I had the chance to communicate with Ian Nate, Senior Online Marketing Manager, Adaptive Computing, to learn more about the selection of Act-On to help the company reach out to its installed base, prospective customers and product evaluators.
Please introduce yourself and your organization.
My name is Ian Nate, and I'm the Sr. Online Marketing Manager for Adaptive Computing. Adaptive provides policy-based optimization software for High Performance Computing and Private Cloud environments. Adaptive Computing's High Performance Computing and Cloud Management software runs some of the largest supercomputers and data centers in the world.
Adaptive Computing is the largest provider of policy-based optimization software for High-Performance Computing (HPC) and private cloud environments. Adaptive Computing manages the world's largest private cloud computing environment and the #1 position on the HPC Top500 list with Moab, a self-optimizing dynamic cloud management solution and HPC workload management system.
Moab®, a patented multi-dimensional intelligence engine, delivers policy-based governance, allowing customers to consolidate and virtualize resources, allocate and manage applications, optimize service levels and reduce operational costs. Adaptive Computing offers a portfolio of Moab private cloud management and Moab HPC workload management products and services that accelerate, automate, and self-optimize IT workloads, resources, and services in large, complex heterogeneous computing environments such as HPC, data centers and private cloud. Our products act as a brain on top of existing and future diverse infrastructure and middleware to enable it to self-optimize and deliver higher ROI to the business.
What were you doing that needed this type of technology?
We have an ongoing need for timely communication with not only our customer base, but also new prospects and evaluators, on a global basis. Since the majority of our marketing communications are conducted from the United States, we needed a way to automate our marketing processes, including: email correspondence, form submission, landing pages, and lead nurturing. One of the most important factors was having a tight integration with our CRM platform, Salesforce. Most importantly, as any organization can attest, we were really looking for ways to shorten the sales cycle and make our marketing efforts more impactful. Since we conduct webinars, email campaigns, and other marketing efforts, keeping them as integrated as possible and simple to execute was imperative not only for their success, but to ensure that they even got done!
What products did you consider?
We considered many marketing automation platforms, including Pardot, Marketo, Act-On and a few others. We had previously been using a simple email marketing tool and a de-duplication tool for Salesforce, and wanted to replace them both and add more advanced features, like lead scoring, while automating many of the processes that were taking my valuable time. Salesforce integration was a strict requirement, but ease of use was next on the list, since all marketing automation is run through me, and I have other responsibilities in addition to these.
Why did you select this product?
The decision really came between Marketo and Act-on, two fantastic companies with great software. We really found Act-On to be the best fit, not only because their software is simple, easy to use, and quick to implement, but because their philosophy in the marketing automation software space is unique and compelling - no long term contracts, simple user interface and integration, and excellent customer support. Their implementation tools were fantastic and quick to deploy, and their documentation is some of the best I've used. Still, their solution was robust and didn't leave us wanting for features.
What tangible benefit have you received through the use of this technology?
Our first goal was to really automate the lead to sales process, not only from the web, but from other mediums like trade shows and webinars. Since Act-On seamlessly integrates with GoToMeeting, and their importation tools to Salesforce are simple yet elegant, this was an immediate benefit. Also, tying our web forms to Act-On provided the immediate benefit of not having them go through my hands at any point.
Previously, I had to dump a MySQL database, format the data, import to Salesforce, and assign tasks before the salespeople even saw the leads. Now, it's all automated, and I'm no longer a bottleneck. Because of this automation, we're seeing our salespeople touching base with new prospects while their still hot - some of which get contacted within an hour or two, rather than a week or two, when they're much colder. This has really helped to shorten our sales cycle and provide immediate tangible benefit to our worldwide sales organization.
What advice would you offer others?
My best advice that of due diligence. Take demos, attend webinars, evaluate, and this goes for any solution your intending on implementing. Also, you really need to find the right solution, but also the right company. In the marketing automation space, there is stiff competition and great battle-tested software, but the companies you purchase from can vary widely.
We found Act-On was the right fit for us - we're a medium sized company, with really one person to handle marketing automation, and that person can't commit full time hours to the solution. We are also a growing company, and on the cutting edge of technology, so we need to be agile, move quickly, and have a solution that we will not outgrow in years to come. We found Act-On was the perfect fit. In fact, during a case study process with Act-On, we both announced that we were winners of the Red Herring Award for the Top 100 Companies in North America. More than anything, that was validation that we'd made the right decision.