Enterprise Gold at SXSW

(Cross posted from my work blog.)

It’s panel promotion time for SXSW 2010. This year, I’m going for a panel on selling to the enterprise, targeted at the SXSW crowd, of course. I thought this would be a fun contrast to the consumer-heavy, “free” stuff that the SXSW sessions and panels are usually full of. The best way to “monetize” is to get paid for what you do and sell, to put it one way.

You can help by voting for the panel and leaving a comment, I’d appreciate it!

Here’s the proposal:

Avoid Freeloaders, Go For The Enterprise Gold

Why cater to a market that makes you eat ramen when you can slap on a suit and get budget for sushi? In this panel industry analyst Michael Coté (RedMonk) will lead a discussion with other analysts and experts illustrating how to approach enterprises and large gold-holding organizations with your technologies and services. Selling to consumers is fun, but the pay is poor compared to corporate customers who actually would like to pay for good software. We’ll cover the exceptions these outfits have, what types of technologies they’re looking for, sales processes, pricing, deflecting FUD from incumbents, and other aspects to help you bootstrap into the enterprise market. If you’re just holed up in an apartment waiting to get bought by Facebook or Google, there’s nothing for you here. But if you’d like to find out what all those dry-cleaned people are doing, come check it out and ask questions.

Questions Answered

  1. What types of functionality are enterprises looking for?
  2. How do I get around barriers put in by competitors and people who fear change?
  3. What advantages do new startups and offerings have that they can take advantage of?
  4. How do I build a sales and market program to reach enterprises?
  5. What technologies and services are low-hanging fruit?

While on a bus at some IBM function, I cooked up this idea with fellow analyst Merv Adrian – he’ll be on the panel (it was actually one of my many schemes to get more people to come to Austin for SXSW). Also, I was excited that Austin’s Kenny Van Zant volunteered to be on the panel in Twitter. As one of the long-time, senior executive at Solarwinds, he has first hand experience going after this kind of sell, but through the web instead of the usual steaks-and-strippers channels.

If that sounds interesting, it’d help get us closer to acceptance if you voted and left a comment for the panel. Hopefully we’ll see you at SXSW in March!

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