customers needed while only providing a single piece of the puzzle – the hardware. The answer they can up with was called the isvSTORE.com.
IsvSTORE.com is a deceptively simple website that has an intuitive front end which allows a user to select the industry they are in, the back-office system they are using and whether or not they prefer an in-house solution or a SaaS model. The site then provides a listing of all the ISV software that meets the user requirements along with a brief description of what issue the software solves. One click deeper provides greater details on the software's functionality and benefits as well as screen shots of the user interface. The page also provides a listing of the Honeywell devices that are compatible with the software. The most innovative aspect of isvSTORE.com is the opportunity for the user to take a live test drive of the software on any of the HSM mobility devices.The Benefits of the isvSTORE The isvSTORE solves many marketing and solution challenges:
Once the customer has decided on a possible solution they can contact either HSM or the ISV directly through the isvSTORE. With the exception of a few strategic accounts, HSM sells its products and services through its network of partners so the majority of these leads are send to the resellers. Many of the ISVs also work with the resellers who use their expertise to refine the solution, provide any needed middleware, and provide the planning, integration, and deployment services needed to complete the solution.Lessons Learned: In designing and implementing isvSTORE, HSM took away the following lessons:
1. HSM had to spend more time marketing the idea to the ISVs that they had anticipated. There as a classic mentality of “if we build it, they will come”, and they discovered that…virtually no one showed up. Many were concerned about competitive issues and the possibility of HSM implementing a “pay for play” search engine model to the site. Part of the HSM strategy for overcoming these concerns was to allow each ISV to provide their own copy and screen shots for the site so that they could highlight their competitive advantages and differentiators
2. The ISVs needed a feedback mechanism so they knew the site was working for them. It was critical to track the results of the site -- otherwise the ISVs would have lost interest and let their content get stale. Also, users of the site were given the opportunity to rate the applications which also helped the ISV determine what the strengths and weaknesses of their software were.
Honeywell is one of successful company that able to integrate its hardware with software. Also, its able to solve several solution challenges such as : • Ability to provide real time data • Promotion to community • Complete solution delivery • Thought leader position for its solution However, I found out that there are some rooms for improvement about its newly innovative way - isvstore.com in which it relies to deliver its solution to the customer. Those are: • Rigid monitoring of customer feedback /review • Customer experience about the online store • Key performance of the online store • Customer reference program • Online webinar As mentioned above, it is important to have such a strong customer – feedback monitoring system since we are providing solution to them. As solution is about addressing a specific customer problem and being measured by business value, some of key performances that may be included are sales revenue, ROI, and net profit. In addition for above improvement, I believe that internal support from the organization is also determining the success of this new implementation. Especially, from a position which has more power and authority inside an organization.
Before solutions became a trend for all these technology companies, customers would have to deal with the hassle of incorporating their own solution from at least 3-5 different companies to answer their own problems. Now if your company could not provide the full range of integration and services then you will be left in the dust. Through the Honeywell example we can see another emerging trend. Product-based companies, even if you are the market leader, will still find it difficult to only provide “a single piece of the puzzle”. The concept of “if we build it, they will come” also does not apply already nowadays. There are so many competitors and substitutes in the market now that integrating solutions to your business is the greatest chance of survival. Almost everyone is trying to adapt “solutions” – real or unreal, perceived or unperceived.
An excellent article but i guess it raises a lot of questions. how do you create ownership, the channels of feedback, how do you create consistency for the same. How do you define the metrics for the for the online store, since the requirements would require to segregate it to define the sale to the competencies of your company. The article gives a lot of insight into the great partnership that honeywell created, but it would be helpful to have the back end of it all. it would help to give an insight into what honeywell used as a basis for defining who would be a right fit into their overall strategy.
When I finally understood about solutions in a B2B model the first thought that came to my mind was, how to deliver the same value for a B2C market? Simple is better. In my experience usually consumers do not know what are they are looking for and when some of them have an idea in mind they are willing to change the decision while shopping. A company that it is able to deliver a comprehensive but easy to read and understand information, is usually the one that wins the consumer. I am currently working on a project with a similar characteristic: to develop a tool (on-line) for potential customers to build and select a solution through us. And we have thought that cooperation between service providers, integrators and good suppliers is the key asset that we have to leverage in order to gain competitiveness. One extra characteristic is simplicity. Simple delivery to complex solutions is a tough and long brainstorming process. Simple for the consumer in terms of delivery of the offer and the message. For a service integrator or a solutions company this task, in my opinion, is the one that will take most of the resources while accommodating the portfolio of offers. Finally, the free trial tool I considered to be the "closing statement" for the sale. An amazing idea that seems also simple but technically it is too complicated to implement. I bet it came at a high monetary cost as well.