Friday, 1 September 2017

Mind The Gap - Marketing to Adoption - It's Fun

I'm getting ready for Oracle Open World, what do I need to do? What do I need to Learn? Where do I need to be? Who do I need to see?

Every day, every hour my mailbox has another invite or marketing email, and the diary is getting busier and busier. 

I love OOW, it is about Oracle showing their roadmap, and marketing their current portfolio. As a partner I want to be part of that current portfolio message, and am pleased that this year I will be part of the DHL story; but just as important is understanding the roadmap.

My role as Alliance Director means I need to understand all new initiatives in Oracle and determine if they will have a use in what we do at Certus. Then I need to keep an eye on them from the first marketing, until the time they are adopted by customers and make sure we partner, learn and invest at the right time. The problem is, we never know how long that gap will be.

As a user group leader it is even more difficult, we can't deliver content in everything Oracle are talking about but we do need to keep people informed, and then understand the adoption pattern as it emerges.

Think about existing, mature products, like the database or E Business Suite. Development talk about the innovation they will bring to the next release for about a year before the release notes start to appear, and then after release, we see early adopters and many theoretical sessions before adoption starts to become mainstream. It can take several years between release and half the customer base adopting.

For my world, the SaaS, the Fusion applications took almost 7 years from Idea to Release, and several years before there was more than just a handful of users, but roll forward 5 years and we have many, many customers and a significant number who have renewed their 3 year subscriptions. The Gap from marketing to adoption was wide, but it has been a great journey and I personally have loved it. AM loving it, the favourite part of my job is talking to customers, understanding where they are now and then helping them create their strategy to move to where they need to be. Then I love to share that collective insight with user group members.

A more recent example of this is #PaaS4SaaS. I have been talking about this since Oracle first started their journey about 4 years ago. At Certus we stated early on how important this would be for SaaS customers. We got educated, we selected our partner eProseed, we worked with development and UX and OPN. Adoption has been slow, for new products, rather than just the next release of technology, part of this 'gap' is recognising use cases., but they are here now and we have several projects in progress. I am particularly enjoying the Low Code part of #PaaS4SaaS.

So what will be the new messages at this OOW, and which gap will I be minding next? ...............

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