Exotek is currently vetting interest in a new Product Management Peer Group for SIs. Productizing solutions is often a holy grail for systems integrators. It seems like an obvious business development strategy to leverage a successful project into repeat business. But, it is often difficult for a service-oriented business to produce products (and vice versa). There are differences in almost every aspect of the business:
- Engineering – identifying and developing exactly what a particular customer wants (and only what they want) vs. understanding the market, determining a collective set of features that will meet many customers’ requirements, but likely not all of the requirement of any customer in particular
- Marketing/Sales – marketing and selling a defined product with a set of specifications vs. solutions-selling based on customer needs (much more key account strategies)
- Finance – front loaded development and transactional sales vs. funding projects
- Manufacturing – high vs low volume, standard BOM vs custom packaging, …
- Services – commissioning/maintenance of a solution vs. technical support of clients’ use of a product (actually very different and often underestimated)
Jack Barber: “I experienced this first hand when I work for 7 years to help NI (a product company) build its Integration Services business. I used to say that every fiber of NI’s DNA (as product company) fought against how we needed to operate as a service organization. Not trying to be negative, just realistic based on my experience. So, vetting interest in a peer group for ‘product managers’ within SI organizations.”
The group would have very similar care-about and face similar challenges (like those listed above). So, if your organization has productized solutions, let us know who would most benefit from participation in this group. So, we can follow up with more details and explore if this group would be a good fit.