*The name of the company has been withheld at their request*
The client was a third party software vendor to the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) platform. At the time SOMAmetrics met with them in 2003, they had just released new software that was capable of polling Blackberry (BB) devices, detecting any changes in contact data, and updating the BES with the changes.
The client targeted organizations known to have at least 250 Blackberry (BB) devices installed and attempted to sell their new software to their traditional contacts—IT Department heads.
Little or no sales materialized after eight months of calling and emailing these IT contacts. The reality was that while IT departments influenced decision (especially regarding technical solutions), they were not decision makers.
What We Did
We knew we had to find decision makers for whom this capability was a must-have. The question was: who would care? To whom does this capability fulfill a compelling need?
When we asked the client why they thought this capability was important, they mentioned what had happened during 9/11 in New York City (NYC).
They explained that for several hours after the two planes crashed into the twin towers, the only communication in NYC that worked was “PIN to PIN” lines between BB devices.
In other words, any BB user could send out text messages to another BB device user—provided they had the right PIN (personal identification number). The PIN basically acted as unique qualifier (same as an email address) in identifying the recipient.
It is important to remember that, unlike iPhones today, BB devices were the property of the institution, and employees were given BB devices in the same way they were given laptops. Furthermore, when new BB devices came out, senior execs got these, and their old BB’s were recycled to other employees. As a result, while contact information, including email and phone number, was up-to-date, the PIN was not.
We began researching everything we could find regarding NYC and 9/11. After some intense digging, the following facts became apparent:
With the above insights in mind, we contacted the IT departments with messages on Business Continuity and protecting the Human Intellectual Capital within their firms.
As soon as we linked our client’s capabilities, which involved detecting any change to the contact information of a BB device user and updating the Blackberry Enterprise Server, to Business Continuity and protecting HIC, this capability became a must-have.
Within weeks, we had meetings scheduled with various VP level decision makers in some of the leading Global Financial Service firms— including Goldman Sacs, Merrill Lynch, Bank of New York, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Citi Bank, and Morgan Stanley.
Two of these turned into pilot programs of 500 BB devices each, or an average of $50K in new business just for the pilot phase.
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