Trends Report

Technology Populism Shapes The Collaboration Vendor Landscape

A Bottom-Up And Top-Down Selling Approach Is Required

April 28th, 2009
TJ Keitt
With contributors:
Madiha Ashour , Ellen Daley


The transition from IT to business technology (BT), technology populism, and the down economy are changing businesses and the collaboration vendors that serve them. The door has opened to new vendors that appeal to the less technically savvy users in small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) and enterprise business units instead of focusing their sale on IT departments. As a result, the collaboration vendor landscape today is polarized, with most mega-vendors selling through the IT department while smaller vendors — including some in the Web 2.0 space — tackle selling through the individual user. What model will win? Both. Collaboration will be a technology that will seep in through individual users' preferences as well as IT-sanctioned solutions. To be successful in the future, vendors must sell both ways. The key for both top-down and bottom-up vendors is to build relationships and offerings that engender confidence in all business constituencies while being able to differentiate outside of price.

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