State of Networked Messaging 2016

State of Networked Messaging 2016 

bizQuirk (Wilensky et al)

Abstract

Transactional Messaging, particularly in the B2B / Supply Chain domain, has been undergoing a series of protracted upheavals for the last decade, some would say longer. VANs, once the stalwarts of messaging sector, find themselves at the end of a long wind down, despite a hectic period of consolidation at the hands of professional PE.

The service once known as EDI messaging (at one time owned by VANs – period full stop), until recently, purchased as ala carte services, is being increasingly mutated into embedded functions within Enterprise Software and B2B platform services (SAAS).

And so on; change being the reliable constant in all things relating to vendor community management in the retail and manufacturing supply networks.

This article is condensed from the larger body of supply chain systems analysis compiled by the authors over the course of 2015, with an eye to calling the dance for 2016 – so far, the data has tracked accurately. Continue reading

My Freelance Agenda

My updated Linkedin reads like this, and I am looking for new work as a freelance internal analyst  / evangelist – creating alternative narratives that serve to rejuvenate product targeting, while elevating the discussion above the noise level .

The Enterprise IT Sector is crowded and complex. The constituent buyers of B2B Capital Line of Business software and hardware are becoming increasingly jaded and immune to standard marketing practices.

Feature / Benefit – Feature / Benefit

Whether a long and excruciatingly precipitous closing cycle, or being drowned in the advertising noise, when is the right time to create a fresh narrative? 

Selling complex and costly capital line systems to sophisticated buyers using the old feature / benefit tactic is starting to wear thin across capital line of business IT and equipment markets. There are many, many highly competitive SME companies led by Scientist / Engineer Founders who are simply being outspent on media by PE funded leviathans. 

A reworked narrative can make a difference. My campaigns are industry issue driven to dovetail with your existing marketing, to steer high-interest prospects and convert them into leads – always focusing on the essential core of what makes your org / product better, different. 

In context of the market & above the noise. Part of being in context is analyzing the competitors in your sector, while keeping watch on the developing opportunities.

My clients deliver highly crafted and refined technologies to B2B software and a few hardware markets where I have a special feel for (Test & Measurement, Mobile data, workforce management). I’m an industry relations analyst with an evangelist’s tilt – and increasingly a guide to regulatory relations

Constancy of Vision – Clarity of Values. The Character of One Effective Leader

Loren Data Corp, a small, fiercely competitive VAN (a Value Added Network, operating under the ECGrid® Trademark), has emerged from a nightmare.

Todd Gould, President of Loren Data, successfully guided his company through the B2B IT sector’s most active period of consolidation, and emerged with the company intact. The increased visibility came unbidden to Todd, who simply persevered to resolve a high-stakes network routing dispute with GXS (now OpenText). The dispute became an issue of great concern to all companies depending on VANs for the reliable routing of electronic supply chain (EDI) transactions.

Competing against larger organizations is routine for Loren Data Corp; Todd had refined a reliable formula for delivering targeted EDI communications services for service providers and B2B cloud applications. One can appreciate the challenges of balancing the risk of meeting such a dispute head-on, while maintaining ECGrid’s operational standards of  near-perfection.

Throughout this extraordinary time, Loren Data never faltered in its technical operations, providing critical network messaging services for a professional subscriber population composed of supply chain service providers, enterprise software OEMs, and virtual VANs. The Company maintains very collegial inter provider relationships with its interconnected peers; such relationships are critical for keeping EDI message traffic flowing around the globe. ECGrid processes tens of thousands of EDI messages daily, the Netops team covers three shifts of support, and Todd, in the role of CTO, pushes forward on delivering the next generation of transactional messaging and supplier community management. Reason enough for Todd to enjoy a fleeting moment of industry recognition? In a busy, lean operation, there might be exactly one minute to reflect. If community is any indicator, a brief read of the forums covering the industry indicate that Loren Data Corp’s founder is respected as a competent and multifaceted leader. A visionary perhaps? A Thought Leader, most definitely.

Here are a few of my notes and observations about the company, Loren Data Corp, and its President: Continue reading

Who defends GXS actions under alias?

Im sure that most freelance EDI Guys and Product or Sector Advocate / Analysts are busy guys and gals, getting work done or finding new work, even when you are presently engaged, ’cause that’s how us self-employed guys do it….and our customers know that we are always prospecting. My last (+1/2 time to way past full-time) engagement has run longer than any previous client workload, and for that, I am very thankful.

But I keep feelers out, and make a few calls, and some people call me, actually…it’s true! And someone took an alias, and kinda made my day, because if you read the coward’s verbiage, you can tell who he works for. It’s that transparent.   And, Comments are always open on this blog. 

This guy or GXS gal, is very, very unhappy that I’m going to market with four years of GXS opposition, competitive, and client-polling  research and interviews because I never would have compiled this data if not for GXS’ Interconnection abuse campaign waged under the pen of Steve Scala, and also likely by one or two more vindictive GXS evil mini exec’s –

because after a half-year of  playing ECGridOS API Evangelist (last half of 2009 and the first half of 2010) – things were going pretty-pretty-pretty well (Thanks to Larry David) . Continue reading

Availability for New Contract

I am able to commence new engagements as of this writing – I can take on one full time project or two-part time as of 1/7.

If you are looking for product and market advocacy, focused competitive intelligence, I’m ready.

if your contract requires supplemental production of content and research, surveys, data gathering, etc.  I have personal relationships with reliable subcontractors.

The benefits of my style of contracted, closed-end engagements? I will speak the truth, say what needs to be said, and deliver the goods. If you need to gain traction in B2B IT or techno-vertical markets, I will take on your cause as if it were my own.

I have been compiling opposition research profiles on key B2B market leaders, their coverage holes, organizational weaknesses, and blind spots. I can work up a custom profile in short order, often less than 90 days. Hands-on guidance for a targeted advocacy campaign is 6-12 months average. I will allocate urgent contracts full-time, sole focus, My rates are competitive, some say I under price. Until I see the need, I am holding my flat rates to 2012 schedule. Please call me for details.

My services are a perfect force multiplier for over extended product managers who are too busy steering the go to market. I can perform specific evangelism to offset the competitor’s mind share. I can and will elevate your solution out of the noise.

My last engagement is winding down after four years, That particular client was at war. Your issues may be not so dire; your company may need to increase positive traction, or overcome a competitors mind share. Maybe your innovation requires a special focus, deeper explanation, or my specialty, active engagement.

I do these things and I am quite current on highly technical systems integration, state of the industry, APIs, EDI, etc.

See my professional bio on the front page sidebar for details, or drop me line to: abmadw (at) gmail.com, Skype: awilensky

The Socialization of the Supplier Integration Sector

In my daily work as an Industry Analyst and Solutions Advocate, I am finding that the terms, “social supply chain”, and “supplier collaboration” are showing up with increasing frequency. However,  the inclusion of  opportunistic communications supplementing a supply chain infrastructure (these include EDI-based systems such as ordering automation, e-Invoicing, and generic supplier enabling); needs to be well understood and carefully implemented. I am  emphatically a proponent of fresh ideas, and  firmly in favor of  enhancing supplier autonomy.  However,  many B2B platforms, even those developed by experienced companies, fall victim to featuritis – the addition of functions without a concomitant understanding of what or who they serve.  If the industry as a whole simply must conceptualize the benefits of social media on supply chain IT, let’s at least think it through, together. Here are some elementary concepts in brief:

Today, we practice top down supplier management – something that  looks and feels inflexible to most suppliers –

cloudap

“thou shalt use this Implementation Guide”, thou shalt use X12 850 or EDIFACT ###,  with these modifications”. – – -well…that seems at odds with any vendor’s ideal model. The VANs, as a group, have offered communications and connection to ERP and order + shipping. That’s nice. Continue reading

Specialty Product Domains

Do you have hosted (SAAS, PAAS, Cloud) tools and apps that are mired in the Web 2.0 freemium swamp? Minor modifications to features and market-specific messaging can re-target your products for a real, paying client constituencies. Yes, you can get paid for real hosted applications. Technical services, equipment maintenance, Test and Measurement, fleet services. Target, get perspective, broaden your product horizons with my services. Let me help you save that code base.

Lets say your company has a web application (or any software system) that might have the potential to cross over from the horizontal to the specialty vertical or technical industrial markets, but you are not sure how to approach the sector for validation or go-to-market? What is the potential market volume, who influences, certifies, what features need modification? Let’s go.

Let’s say you have a lead that someone, some company needs a jump start into a specialty technical market, such as product service, automotive supply chain, etc. Get me a referral and I will pay you 20% off the top of my contract. Hire me on contract to provide contract management services, and I will lop off 15% of my standard rate.

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