For the past few days, I’ve been meeting with some of our MailServ customers pitching the Thin Client-Thick Server solution to them. The meetings have been disappointing from us getting them to trial TC-TS. This led to some deep thinking on what we were doing wrong in how we were positioning the solution.
There were 3 key things we were doing wrong:
– positioning it more as a technology solution (“look: thin client, thick server; look: server-centric computing; look: Linux desktop”) rather than understanding what their problems were and how we could solve them
– positioning as a pure software solution (“we’ll give the TC-TS software and you need to get a server with these specifications – dual CPU, 2 hard disks, lots of memory”)
– ignoring the dominance of Windows applications in the enterprise (Windows legacy is deep and companies have created lots of custom applications for their use). So, we’d become defensive (“there must be some people who only need the base set of apps…can you think”)
This approach was not getting us anywhere. A few face-to-face meetings with prospective clients convinced me of two things:
– TC-TS is a great solution. I believe that even more now!
– Positioning makes a world of difference. We were not putting ourselves in the customer’s shoes. We were too enamoured with the technology itself.
So, then as we brainstormed, a few ideas came up:
– we need to position this as an Alternative to the Microsoft Windows-Office desktop with major cost savings
– we need to be able to support Windows
– we need to include the server in the solution (we are really a desktop alternative; how we do the desktop is our problem; TC without TS is irrelevant; customers want a single point of contact)
– we need to emphasise upfront the cost savings and let the customers work out how this fits in. For 30 users, if we can save USD 15,000 (at USD 500 or Rs 25,000 per user), they will come back to us saying – “you know, this is what we want to do with it” (we did find some of the prospects trying to do this – money is obviously very important).
So, based on the above, I’ve now worked out (a) the Pain Points / Hassles that companies (and especially CIOs) have, and (b) how our TC-TS Solution can help relieve those pains. In other words, think of TC-TS as Tech’s Pain Reliever. More on this shortly.