As I have said in the past in this space, the SOA and open source movements create opportunities for conventional "vendors" to reposition themselves as high-value "solution providers" that guide clients to successful outcomes.In a recent piece at SandHill.com, I amplified these thoughts:
"Traditionally, we have sold 'modules' and 'packages' and, essentially, thrown them over a wall. We had no true visibility into or ability to learn from the continuing efforts of our clients as they tried to capitalize on our technology. Indeed, we often took no real responsibility at all for business outcomes. No wonder we are now in the midst of a client backlash."
However, I thinkWeb services technology increasingly enables solution providers to build new business models that revolve around customer value, performance and measurable results. That will require some rethinking.
"SOA sets the stage for new software solution providers that dynamically collaborate with clients to diagnose, develop and perpetually assess value. They will leverage the measurable and visible success of short-term projects to build momentum, initiate new projects throughout existing accounts and open up opportunities at new ones. It is validated client success (as opposed to faddish product hype) that will beget new success."
The solution providers that will succeed in this environment will be those that "develop a new mindset, new disciplines and a new set of skills. They will be deeply skilled at diagnosing a client's concerns, objectives and opportunities in complex, politically charged organizations. But it won't stop there. They also will actively learn from their implementation projects and use that learning to advise and consult. Active diagnosis, learning and demonstrable success will prove to be the foundations of successful selling and marketing in the SOA era."