Software Executive Magazine

February/March 2018

Software Executive magazine helps software executives grow their businesses by showcasing the business best practices of our readers, executives from established and innovative software companies.

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Leveraging Partnerships To Scale Your Company Solve the riddle of scaling fast while spending slowly by asking the question, "Who wins if we win?" C H A R L E S F O L E Y SVP, Talon Storage nents, encryption libraries, and API definitions. These are targets of opportunity where you can investigate existing components in the industry so you don't have to build (and later maintain) everything from scratch. Good places to look are open-source projects, targeted vendors, and even simply asking around as to what similar solutions are using for these components. Let's say, for example, you're developing a software solution to deliver in the form of an appliance (for ease of deployment, scale restrictions, etc.). You'll likely eval- uate a plethora of "white box" hardware providers to find the right mix of specs, cost, and quality. Enhance your analysis to add to the equation base-level software components, such as systems management software, customizable install routines, platform health checks, or APIs that can connect to your error logs for escala- tion and reporting. This can save you a ton of time in development of infrastructure, while also raising your "world class product" profile faster. Recommended courses of action for fast development scaling are: 1. Task someone on the team to evaluate your prod- uct to determine what is critically core value, what is medium value, and which is common function/low value. 2. Then task someone on the team to talk to your vendors, industry associations, and open-source groups about the common low-value technol- he issue is that too many young tech com- panies try to do everything all by them- selves. After all, whatever their product is, it was their idea, right? So they think that they have to make the product, market the product, sell the product, and support the product — all by them- selves. Take it from someone who's done it before, that's a ton of work, and not all of that "doing" has a good ROI for you. Young companies need to find a way to tap into the already-existing ecosystem that they'll eventually be running in and figure out how to have some of the larger, more established companies put wind in their sails, which will eventually lead to greater billowing of their sales. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS Making the product is one of the first ways to partner. There are a lot of opportunities to partner on aspects of development that can slash fixed costs, risk, and time to market. Ask yourself, "Out of everything we're doing, what is really our core technology value?" Then be able to isolate that in the overall spectrum of your final of- fering. Protect your intellectual property fiercely, either with IP protection, secrecy and obfuscation techniques, or simply by doing something that's just really hard. But for many software solutions, there are components of the product that (while required) aren't really part of the core value. Often these are things like UI compo- T One of the key reasons 63 percent of IT companies don't make it to their fourth year is because of their inability to scale. Most people think of "scaling" as simply adding more people, more facilities, and more "stuff," but that's actually a tail-wagging-the- dog mindset. Real scaling is done by figuring out how to scale output without scaling investment. Everything else follows naturally — and beautifully — after that. SCALING & GROWING Framework By C. Foley LEVERAGING PARTNERSHIPS TO SCALE YOUR COMPANY SOFTWAREEXECUTIVEMAG.COM FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 30

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