London, 15 March 2013 ISVs and their partners face a unique set of pressures, IT Europa’s European ISV Convention heard this week in London. It is clear that new routes to market are providing customers with a lot more choices of supplier, says IT Europa's John Chapman, introducing the event. One of the effects of this is that suppliers can no longer rely on previous relationships. In fact, only those able to work in a real give-and-take environment will succeed.
Duncan Jones, Vice President and Principal Analyst - Forrester Research, told an audience of directors and senior managers from more than a hundred leading European ISVs and solution providers: “Don't take advantage of dependency by customers”. He urged suppliers to ask themselves if they were really behaving like a partner or just “a friend with benefits”. Trust is more important than short term exploitation, he said, but this might mean a fundamental change in attitude in companies and sales teams.
The move to bypass traditional IT departments in customers is growing rapidly; SAP's Chief Innovation Officer, UK&I, Adrian Simpson said that resellers and potential suppliers find they can talk to the customer's main board on IT and get a fuller picture, faster decisions, and face fewer competitors than by talking to the IT department. ISVs were in with a strong chance, he said as their rivals, the systems integrators could be challenged as customers prefer to deal with IP owners; the integrators also tend to be a cycle behind.
Doug Oathout, HP's Vice President, Global Marketing, Channel Partner, Alliances and OEM, Enterprise Marketing, told the convention: “What got us to today is not going to take us forward”, but he also admitted that HP is finding that only 25% IT budgets is available for “new stuff” as opposed to keeping the existing systems running. “This has to change,” he said.
Chris Baker, Oracle's Senior Vice President, Global ISV/OEM/JAVA Sales, said, somewhat controversially to a room full of IT suppliers that "everyone is spending too much on IT; it is too complex" And on the case of ISVs themselves, he advised that European ISVs should get out more; “ISVs from the far east and the US are trying to break into Europe. European ISVs need to get into their markets in return.”
Rene van Erk, Founder and CEO of ISVWorld advised delegates to disrupt or be disrupted: "You would not believe how much money there is available to fund disruptive technology." He added that the software industry does not know where its next competitors are coming from; software companies are not just buying in services and products, but forming long term relationships both up and down the routes to market.
Other big issues discussed during the convention included privacy legislation, SLAs and the perceptions of infinite capacity that surround cloud, all of which are expected to come to a head by the time of the next European ISV Convention.
In its sixth year the European ISV Convention had its strongest ever line up of the industry’s top vendors as HP, Oracle and SAP in Platinum sponsor roles and providing some of their top evangelists to lead the debates and discussions that characterise this very special event. Alongside these industry heavyweights were equally visionary sponsors Actian, AVG Cloudcare, Autotask, IBA, Interoute, ISVWorld, Jaspersoft, SDG, Suse, and Financial Force.Com.