Thursday, April 26, 2007

Viral Adoption for Enterprise


The integration of the Iotum Talk-Now presence app with Jajah for calling on BlackBerrys illustrates a new approach software distributors can take to penetrate enterprise accounts. You know the old way: direct sales teams target "C" title executives. Key decision makers then are identified and the account is "worked."

There's another model. Harken back to the days when computing was centralized, lived in a "glass house" and terminals were dumb. If you wanted to sell a personal computer or a local area network to connect them, what would you do? You weren't going to get the glass house shut down, so the top down, rip out the mainframe, forklift route wasn't promising.

Instead, you targeted individuals. Lead users. Power users. You flew under the radar. You kept the upfront cost low. You didn't require a change of enterprise computing architecture. And then you let interest spread virally.

Lead users, work groups and then departments. That was the adoption approach. One person brings the application into their environment, and invites their circle of business colleagues to participate, setting off a wave of adoption within a specific business or social network.

And that is what Iotum and Jajah hope will happen.

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