Building IP can have enormous impact on the valuation of your business: when successful, it provides high gross margins, reduces fluctuations in cash flow, and provides you with the advantage of specialized knowledge and expertise. Plus, having your own packaged IP reduces your costs, as both marketing and selling become standardized and less expensive.
However, I often hear from partners that they’re not sure how to go about creating the kind of IP that will help their businesses succeed in the cloud. If you’re concerned that creating IP is a major undertaking requiring enormous effort and investment in research and development, here’s a secret—it doesn’t have to be.
Find the IP development strategy that works for you.
There’s more than one way to go about developing IP, and finding the strategy that works best for you is the first step to creating IP that’s packageable and profitable. Here are three common IP development strategies:
1. Turn projects into products.
Think back on your last 10 or 20 projects: Are there actions you perform over and over again that could be wrapped up and sold? For example, when Forceworks realized that they were repeatedly getting—and fulfilling—the same requests, their successful RapidStart CRM product was born. What frequent opportunities are you seeing that you can build IP from?
2. Expand the capabilities of a pre-existing Microsoft solution.
Like PowerObjects, you may spot an opportunity to add to a Microsoft solution using your company’s unique expertise. Once the company decided to focus on Dynamics CRM, they were able to apply their customization skills to build user-configurable dashboards, and that was just the beginning of their exponential growth and success.
3. Build packageable IP on a partner platform.
Building IP on top of another partner’s platform can also be a great way to create packageable, repeatable IP with relatively little investment or risk. One partner providing such an opportunity is LiveTiles, who offers a set of products that allow customers to create highly functional digital ecosystems on Office 365, SharePoint, and Azure that can scale and deploy on a global scale. Plus, LiveTiles’ Partner IP acceleration program can help speed partners’ time to market.
By providing easy-to-use tools that don’t require sophisticated coding or expensive developers, LiveTiles gives partners a clear path to build and get specialized IP to market.
For example, when Lighthouse Technology Partners were looking for ways to build their Office 365 practice, they partnered with LiveTiles to gain the tools they needed to provide their customers with intranet portals that are as stunning as they are functional. Now, Lighthouse’s new IP is profitable and repeatable: In a case study with LiveTiles, Lighthouse Technology Partners President Brian Desrosier said he believes the organization’s revenue will grow at least 20 percent per year for the next two years.
So, whether you decide to package a process you already do, expand a functionality of an existing product, or build solutions on top of a powerful platform, the question is, what expertise do you have in-house that you could turn into a packageable, repeatable, profitable IP solution?
To learn more about ways to pursue a specialized IP development strategy to differentiate your business, download the new Modern Partner Series, Part 2: Differentiate to Stand Out.