Since 2011, I’ve developed messaging and marketing content for several Cisco departments – WebEx, Unified Access, Partners, and Services.

But one project has me energized about huge growth opportunities for Cisco and IT vendors across the globe. This growth is all about IOT – the Internet of Things. Here’s a video I did for this group (also below).

My View of IOT

Mostly because of this project, I define IOT as… Sales of IT solutions to OT (operation technology) buyers in factories, mines, oil fields, and electricity grids.

The project spotlights Cisco’s brilliant partnerships with industrial technology leaders like Emerson Electric, Honeywell International, Johnson Controls, Rockwell Automation, and Schneider Electric.

Why brilliant? These companies are trusted advisors to OT buyers that have billion dollar ‘construction’ budgets in, you got it… factories, mines, oil fields, and electric grids… and in modern urban development projects.

The billion dollar budgets are completely outside IT but increasingly include IT solutions.

IOT Doubles IT Vendor Addressable Market

OT projects all now include Internet & Wi-Fi, servers & storage, and apps & big data. When deployed, they connect machines, sensors, devices and software to drive industrial automation and innovation.

What a huge win for IT vendors!!!

But these solutions are not purchased direct from IT vendors or their traditional partners; rather from trusted advisors –Emerson Electric, Honeywell International, etc.

So my take on IOT’s impact to IT vendors, simply put, is doubling the addressable market for Cisco, HP, NetApp, Oracle, SAP and all their competitors.

My crude estimate comes from asking how much each of these organizations spends on IT vs. OT?

  • Groupe Danone: IT includes headquarters, data centers, sales offices; OT includes factories, distribution centers, and raw materials management
  • John Hopkins Hospital: IT includes offices, hospital Wi-Fi, electronic records; OT includes heating systems, physical security, temperature controls
  • India Power: IT includes campus network, Wi-Fi, department servers and security; OT includes smart grids, maintenance vehicles, IP video cameras, regional control centers

And think of the budgets for new mines, wind farms, and airports. The opportunities for IT vendors are plentiful.

Summary

IOT is great for IT vendors as it opens doors to massive OT budgets and buyers. And congrats to Cisco for figuring out who can walk them right through the front door of OT.

For more information on Cypress Consulting's marketing services, including the production of data sheets, videos, whitepapers, authored articles, sales tools and more, email me at doug@cypress.it or call me at 650-346-8945. And see our website at http://www.cypress.it

CYPRESS CONSULTING GOES INTERNATIONAL

Greetings from Stockholm! - Cypress Consulting’s Silicon Valley HQ is closed for the summer, but our Sweden office is open.

It’s a real treat to experience new cultures. And I’ve been fortunate to explore many wonderful places for both work and pleasure. This time I've combined the two in a unique way and am really having a great experience.

******* A House Swap – Since July 2, I’ve been living in a beautiful three story, three-bedroom house with a large yard, four bicycles, and a car….in Stockholm Sweden. I’m right near the subway (they left me a free pass) and I’m cooking a lot to saving money for expensive drinks at the clubs.

A Remote Office – Since I’m working on three Cisco projects now, I’m also fortunate to work from the Cisco office in Stockholm with some very nice colleagues. With all the modern amenities – espresso machine, conference rooms, printer & supplies – I’m very productive.

An Incredible City – I highly, highly recommend a visit to Stockholm in the summer. It’s an amazingly beautiful city  – one-third water, one-third parks, one-third city. Everyone I’ve met is super friendly, relaxed, happy, artistic and smart. There’s an incredible startup culture here, and a lot of creative thinkers.

I’ll be back on August 13 - and ready to roll into new projects this fall. And with more knowledge of how business is conducted outside the US.  So, if you or a colleague need help with marketing content development, please contact me and we can discuss how I can extend your success.

Reach me at doug@cypress.it or 650-346-8945.

 

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SOLUTION SHEETS, WHITEPAPERS, AND OTHER MARKETING CONTENT

Cypress Consulting started with case studies in 2011 but soon expanded to broader marketing content. The three reasons we excel in broader content are:

  • Strong knowledge of applications, cloud and data center infrastructure,
  • Clearly defined project target and call-to-action, and
  • Client requests for additional marketing content

******* Applications, cloud and data center infrastructure – I’ve been fortunate to market and sell many technologies over 15+ years in the Silicon Valley. My first two jobs in enterprise applications – Remedy and Nuance – included working with ERP, systems management software, and telecom partners. Veritas/Symantec was next, which yielded middleware, storage, and security experience. Then at Cisco, I built my knowledge base of networking and servers.

Given this breadth, I can quickly understand features and benefits of a wide set of B2B technology solutions, and the IT buyers that purchase them.

Project Definition  - Before engaging with a client, I compose a one-page written project definition in Microsoft Word to ensure we’re both on the same page. Each section – executive summary, project goal, target audience, usage, key messages, and call-to-action – includes brief text that can be revised through pre-sales conversation.

Client Requests – As case studies straddle corporate communications and product marketing, I have a strong handle on company and solution messaging through the composition of a success story. I also pick up valuable market knowledge by talking directly to customers and their account managers. With this intelligence, I’m well prepared to help clients with additional corporate, product, or thought leadership marketing.

A few examples of solution sheets, whitepapers other marketing content can be found here:

Thus, if you or a colleague needs help with marketing content development - case studies, solution sheets, product demos, authored articles, etc. – please contact me and we can discuss how I can extend your success. Thereafter, I’ll come back with a one-page proposal we can review. Reach me at doug@cypress.it or 650-346-8945.

 

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PRODUCT DEMO VIDEOS

In 2013 Cypress Consulting expanded from case studies to broader content marketing such as product demo videos.

BEAUTY AND THE BUDGET: In exploring a product demo project with a client, I found most videos online to be boring. Some stayed high level while others were in the weeds; I wasn’t sure of their purpose – presales, post-sales or internal training.  And given their quality, some were likely done on iMovie. I knew I could do better even on a modest budget.

*****The first step was to identify video usage with my client. In this case it was to advance the sales cycle with an already curious prospect, and delay or avoid a proof of concept (POC).  Given this, I crafted the below framework and delivered a five minute video that exceeded the client’s expectations while staying on budget.

Include Value Proposition: There are two reasons to take 45 seconds before the demo to pitch the product value proposition. First, it gives product and use case context to the viewer before seeing the demo. Second, as a product marketing team, it’s prudent to take every opportunity possible to reinforce the product value.

Right Features, Right Order: Not every feature needs to be demonstrated for a viewer to understand the product, likely just the top 5 at 30-60 seconds each. If more are desired, the video can be extended or a second video can be created. With this in mind, I worked closely with the product team to prioritize the top features and set a logical flow for the screen capture.  

Reinforcing Text: With the screen capture file from the product team, I sliced it by feature with a 5 second title card before each section, and placed it on the right side of the video, using the remaining space for reinforcing points I wanted the viewer to take away. A screen shot plus text and audio, I feel, gives the viewer the highest chance of quickly understanding the product features and values.

Beautiful End Product: No one wants to a boring video. So I included energizing music throughout, and used an attractive professional voice talent, motion graphics, b-roll, and images to improve the final product.

Using this framework, the end result is a well crafted and aesthetically pleasing demo that can be used with prospects, on a website, and at tradeshows. And all within a pretty reasonable budget.

See additional Cypress Consulting product demo videos at www.cypress.it/portfolio. And to discuss how you might benefit from a project like this, contact me anytime at doug@cypress.it or 650-346-8945.

THIRD PARTY CUSTOMER TESTIMONY PAPER

In February I published a WebEx customer testimony paper summarizing five users’ product feedback - link.

My client wanted customer stories for a new product with limited sales and deployments. I pitched and was hired to interview users about their pilots and present as Cypress Consulting analysis.

My client loved it due to product praise from big name customers, but success came from 3 factors: anonymous interviews, independent analysis and candid feedback.

*****Anonymous Interviews: Not quoting interviewees by name or company opened the interview pool to all customers. And talking to many “leading” companies in varied industries and geographies with impressive employee counts (1,600-20,000) addressed the anonymous statements credibility issue.

Independent analysis: A paper by Cypress Consulting also offset the anonymous customer statement credibility issue and gained reader trust.  Because of this, the product introduction section that highlighted top features and benefits from an independent source was likely met with more confidence.

Candid feedback: As a third party, I was not fishing for statements to affirm product messaging and strengths. And as a result of listening to customers, I uncovered the real reasons they liked the solution and transferred that valuable feedback to my client.

In the end two of five companies allow use of their names, and the other three were able to contribute to a success story piece that otherwise would not have.  And the client also came away with a case study pipeline to exploit when the product matures. Overall, the project was a great success.

See additional Cypress Consulting published papers at http://www.cypress.it/portfolio. And to discuss how you might benefit from a project like this, contact me anytime at mailto:doug@cypress.it or 650-346-8945.

 

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WHY CASE STUDIES?

I started with case studies, as I love talking to customers, and learning about their business & tech challenges.

My approach is straightforward: 1) strong background research, 2) smart interview Qs, & 3) appeal to the target audience with a compelling story of facts & anecdotes.

Background Research: Before tech & business school, I studied companies & industries as an investment analyst at RCM Capital in SF – reading reports, meeting CFOs & Wall St. analysts, & penning my opinions. 

*****I still love reviewing company financials and corporate info to find issues driving success and failures.

Interview Questions: I ask leading questions based on solid research, that return animated responses. I find IT managers like to recollect their pain, reflect on deployments, and revel in the benefits. The right questions, and astute follow up inquires, quickly cut to the core challenges and how they were addressed. 

Compelling Story:  Sales, marketing, and the customer all have interests in the final draft, but the story must invite prospects to learn more about the possible solution to solve their IT challenge, and the benefits they’d receive. A strong opening is essential, as are quantitative facts & anecdotes.

Internal win case studies: A variant of the customer story is the sales team success. I’ve written many internal win reports for which I follow the same approach, and have turned several into videos that activate the sales force to optimize their solution sales. 

Where I can help: Related services include working with sales teams to source case study candidates, placing stories and speakers in webinars, tradeshows, analyst discussions, & other campaign events, and maintaining customer relations, on your behalf, to follow the deployment success over time. 

For more info on my approach and services, 

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WHO IS CYPRESS CONSULTING?

CYPRESS CONSULTING:  I went solo in ‘11 helping tech vendor marketing teams with customer references & marketing content; see www.cypress.it.

IT’S GOING GREAT!!! I really enjoy helping tech companies tell their story to prospects, and spotlight their customers’ success.

FIRST, thanks to all that have supported me along the way!!!

AND SECOND, maybe my experience can help you or a colleague with case studies or other marketing content. Feel free to pass on my info, give me call, or send me a note.

******So what has Cypress Consulting been up to in the past 12 months? It’s been very busy -- 8 clients, 19 case studies, 11 papers, 6 videos, and I’m in the middle of 5-10 more items. Most externally published work is on www.cypress.it/portfolio. Let me know what you think.

My focus and where I can help - I started with and still focus half-time on case studies but also enjoy helping clients with corporate, product and channel marketing content – messaging, product comparison papers, product demo videos, eBooks, web copy, sales training videos, etc.

I’d love to help you - While I’m busy, I always have enough time to discuss new projects if you or colleagues need help. Let me know if you want to brainstorm around your needs and tap my skill set. After a short conversation, I can come back with specifics on how I can help. Reach me at doug@cypress.it or 650-346-8945.

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