Pinpointing the Value Proposition of Data Integration Software

This case study is based on conversations with Peter Cresse, Executive Vice President of Javelin, the Prague-based developer and marketer of CloverETL software.

1. We can do a lot of things with data, but what is it that we really do?

When your software is known as truly agile and flexible, that is a real plus for data developers as they craft it into their use cases. Data management is all about writing code, using good software toolsets and then making it work with know-how. But the problem is how to focus your message beyond “we can do most anything you want.” You need something that focuses on real value versus the standard platitude.

So, when they wanted to know more about what the customers believed – to help unify the message as well as discriminate what was special about themselves – they turned to a deep market-listen approach. “Let’s really ask our customers why they bought from us,” was the initial goal.

Agile – yes, but. So, taking the issue at hand. One good view of data agility is how fast can you extract value from a ton of data and how quickly can you translate that into actionable information? To do that means a commitment to processes and the type of people that are willing to see how their view of their data system changes every day. Sounds good. But how to move past the bromide of being flexible. Enter Bob London to listen.

2. Before we talk to customers, what do you think about your own company’s value?

Every company has dimensions of their story – what’s on their websites, what product features predicate their perceived value and most importantly, what is in their heads. One main issue is that what’s in minds of company leaders may not match the other dimensions. You need to extract that from the leaders with an honest dialogue based upon their view of value. Starting there, is the best point of departure, before embarking on a unconstrained customer listening tour.

With the CloverETL team, their strength was the power of the software together with the know-how of doing world-class data management. They were in fact, undersold.

The software platform was super powerful to do things that others could do, but at a major difference in price – Clover turned out to be the best value. Most importantly, during the conversations internally, the Listening approach uncovered THE golden nugget of value: doing hard stuff quickly.

“Bob took a patient and nurturing approach to really understand how the mundane process of moving data from sources to targets can be really exciting and enabling of revenue,” said CloverETL’s Peter Cresse.

3. Getting to the heart of the matter–from the customers’ perspective.

“Great results came from our deep engagement using Bob’s ‘customer listening’ approach, because it got right to the heart of the true value of our product–from the customer perspective–beyond fuzzy platitudes. What was cool, was the actionable insight–sometimes cold reality–that helped us shape our precious investment into the software platform.

The output helped us achieve a new level of internal cohesion and focus. In addition, the independent view of hearing our customers’ perspective versus our own was both confirming and challenging to common wisdom.

“That’s what Bob London brings, a whole lot more of marketing wisdom.”

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