Cloud Software Business: How to Stand Out in the Crowd

Management Insight

To say that there’s a lot happening around technology in today’s business world would be a fundamental understatement – business experts are talking about a gold rush in terms of business technology, as all around various industries, companies are waking up and realizing that they need better technology tools — this has led to the rapid breeding of technology companies offering some of the most sophisticated business intelligence, marketing and data handling designs that will help all sizes and all kinds of businesses to compete in the years ahead.

With so many vendors offering items like cloud-based services, knowledge management, business intelligence or customer relationship tools, how does a vendor stand out and get noticed? In some ways, there’s no easy answer, but in other ways, getting closer to top brand visibility and reputation is actually a lot simpler than it may seem.

Breaking Down “Tech-Speak”

A lot of tech companies get lost in trying to explain what it is they offer and what it is they do. That’s because there’s so much inherent jargon around technology. From operating systems to networks, communications models, hardware pieces and overarching IT architectures, a blizzard of technical terms and phrases can turn away a whole lot of people, including potential customers. There’s a reason that these products are so heavy on high-level technical language – in part, it’s because the concepts that they were built on are complex. But that doesn’t mean that tech marketing materials need to read like a textbook. Instead, it means that good ‘brand ambassadors’ need to be mindful to include real technical details, but to also focus on a great ‘simple English’ explanation of what IT products and services are for.

Offer Good Designs

Business customers need scalable solutions. They need easy-to-use interfaces and accessible platforms. The best vendors will recognize these needs and build accordingly, in order to offer the same kind of transparency in use that they might offer in their marketing materials or in their demonstrations at trade shows and conferences. After all, it’s in the ‘end-user environment’ that products and services really get tested, and sometimes, how they fit into an existing design can be even more important than how well they work in a vacuum, or in other words, in the software development environment.

Be a Guide

Another great principle for outstanding customer service and outreach is a vendor’s ability to walk visitors through the complicated engineering principles built into products and platforms. Instead of saying “Here is X product,” it’s infinitely more useful to say “Here is X product, and here is how you use it. This is how it will fit into your system, and this is how you train for it….”

Appeal to the Practical Side

Going along with the above, it’s also important for the vendor to really bring a dedication to meeting customers where there are, which is in a practical business world that has to run well every day. In some cases, this means jettisoning some of the more obscure features of a package, or taking a ‘basic’ approach rather than in ‘advanced’ one, in order to better accommodate a customer. Developers and engineers can become obsessed with the bells and whistles that they feel make their products great, while others from outside the inner circle might be a lot happier with a stripped-down version that is easier to use.

These are some of the basic ideas involved in how tech companies build bridges with customers and clients, not through a “shock and awe” approach or rolling out the most high-powered product, but in listening carefully and delivering exactly what the customer wants.

Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer covering technology and business solutions at Techopedia and Business Finance Store, as well as Ringio’s blog, focusing on emerging trends in IT services.

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