Since its introduction to the world of ICT in the 1970s, the term “convergence” has come to mean something different to just about everybody you ask: “fixed and mobile,” “voice and data,” “access devices,” “media and entertainment,” “unified communications” . . . the list goes on and on. Too many people, however, consider convergence a technology issue and overlook the wider business implications—including its impact on marketing. At a recent Inner Circle Meeting in London, ITSMA examined the commercial and social implications of convergence to better understand how marketers need to adapt in the face of this trend.
Traditional partnering in the technology space has often focused on the use of partners to extend market reach—using partners in a “sell-through” model. But customers are demanding ever more sophisticated solutions that deliver business results rather than merely solve technology issues. Striking and developing “sell-with” partnerships is not without its challenges, and at an ITSMA Roundtable in Paris last month, a number of European members got together to explore in greater detail best practices for creating successful partnerships.
In 2003, the Commonwealth of Virginia announced the $2 billion IT Infrastructure Partnership, the largest IT award in state government. Northrop Grumman knew it was well qualified to do the work, but it had a perception problem to overcome: In Virginia, the company was viewed as a builder of ships, and its depth of experience at both the IT and state levels was not well recognized or understood. It used an ABM strategy to turn things around.
Three representatives from the CIO Executive Council joined ITSMA in San Francisco for our April 25-26 Marketing Leadership Forum to discuss the reasons that positioning your company as a trusted advisor may not be the best marketing strategy and what you can do to build true credibility with CIOs.