Sybase, Inc.: Creating an Integrated Sales Approach to Grow the Professional Services Business

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Sybase, Inc.: Creating an Integrated Sales Approach to Grow the Professional Services Business

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Research Abstract

In the early 1990s, Sybase appeared to be winning the database “war” with Oracle and was rapidly gaining market share as a result of its leading-edge technology. With the release of System 10 and the effort spent merging with Powersoft, Sybase lost some of its momentum. In 1997, with a new CEO and a refocused business model, Sybase appears to be on the verge of renewed business growth and market share gains.
Sybase, a $1 billion company providing client/server and Internet software and services, has historically relied on its technological advances to win market share.Services have been used to support customer use of the technology. In 1995, services represented 35% of Sybase’s total revenues.
Within the past year, Sybase has significantly increased its focus on services. Service now accounts for approximately 40% of total revenues. Much of the growth has come from the Professional Services (SPS) segment of the business. In response to customer demand for help with business rather than technical issues, the company’s Professional Services group has aggressively pursued a ‘business solution’ approach to generate additional services revenue and stimulate product sales.
Initial reports are extremely encouraging. In 1995, professional services business solutions generated $23 million in revenues. In 1996, this number grew to $60 million, or 28% of total professional services revenues. Sybase Professional Services has increased its staff from 60 to 1200 since its inception in 1991, has performed 3700 business solution engagements in 1996, and is rapidly building a name as a leader in the online transaction processing, data warehousing, mass deployment, and online electronic commerce markets.
Overall, Sybase Professional Services revenue has increased to $214 million. From the corporate perspective, Sybase announced profitable operating results for the fourth consecutive quarter in July 1997. The key to Sybase’s renewed success is based on the company’s clarity around the role of business solutions as an integrated offering of both product and services. This strategy drove Sybase to create a sales and marketing system that would be effective both in situations in which service leads or in which product leads the sale of an engagement. In this case study, ITSMA highlights the tactics Sybase has used to create an integrated sales team responsible for the sale and success of business solutions.