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Fortune 100 Hardware Manufacturer

"We use CS/10,000 as an integral component of the sales cycle. CS/10,000 gives us a means to validate our methodology, because we're not just proposing technology. We're describing exactly how to implement that technology."

- Manager of Software Product Marketing   

     
 

When this well known hardware manufacturer's Enterprise Server Division began planning their strategy for launching and marketing a new line of enterprise servers the Vice President of Network Systems Planning at the time began looking for a unique approach that would differentiate the company's product line from competitive offerings.

The IS executive, who has since been promoted to Vice President of Marketing in the Enterprise Server Division, determined that the key to success lay in "consultative sales". With this type of approach, the salesperson would not push a hardware-based solution onto the customer, but instead would offer a complete solution which integrates the hardware, software and middleware components. While he was sure he had a good idea, he lacked a mechanism for proposing and delivering a complete, integrated solution. Then, during a staff meeting in February 1996, the Director of Information Architectures presented a proposal for a new client/server architecture tool – the CS/10,000 from Client/Server Connection. The Director of Information Architectures, whose Southern Field Operations office was an early adopter of Client/Server Connection’s CS/7,000 and CS/8,000 technologies, suggested that the company take a serious look at the beta version of CS/10,000 as a toolset for delivering the new "consultative sales" approach.

After a series of technical presentations, the hardware manufacturer's IS group was convinced that CS/10,000 could become the central architecture modeling and project planning component in their new marketing program. The company purchased a 100-user license of CS/10,000 in May 1996, and established an OEM relationship with Client/Server Connection in order to fully integrate the CS/10,000 technology in the marketing program.

The Manager of Software Product Marketing at the company runs the program office for architecture-based selling efforts. He says that the new approach is ideal "if the customer is in an architectural buying mode as opposed to a platform buying mode. If the customer needs a new topology, new middleware and so forth, then we use CS/10,000 as a key component in the development of the architecture and for proposal generation."

According to the Manager of Software Product Marketing, "CS/10,000 is serving a very precise purpose in the sales process we have developed. We provide CS/10,000 to each pre-sales technical representative worldwide as part of their sales kit." He further explains that the pre-sales technical representatives "go to the client’s site, spend a couple days of discovery with the client, and then quickly generate a complete project proposal. We use CS/10,000 as an integral component of the sales cycle. It makes the architecture selection process much faster. It also gives us a means to validate our methodology, because we’re not just proposing technology, we’re describing exactly how to implement that technology."

To launch the program, Client/Server Connection personnel conducted an "Introduction to CS/10,000" class to train the home-office management staff -responsible for implementation of the new marketing program. After the 1.5 day course, the company's worldwide education group incorporated applicable sections of the CS/10,000 course materials into the two-day technical sales training for the new marketing program.

Between June and September of 1996, the hardware company quickly trained its sales force in the United States and Europe in the new consultative sales approach. The Manager of Software Product Marketing said, "We have people trained in the U.S., Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the U.K. Over 2/3 of the business worldwide has adopted CS/10,000." The first training was in Atlanta for the United States Southern Region. The Southern Region, which is the flag-bearer for architecture-based sales, recently completed training all sales representatives and pre-sales specialists in the new technology (approximately 160 representatives).

The company's Southern Region is using CS/10,000 on multiple accounts. For example, the Appraiser’s office for a Texas government agency engaged the hardware manufacturer to integrate three disparate systems, including a proprietary GIS (Geographic Information System), a proprietary COLD (Computer Output to Laser Disk) system, and a mainframe computer from the hardware manufacturer's product line. The appraisers in the field needed information from all three systems and wanted to see it all on one screen.
The architectural team went through the agency’s applications and existing architectures. "What we determined," the Director of Information Architectures notes, "is that they should use Web technology coupled with a transaction manager to put it all together, and then display it back on the browser. Client costs would be minimal, because there are a lot of tools around to write the applications, and we have a tool for transaction management between the Web and the mainframe."

The Director of Information Architectures, who is an expert CS/10,000 user, skipped the CS/10,000 Advisor interface and went directly into the Architecture Selection browser to choose a candidate network architecture for the agency. "We found the architecture directly through the architecture browser," he says. "The CS/10,000 network architectures really depict the kinds of configurations that we want to use. We selected a dual-homed internal web, which puts the firewall on the outside. It’s pretty much what our situation is. We had to modify it some. We replaced the ‘Corporate Servers’ with [our] machines. On the web service LAN we added an extra server required by the GIS vendor."

After architecture selection, the team began the project planning process. "We used CS/10,000 to put together a project plan of what it would take to actually accomplish this," he says. "Architecting is one thing, but making sure you are covering all the bases is something else, and this is an area where CS/10,000 really adds value."Asked to summarize his reason for using CS/10,000, the Director of Information Architectures states, "CS/10,000 is the best tool on the market to demonstrate the added value of the heterogeneous multiprocessing platform concept and what you’re getting with that approach. Sometimes you don’t realize the backroom requirements when you’re looking at a product. There’s a tremendous amount of complexity in client/server and CS/10,000 takes that all into account. For example, the integration of mainframe and client/server technologies is the value-add of [our platform solutions], and CS/10,000 is a tremendous way of showing the hidden complexity that the recipient of [our platform solution] receives versus traditional multiplatform client/server configurations."

A program manager at corporate headquarters is using CS/10,000 for both existing customers and new prospects. He asserts, "There are two primary usages for CS/10,000. First of all, we can stimulate a sales proposal to an existing customer, the thrust of which is, ‘We can help you transition to an enterprise client/server environment; we can provide the architecture you need, the products you need, and a plan that you can follow or that we will put in for you.’ The other use is for new clients. Using CS/10,000, we can put together proposals for them very rapidly which offer [our] servers that support data warehousing or distributed transaction management."

The program manager recently used CS/10,000 to prepare a comprehensive proposal for a West coast-based healthcare provider. "We did quite well," he said. "I went out to help the sales team, and we created an architecture, network recommendation, and project plan. Then we added [our] specific technology proposals to that plan. Many of the materials that were used in the proposal process were drawn from CS/10,000 templates, including the client/server and network architectures, the advantages and disadvantages of each architecture, the project plan, and the cost estimate."

The proposal generated addressed the healthcare provider’s transition from a centralized mainframe environment to enterprise client/server. The CS/10,000 expert system selected the Two-Tier Legacy Enterprise Computing with Legacy Transaction architecture. The expert system also selected the Switched 100 MBPS Ethernet Backbone w/ Centralized Administration network architecture, which was consistent with the provider’s current environment.

According to the program manager, "The customer feedback was very positive. The proposal gave the customer confidence. They were very pleased to see [our] expertise in the client/server area.

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