Showing posts from May, 2010

Do ROI / TCO business cases make sense for IT Executives? HP thinks so.

HP has developed an overview of its business case best practice for CIOs. The service is designed to help IT executives structure a diagnosis of opportunities, and drive cost savings / increased IT value.

The practice features Alinean ROI / TCO tools and methodologies to help HP engage with IT executives to quickly and proactively plan cost savings and improvement initiatives.

The white paper "Business case development best practices
for data center and IT projects - Speed-up your project approval and start with confidence" is designed to introduce and promote HP's ROI / TCO analysis and business case development services, and is available at:

VDI can save you big! Don't count the savings just yet.

Many solution providers are pitching VDI as the next big cost savings initiative for frugal IT executives to implement. However, the savings may not be all they are promised to be.

In a research study Alinean participated in on the total lifecycle costs of VDI compared to traditional desktops, VDI has proven to be about 10% more expensive in certain mainstream scenarios - particularly for traditional Office Workers, in an environment that is already well managed.

The objectives in the study were to understand customer perceptions and expectations from VDI, gather real world data from deployed organizations, and
provide customers with TCO guidance from a collection of industry experts. Although the study was sponsored by Microsoft, I can tell you that having participated in the debates and research that the results are factual and balanced.

First, surveys of 105 organizations in Financial Servies, Government, Manufacturing and Retail,indicated that unanimous market perception / sentiment …

Engage early with Senior Execs, or Lose the Deal

In the article Selling Business Value to Senior Executives, Tony Hillyard proposes that the most effective way to sell to executives is to engage earlier in the sales process.

According to Mr. Hillyard, “Many salespeople wait until the organization has started to go to the market to find solutions for their problems.”, and according to our research are then less likely to win deals, and more likely to discount.

Certainly knowing that the customer has an identified need and has a solution set in mind and budget allocated, salesprofessionals can save time and effort in the sales process. However, although engaging later in the buying cycle is indeed a more efficient sales engagement technique, it is much less effective.

During the Discovery phase of the buying lifecycle, senior executives are involved in 80% of the decisions driving the diagnosis of issues to address, setting objectives and setting the overall strategy. During this phase, executives and stakeholders are seeking vendor part…

Wanted: Innovation Gridlock Buster

IT "Keeping the Lights on" Spending creates Innovation Gridlock

Each year Alinean examines the delicate balance in IT budgets between on-going operations, migrations and upgrades, and innovative investments. From our research, in 2009 innovation and migrations / upgrades suffered as budgets fell victim to the changing economic climate:

IT Operations (keeping lights on) - 66%
Upgrades and Migrations - 23%
Innovative IT Projects - 11%

This reversed a promising trend throughout the past decade of increasing innovation spending and reduced on-going operational costs.

HP recently commissioned a great research study conducted in February and March 2010. The worldwide survey results were designed to analyze the challenges that organizations face with budget allocation, and a term they coined - innovation gridlock.

This term is defined as “a situation where the IT organization is blocked from driving new business innovation because the majority of funding is consumed in operating the curre…

IT recovery full speed ahead. IT vendors, are you ready?

SearchCIO's latest survey on IT budgets and spending priorities confirms reports from Forrester, Gartner and other analysts, that the IT spending recovery in 2010 is upon us.

For the majority of the 282 respondents to the survey, 55% indicated that the recovery has begun, with 52% indicating more spending in the next three months than in the last three months. This shows a strong recovery, especially comparing to the meager 35% of budget increases in the SearchCIO survey of last November.

This means that every month more and more budget will be available, and projects that were on hold, or weren't even being considered could be on the decision block. Budgets that were once considered locked down are opening dramatically. As a sales professional, are you proactively prioritizing your projects ahead of others with a solid ROI business cases? If not, you may be left out of this recovery cycle.

According to the survey, deferred upgrades are first in line for much of the spending incr…

Social Media have an ROI? It needs to.

As the main social media proponent for our organization, I participate and monitor our avenues constantly. As well, as the CEO, the buck stops with me, and like many executives, I demand payback on our investments. A question I have been raising lately - is all this time we spend on social media worth it?

Seems like I am not alone. When it comes to ROI as a search term, about 80%+ of the tweets / posts are about the ROI of social media..... is there any? how can it be measured?

Seems as though we are all participating in Social Media, but at the same time, all looking for value proof points.

I can honestly not say for sure whether there is an ROI yet from our efforts, however I couldn't see not participating right now on fear of missing something. MarketingSherpa's recent social media budget survey seems to indicate that I am not alone.

Only 7% indicated a confidence rating that social media is producing measurable ROI and therefore should be funded liberally. This is low, but the…

Alinean Powers Eight More B2B Assessment, ROI and TCO Campaigns

Industry-standard Sales and Marketing Tool Platform Provider Announces Record Growth and Key New Hires in Q1 2010

Alinean, the leading creator of value-based interactive sales and marketing tools for B2B vendors, today announced the addition of eight new customers in the first quarter of 2010 to its marquee list of leading B2B vendors, as well as several key new hires to expand capabilities and keep pace with the increased demand for effective assessment, Return on Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) tools.

New Customers in Q1 2010Alinean has been selected to develop and power value-based sales and marketing campaigns for Wipro, PGI, CSC, CiRBA, MokaFive, Shoretel, Informatica and OfficeMax.

“Today’s business buyers are more conservative than ever, demanding that any investment they make drive tangible savings and provide quantified business advantages – a fundamental change called Frugalnomics,“ says Tom Pisello, CEO and founder of Alinean. “Leading B2B solution providers…

Overcoming the fear of Value

In this blog post by Thomas Sant, he discusses why many of us fear inclusion of value propositions in proposals, and moreover, quantifying value.

As more business leaders require business value quantification to consider your project a priority, and moreover, to gain approval, overcoming this fear is more important than ever:

Where have all my customers gone?

Are you ready to market and sell to the CFO?

Evidence continues to mount that the balance of power is shifting fast in IT decision making, and with cloud computing in the mix, more and more decisions on IT will be made not by the CIO or IT manager, but by CFO and business units.

As an IT marketer, sales professional, or sales enablement driver, are you and your team prepared for this shift of power? How will the connections, dialogue and deliverables need to change to convince a CFO or business leader vs. technical?

This article by Don Tennant and IT BusinessEdge confirms a report by Gartner of a week ago, documenting the shifting decision making landscape:

I summarized the Gartner report and its implications in a prior blog post here:

Forrester - start of 4th wave of innovation - let the good times roll?

In Forresters latest earnings call CEO George Colony summarized the latest IT spending trends and projections. Mr. Colony discussed the positive IT spending growth of 2010, and more importantly, that we are at the start of a 4th innovation wave- a potential 7 to 10 year cycle of technology innovation. Is it time to let the good times roll?

With regard to IT spending growth for 2010, Forrester has been the most aggressive in their projections, with a view that IT spend would grow 8.4% in US, and 7.7% worldwide. While much higher growth projections than more conservative estimates from Gartner and IDC, we believe that these projections are spot on, as organizations realize growth opportunities and quickly allocate discretionary budgets to key IT projects in the second half of 2010.

Impact of this growth for IT sales enablement and demand-gen professionals? Because of the discretionary nature of the allocations, sales and marketing needs to be ahead of the decision making curve:
As customer…

CFO is Now Top IT Decision Maker, making Value Sales / Marketing More Important Than Ever

According to a new Gartner and Financial Executives Research Foundation research survey, the CFO is becoming the top IT decision maker in many organizations, with:

over 75 percent indicating significant decision making involvement, and 41 percent indicate being the main decision maker for IT investments.
The 2010 Gartner/FERF technology study received 482 responses to approximately 50 questions that covered senior finance managers' views of technology. The survey was conducted from late October 2009 through January 2010. More than 74 percent of the respondents were senior financial executives, including CFOs and controllers.

What does this growing CFO control mean to solution providers? Already a growing trend since the bursting of the tech bubble in 2001, more senior financial IT decision making means that proving the value of proposed projects, and quantifying bottom line impact is more important than ever. This trend we term "Frugalnomics".

For the CFO, most we talk to…