Microsoft folds Envision into Microsoft Ignite – September 25-29, 2017 Orlando, FL – the event had been introduced by CMO Chris Capossela in a January 13, 2016 blog post as a replacement to Convergence and was held in New Orleans April 4-6, 2016. Envision was for CxOs and their senior department and functional leaders. During the even Capossela announced 6,000 attendees though many thought the total attendance to be lower.
Sage may sell North American payments division – early warning of a bigger storm brewing? Announcement made via Sage investor relations possibly to clarify Q&A during their earnings release confirms that it is evaluating potential strategic options for its North American payments business, including a sale. There can be no certainty that this evaluation will lead to any transaction. – http://www.sage.com/company/investors/regulatory-announcements/2016/12/07/statement-re-press-comment#sthash.kNBqIBZl.dpuf
Acumatica Cloud ERP now available via AWS SaaS subscription – $2.25 per hour
Accenture continues building security practice with acquisition of 270 person French firm Arismore. Firm launched security practice in June 2016 and announced goal of well over $1 billion in revenues from current $500 to $1b. The company acquired 5 other firms in 2016. Accenture’s cloud, digital and security business accounted for $13.5b or 40% of total revenues. http://www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/300083200/accenture-continues-all-out-security-offensive-with-intent-to-buy-270-person-services-firm.htm
Tech Tip: On The Hunt for Airpods? — http://www.istocknow.com shows available inventor at Apple stores for: Airpods, iPhone, MacBook, Mavic (drone), Apple Watch. Useful for anyone looking to reserve a device and pickup in store.
Microsoft clears EU regulatory hurdles and completes LinkedIn purchase
This can go a few ways for Microsoft but most commentary is positive about the possibilities.
In order to receive the approval of those in Europe, Microsoft said that it is doing several things over the next 5 years to preserve competition: ensuring that LinkedIn competitors will still receive access to participate in Office Add-in and promotional opportunities in the Office Store, not entering into agreements with PC manufacturers to pre-install a Windows LinkedIn application or tile that would “favor LinkedIn on an exclusive basis,” and more.
1 Billion Yahoo! Accounts Hacked back in August 2013
Most reports are saying this is separate from the 500 million user account hack that was reported back in 2014. The scary thing here is that the hack went unnoticed for so long. It’s unknown how this will effect the $4.8B Verizon buyout of Yahoo! that was announced in July 2016.
- Acumatica Summit – January 29-February 3, 2017 – San Diego, CA – http://summit.acumatica.com – closing keynote from Kevin Harrington – original Shark from Shark Tank.
- Website Pipeline Partner Huddle – February 9-10, 2017 – Greenville South Carolina – Registration outpaces last year’s total – no charge for Sage partners – presentations by Pat Falle, SR VP Avalara on building company culture and Jon Rivers on using social media to promote a VAR practice – sponsors give 15 minute overview and include Altec (Document Management) , Avalara (sales tax), American Payment Solutions (credit card and payments), DSD (Sage enhancements), MAPADOC (EDI), Redtail (EDI), Scanco (Warehouse and Bar Coding), Scanforce (Warehouse and Bar Coding), Starship (Integrated shipping) http://info.websitepipeline.com/partner-huddle-3 – more info Darcy.Boerio@websitepipeline.com – 864-272-4000 x154
- Altec Doclink Evolution – March 20-23, 2017 – Newport Beach, CA
- IT Alliance – Spring Collaborative – April 23-25, 2017 - St Petersburg, FL – keynote speaker Frank Abagnale (Catch me if you can),
- Sage Summit – May 9-11, 2017 – Atlanta (Exact location/agenda TBD) – http://www.sagesummit.com
- Avalara Crush – May 2-3, 2017 – Austin Texas, http://www.cvent.com/events/crush-2017/event-summary-bcf77473dc7b409c91dfb1274d8b5a33.aspx
Value Discussion Part 2 – Verticalization
A few episodes back we talked about what the value proposition will be in years to come. One of the topics we discussed was specialization around technology – become focused, become more valuable (like a brain surgeon).
Another type of specialization is to select a vertical market as a focus area.
- “Riches in the niches”
- Learn the industry, the lingo, the way they work -> tailor your language, your marketing materials, your solution offerings.
- Find the industry leaders and dive into what the needs are.
- Marketing dollars go farther -> rifle vs shotgun
- Word of mouth in small industries
- How do you get started?
- Do you have any niches hiding in your current customer base?
- Do you have any passions among your team? Businesses that you feel you really like to help?
- Are they worth exploring? Too small? Too large? Declining? Growing?
- Are there competitors?
- Future of verticalization
- Competition / publishers
- Customer buying habits
- Caveats ( Wayne )
- Be realistic (about competition, size of market, ramp up time and $)
- Don’t do onesies and twosies
- Are there enough companies in your state – are you willing to travel?
- Think 3 to 5 years for payback (min)
- Does this niche support premium billings?
- Are you entering this niche because you lost a deal to someone?