Technology

Telecom Software Product Launch Support

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Problem:

A US-based global technology company was interested in launching a software product targeted at line of business (LOB) customers in Europe.  They needed to understand customer expectations and how those tracked with their current offerings. The client asked Beacon to study the European enterprise customers, identifying segments, buying processes,  and requirements. Additionally, Beacon was asked to assess and analyze the competitive environment in the space, how the established competitors were positioned, and what it would take for our client to displace them. As an output,  Beacon's client wanted a go-to-market strategy for a European product launch.

Approach:

Beacon worked with the client leadership team to evaluate and identify top customers and competitors to study, as well as understand the client's current knowledge and activities. In a four- week engagement, Beacon interviewed >55 market sources to drive the customer and competitive findings. Market sources included financial analysts, competitor stakeholders, and junior and senior members of customer organizations. Beacon engaged with the client's core team on a weekly basis to brief its progress and provide the client an opportunity to focus or redirect Beacon activities based on information uncovered.

Results:

The conversations with customer stakeholders yielded a clear view of their wants and needs, and allowed Beacon to help our client improve its value proposition. Beacon outlined a strategy to penetrate the market, and gain share in order to leverage this value proposition. The strategy included tactics to accelerate both customer cost savings and revenue drivers, as well as pointed strategies to create market leadership. Additionally, Beacon was able to identify a number of near-term opportunities and presented customer specific strategies to best position the client for success, including timeline detail and specific needs within customers. Beacon also recommended a path forward to transition near-term success into downstream opportunities.

Global R&D Partnership Indexing

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Problem:

A US-based technology company was interested in expanding its Intellectual Property (IP) licensing and Joint Development Activity(JDA) to drive growth in its global Research and Development (R&D)  organization. The client had pursued R&D partnerships with a range of companies over the past decade with varying levels of success, and needed to find a better way to predict which companies would yield productive long-term relationships. To support its Global IP partnership strategy, Beacon's client asked Beacon to independently analyze,  refine, and develop a set of key criteria for attractive partnerships that the client could leverage to focus its scarce resources on the most attractive opportunities.

 

Approach:

Beacon used a three-phased approach to refine and build on the client's initial hypotheses:

Phase I – Criteria Refinement: Beacon independently analyzed the client's past partnership experiences, both successful and unsuccessful, and conducted over 250 interviews with industry analysts, past client partners, potential client partners, and internal client sources to gather a range of perspectives on the industrial, cultural, administrative, geographic, and economic factors influencing IP partnership viability. Findings from this analysis drove adjustments, deletions, and additions to the initial partner criteria.

Phase II – Potential Partner Identification: Beacon leveraged its primary research capabilities to identify companies across 15 different industries that fit some or all of the attractive partner criteria. Beacon collected company background and conducted interviews to gauge the company's willingness to partner for R&D, need for innovation, and interest in the client's core capabilities and areas of strength.

Phase III – Analytical Tool Development and Refinement: Beacon constructed an Excel-based analytical tool to score and force-rank past and potential partner companies against key variables, enabling in-depth and ongoing analysis and refinement of criteria based on the model's output. Beacon developed scoring definitions for each identified cultural, financial, administrative, and geographic variable to enable its client to easily evaluate and score potential partner companies, and assigned initial weightings to the variables to reflect their relative importance to overall success. To test its model, Beacon scored the client's past partners and ~60 potential partner companies against the criteria and variables in the tool and iteratively refined and adjusted variable weightings to produce a force-ranking that most closely mirrored the client's past experiences.

 

Results:

Over a 10-week engagement Beacon validated and refined client hypotheses through independent research and analysis, generated a force-ranked list of near-term partnership opportunities to pursue, and developed a Partnership Analysis Excel Tool. Beacon provided the client team with step by step instructions for how to leverage the tool in its ongoing analysis of criteria and potential partners. The tool allows the user change variable weightings, add/delete criteria, and add new partner profiles to the force-ranked list, and will allow the client to adjust to shifting internal priorities and changing market conditions. The tool also automatically links potential partner variable scores to different aspects of the client's value proposition to support a more tailored sales approach.

Rapid Competitor Assessment: Public Sector Services

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Problem:

A Fortune 500 technology corporation asked Beacon to provide an assessment of the public sector market. The overarching driver was to identify opportunities for increasing market share. The company was interested in developing an understanding of how top competitors were organized to support public sector sales and services, and how they defined customer segments within the market.

During this rapid competitor assessment, Beacon performed across-competitor analysis by evaluating how competitors were positioned to serve the public sector services market. Beacon focused its efforts on identifying segmentation within the public sector and evaluating competitive activity, specifically within the healthcare market.

 

Approach:

The Beacon Group focused its primary research efforts on industry stakeholders, including competitors, customers, analysts, and channel partners. Over the course of the four-week project, Beacon interviewed over 100 market participants in key source communities to develop a thorough understanding of the competitive landscape and trends in the target market.

Through an iterative process, Beacon analyzed services, products, and organizational models among the most mature industry competitors, identifying the strategic importance of public sector and healthcare operations relative to other service and product portfolios. Beacon segmented its analysis based on individual and cross-competitor trends, providing an in-depth understanding of the structural approaches being utilized to capture market share.

 

Results:

Beacon identified innovative activity and alternative strategies being implemented by the four major competitors in public sector software and services. The client was provided with a thorough understanding of the rationale behind healthcare position within the organizational models of top competitors. Based upon established best practices within the Public Sector, Beacon developed an analysis of management and service integration strategies shown to increase effectiveness in meeting end-user requirements.

Within a condensed timeframe, Beacon identified strategic advantages based on market projections and competitor orientation within the target sector. Customer insights and emerging industry trends were integrated into Beacon's initial assessment and used as the basis for additional analytical recommendations.