Best eBusiness Strategy:
2001 Editor's Choice Award ReleaseNow Corporation & BMC Software
From the CEO:
The Internet is driving dramatic changes in the way organizations everywhere do business, and entirely new marketplaces have opened up for companies who go to market with an eCommerce or eBusiness strategy. Our judges are especially pleased to recognize the highly effective relationship between BMC Software and its outsourcer, ReleaseNow Corporation. The supplier's services in launching the buyer's eCommerce storefront achieved even more than BMC Software had hoped. More importantly, read the story of their relationship and see what can be accomplished when the supplier brings new added-value ideas to the buyer.
They searched for a partner to outsource the project to but found only two companies that were appropriate options. One of those, ReleaseNow was then selected to design an eCommerce storefront. Thus, eMarketZone (www.emktzone.com) was born. Besides setting up and maintaining the Net storefront, ReleaseNow handles the customer invoicing. "They had done about 700 storefronts, so this wasn't new to them. But the scenario of collecting the revenue was new to them," says Walpole.
ReleaseNow proved its capabilities and brought the project in at just under two months -- and at a 70% cut in BMC's operation costs.†
Zooming to Market
So what's for sale at eMarketZone? Walpole explains that it is a place where customers can go to get third-party solutions manufactured by BMC's partners. "It's a one-stop shop. Instead of going to 65 different vendors, customers can go to our URL and buy everything on one invoice from ReleaseNow direct. They can see if what they want is available there, then download it and trial-test it for 45 days or buy it online and download it."
Eventually, all applications available through BMC's Developer Connection (http://devcon.bmc.com) will also be available at eMarketZone. Developer Connection offers BMC partners (who are software developers) access to toolkits that aid in developing new products that then become subsets of BMC's PATROL product. PATROL is a loadable library of Knowledge Modules that proactively manages computers, applications, networks and databases for quality assurance and integration across eBusiness enterprises. Although BMC does Knowledge Modules for major players (such as Oracle and Compaq), it can't provide this product for everything that every customer will want. Basically, the program allows developer partners to create products that complement BMC software solutions.
"The whole relationship with ReleaseNow has been very good," says Walpole. "They fulfilled everything they said they would, and they did it beyond our expectation." The supplier also provided additional implementation ideas around marketing, which had nothing to do with their original request. "They opened our eyes up more and more, especially in the eCommerce arena as far as doing emarket blitzes and bonus coupons and a total eCommerce campaign. I definitely was not familiar with doing that. I'm familiar with doing Web sites as services and information centers, but not as a marketing site. They gave us a lot of added value," he says.
He says they meet about once a month, even though the project is launched. Through downloads and feedback from customers and the software developer partners, they know that eMarketZone is a success. Because the relationship and the project have gone so well, BMC is giving ReleaseNow more projects. "We are not going to outsource everything to ReleaseNow, but on a case-by-case they will be highly considered," he states.
One of the products sold through Developer Connection will now be offered by ReleaseNow. Customers will be able to buy the product from eMarketZone by credit card, invoice, or purchase order. "And we're actually going to ship the product to ReleaseNow. They will store it, stock it and let us know when they are running low."
He adds that ReleaseNow has also worked hard to promote eMarketZone. "They've done more than build a site and say, 'it's out there, so run with it.'"
Summarizing their excellent relationship, Walpole says that one of the things he really appreciates about ReleaseNow is that "nobody categorizes themselves. When I talk to the salesmen, the VPs, the marketing people, every one of them was willing to do what they could do to help. It's a big company, but it seemed like it was one person. They all work together as a team. We even went to lunch with the CEO, CFO, all their bigwigs; and that was nice." BMC says the supplier was -- and still is -- very accessible for questions and that everyone is very helpful and friendly.
Lessons from the Outsourcing Primer:
- A supplier can provide added value by helping to promote a buyer's product and by educating buyers about how to do eCommerce marketing campaigns.
- It builds a better partnership approach in a relationship if the supplier's people are helpful and accessible for questions, regardless of whether it pertains to their specific tasks.