Richness of Relationships

If you believe, as Rubicon does, that excellent sales and marketing revolves around meeting customers' needs, then this article will develop how that belief can guide the work of you and your team. "Knowing your customer" is not, of course, a new idea in marketing. Today's market landscape is characterized by pressure for high-volume, reduced transaction costs and e-commerce, ever-increasing specialization in products and needs, and shortened product life cycles. In this context, we are pressured to rely on impressions or memories or articles in the Sunday paper -- anything that saves time -- to provide a portrait of the customer. Following our beliefs, however, reminds us that it is more necessary to invest the time and energy in meeting, learning and understanding our customers. We want to get so close that the team can explain who the customer is, as a name, a place, and a voice -- and know what the customer needs, and think about connecting points to help finish the route-to-market puzzle.

Value Innovation

Does your company need to win new markets in order to keep up with, or more importantly, exceed investor expectations? Will you be able to get there by evolving your products or solutions, or will it require disruptive innovation? Does the challenge of your "day job" managing the existing business and investor expectations keep you from your "other job" of developing the strategy and plans that will allow you to leapfrog the competition? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you are not alone and have the company of many other executives, which very likely includes your competitors.

Multi-Core CPUs Raise Licensing Issues

Users and vendors are both grappling with the impact on pricing models as a result of the introduction of multi-core CPUs. The choice between pricing per user and per server grew more complicated a few years ago when multi-processor servers came into broad use. With two-thirds of new servers expected to ship with multi-core CPUs by the end of 2006, software publishers are anything but unified in their reaction. Is a dual-core CPU one or two CPUs for licensing purposes? Consensus appears to be a long ways off. Oracle, always looking for a way to improve licensing revenue, counts the number of cores. Microsoft counts only the number of CPUs. IBM, trying to have it both ways, counts by cores for some types of CPUs, but not for others.

Life Caching: Opportunity or Just Another Blog?

Why would someone want to video, record, or photograph everything that happened to them and/or their friends on a particular day, or any day, for that matter? Perhaps the best answer is simply because they can. Similar to the 70's slide shows of "Dad packing the car", but with a digital twist, the abundance of gadgets, Web sites, and software specifically designed and focused to easily record, document, organize and store all of life's moments, it's no wonder that everyday activities, no matter how mundane, are being recorded as if they are Oscar winning moments. Trendwatching.com, a leading Web source for the latest trends and insights who also dubbed this trend as "Life Caching", put it best when they said, "Human beings love to collect and store possessions, memories, experiences, in order to create personal histories, mementoes of their lives, or just to keep track for practical reasons."

Springtime Pruning for Growth

Before a company can be ready for growth, it must take stock of the current business situation--and make those decisions that will prompt sales expansion in the future. Making the decisions for what to cut, what to keep and what needs further investment is a key part of strategy development. This approach can be applied to your product lines, market segments, and resource allocation.