Monday, March 4, 2013

5 Reasons Why Competition is Not Just Good, It’s Great for all of Us

Ever have a sales person come to you, panicked, that there’s a competitor in the wings waiting to steal your business? That should make you happy. Why?

·         It shows that the industry you are in is thriving & growing (no one gets into a dead industry unless they are trying a last-ditch effort)

·         It fosters innovation, creativity, and out of the box thinking (mobile reporting on a cloud? Workflow for industry?  Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence?  These were all concepts that came from people needing applications to conform to the ways they did business, and not what was already available)

·         There’s strength in numbers.  One company in a line of business can only drive so much interest.  Adding competition brings complexity, dimension, to the offerings.  MES wasn’t a “real” industry until a bunch of competitors got together, announced they were supporting this segment, and carved out expectations to what the applications would perform like, bring to the user, and achieve from a return on investment and performance perspective.

·         It promotes industry standards. This is beneficial for end users, because it helps them to expect specific functionality from any entrant into that market.  There’s uniformity at least in the way the applications will interact with one another, so if they don’t play well, they normally don’t last too long as a standalone vendor.

·         It brings users choices.  The products you offer today can be significantly different than the products you offer in two or three years.  The positioning you have may also change, to conform to trends, customer needs, and market movement.  If a competitor happens to uncover some nascent need in an industry, and you realize that you too can meet those needs, how great is that—you have free market research working for you! The competition has driven you to improve your value propositions, positioning, and benefit statements. So it’s a constant cycle of discovery and offerings, and everyone (users, vendors, industry) profits.

So say thanks to the competition, let the best company win, and we all benefit in the long run!

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