Consolidation Versus Innovation

Wednesday 4 May 2011

So what happens when a new innovative product starts to get some traction in the market?

Does it get supported, backed and propelled into the market as the new big thing?

Does it get plagiarised and belittled by competitors as being lightweight and technically immature?

Do the competitors go head on and try to bury it under the corporate weight of their huge marketing machine?

“Usually all but the former, and when the innovation still has legs and can’t be buried it’s move to phase 2.”

Buy the company, it’s technology and most importantly it’s customer base and then either bury the product or mothball it for a couple of years whilst the company thinks about what to do next.

So where am I heading with this?

As the MD of an innovative and forward thinking company specialising in Business Intelligence, we obviously compete against all sorts of different companies and technologies.

The market is in constant consolidation mode, no more so than when new clients are harder to find and organic growth all the more difficult to generate.

The innovative products get snaffled up by the biggest BI providers, and the BI providers are being absorbed by the “even bigger”, ERP providers. We are generating the BI Red Giants of the 21st century that absorb all that there is around them until they eventually implode on themselves and shrink down to virtually nothing.

I see clever products, either disappearing from trace or losing their identity and their Raison d’être and becoming just another BI tool.

Right now with my eye on social media and the impact this is having on CRM and its potential to influence the roadmaps of the newest search based BI innovations, I can see just how many innovative products are out there and yet so few of them are becoming mainstream.

The legacy suppliers continue to influence what people are buying and are depriving businesses and users from getting access to something that offers real value and differentiation, which for me, is where the real innovation is.

What do we do differently from everyone else that helps customers gain competitive advantage?

At we use search technology to simplify the process of querying and analysing data. By making the process of joining up data as simple as you could make it and the process of getting the data out even simpler, we make everyone in the business able to get at information important to them without having to involve the IT department. We have a roadmap that is based on what’s happening now rather than one drawn up 2 years ago, as we have quarterly major releases not annual or bi-annual.

Some of the bigger boys would look at what we do and say to potential clients: “ahhh but they don’t do X, Y, and Z and don’t turn over billions of dollars a year…” …which roughly translates to “ahhh but you don’t need an army of staff to run this system and implementation is only 2 weeks not a year and don’t expect your supplier to pass you onto a call center in another continent to sit on your support calls…”

We are not alone; there are lots of innovators out there driving technology forward based on the latest social and technological buzz but what we have is better than the big boys and we’re determined to keep it that way.

Check out and see for yourself.

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