Secrets of the Partner Series – Technology Partners – Part 1

A sign of a very healthy product (software or hardware) is a robust ecosystem of partners with product integrations.  Just look at all the third-party products for the iPhone (or Surface Pro 4 which I am typing on now).   My first role at VMware was to Product Manage from the Business Units point of view…

Secrets of the Partner Series – Channel Partners – Part 2 – Conflicts

Wayne:   Bill, on our first blog on Channel Partners we covered a lot of ground on this issue, especially on setting up the motivational structure for those channel partners versus our direct sales force.  When we were setting up enablement we had many discussions on curriculum for enablements: what was the 101 course, the 201…

Secrets of the Partner Series – Channel Partners – Part 1

Your manager tells you to take the new product that your organization is developing and take it to 10M in revenue in 1 year.  No sweat you think, we have this great direct sales force of sales specialists who are selling a different product and top notch sales engineering.  Perhaps they can be swayed to…

We Need an Updated Roadmap!

How many times have I heard this?  To a product professional, the product roadmap is a hot topic.  How often should we update it?  Who will do the work aggregating the details from all the Product Managers?  Who has to approve this?  Where is the customer feedback?  What about the field reaction when they don’t get…

Engineering Versus Marketing Versus Product Management Driven Organizations

This blog will be a bit controversial.  Having worked in many organizations across hardware and software and services, I can see the conflict between product management and engineering.   When the balance between these two departments is just right, great products are produced and customers are listened to and are happy with the outcome.  All too…

Manage the Whole Product Please

As you know, I am a stickler for product managers to focus both on strategy and execution.  While that may be cliche, I continue to run into stories about product managers who focus on one or the other but never quite the balance that their product needs.  I was chatting with an ex-colleague  after a crack…

Investment Trade-offs Between Go-To-Market and New Features

Imagine your most beloved Product Marketing leader arm–wrestling with your favorite Engineering leader. Does this really ever happen?  One of my most trusted leaders I have ever had the pleasure to work with once told me that you build products for the channels you plan to sell them through, optimizing the feature sets to provide customer…

Can a Traditional On-Premise Product Morph to Multi-Tenant SaaS?

I have worked with enterprise software products that were either single tenant on-premise or were multi-tenant SaaS services.  There is no doubt in my mind that while many of us who have been in the industry 20+ year have worked with on-premise products, we became very comfortable with how to define, build, test, release, market,…

Insider Insights: High Performing Product Leadership Team

There is much talk about how an organization should drive product direction and execution.   I am currently involved with quite a few companies who are looking to tweak their performance in this area.  Product teams strive to provide the right direction and it is that critical analysis of the holistic product situation which is crucial.  Some think…

My Top Blogs while at Cisco – Early Insights into Cloud

After the acquisition of Tidal Software where I was working by Cisco and the teams moved toward cloud automation as a major area of focus, I decided to jump into blogging.  A close colleague, Rodrigo Flores, suggested that it was critical that I figure out my blogging voice.  Of course my Cisco blog was not…