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Should it be the Goal for Enterprise Software Companies to “Own the Customer” & Place “Barriers to Entry”?


August 14, 2012

Enterprise Software Success Myth #1

Doug Hadden, VP Products

FreeBalance is a medium-sized Independent Software Vendor (ISV) with considerable success competing against very large Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) vendors. We are sharing 16 lessons learned by bucking conventional wisdom to encourage industry innovation and creativity.

Conventional View

Companies selling into the “enterprise” and “government” markets introduce barriers to competition to where enterprise software firms effectively “own the customer” rather than the customer owning the software.


Ethical View

  • Methods designed to manipulate the market and reduce competitiveness is not ethical
  • Forcing the cost for upgrades when there is little or no value is not ethical

Emerging Trend

  • Power is shifting from companies to buyers thanks to social media and the increase in available industry information
  • Enterprise software market is moving out of the so-called “tornado” meaning that customer-centric processes are critical to growth
  • Enterprise customers have alternative “middleware” choices through open source technology
  • Trust has become the critical factor in repeat business

FreeBalance Approach

  • No forced product upgrades
  • Adjust the product roadmap based on customer feedback rather than the other way around
  • Support commercial and open source alternatives for middleware to achieve best value and trust with customers
  • Organize as a customer-centric organization and use customer scorecard metrics for management decisions
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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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