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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Status Quo Can't Control Your Software Business name ( along with an event (ISV Insights, formerly named ISV IQ Live!) to complement the Software Executive brand. "ISV" made perfect sense, and it allowed us to clearly differentiate between the channel vendors, solutions providers, integrators, and resellers behind our flag- ship publication. As we were launching our new prod- ucts, we never stopped to ask ourselves, "Does the term 'ISV' best describe the audience we want to reach?" We never asked the question because we had always used "ISV" as shorthand for "software companies," and as such, we assumed our readers did, too. In late 2017, I reached out to a handful of editorial board members, readers, consultants, and analysts in my software net- work. I wanted to know if they identified with the term "ISV." Responses included comments like, "I've only heard it used two times in my 20+ years in the software business" and, "While large, established vendors may use the term ISV, I never hear that term here in the San Francisco Bay area. You are a software developer or a SaaS provider." We learned ISV is only used by very specific segments of the software world — it's not a term universally un- derstood to mean "software company." What's the mor- al of this story? It's worthwhile to pause and question why your business does things the way you do. I'm glad we went through this exercise, because now our prod- ucts and publications will be better positioned to reach more readers. Our editorial mission isn't changing, and ISVs are still going to be part of the community of soft- ware companies we are building. Think of it as a fresh coat of paint on a car where everything is still the same under the hood. Starting soon, you'll see marketing for our newly named event, Software Executive Forum (save the date for our events — August 28 in New York City and October 30 in San Francisco). Please drop me a line at abby.sorensen@softwareex- if you have an opinion on the usage or meaning of ISV, or if you have a compelling story about how your software business questioned the status quo and made a meaningful change because of it (especially if it's a story worth sharing in a future issue). S here are probably questions about your software business that your team would best answer with the statement, "Because that's how we've always done it." Maybe there is a redundant step in your onboarding process. Maybe your developers keep addressing the same bug over and over and over again. Maybe you are avoiding outside funding when you should be flooring the gas pedal toward growth. If you have any "because that's how we've always done it" issues, you're not alone. My side hustle as an assistant college golf coach used to entail long, fruitless hours of preparing to call recruits, only to end up leaving a voice- mail nine out of 10 times. Why did it take so long to re- alize 18-year-olds just don't pick up? Because that's how we'd always recruited, by relying heavily on phone time. It took some soul searching to be comfortable with a re- cruiting strategy built almost entirely around texting and emailing. Process and strategy changes aren't easy, and these changes often don't feel right at first. Here's another "because that's how we've always done it" example. About a decade ago, our sister publication Channel Executive Magazine (then named Business Solu- tions Magazine) started to bring software companies into the fold of its IT channel-focused editorial. To us, the term "software developer" didn't make sense be- cause we weren't building an audience of developers at end-user enterprises. Instead, the term "ISV" (inde- pendent software vendor) stuck because it is regularly used in the point of sale and payment ecosystem deeply engrained in that publication. That's why we launched a sister website with the acronym front and center in its T A B B Y S O R E N S E N Executive Editor VIEWPOINT SoftEx SOFTWAREEXECUTIVEMAG.COM FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 6 @AbbySorensen_ By A. Sorensen STATUS QUO CAN'T CONTROL YOUR SOFTWARE BUSINESS

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