Build Your Future Right: The “Land and Expand Approach” to Building a Dynamic eBusiness Ecosystem for Manufacturers and Distributors

To remain competitive in today's rapidly transforming digital marketplace, manufacturing and distribution leaders are faced with many challenges to make the right choices about eCommerce technology. The need to quickly deploy new technologies and weave them into the overall fabric of their business is critically important. A Land and Expand strategy allows your organization to quickly and cost-effectively establish the “core” for its digital ecosystem and enable the speedy deployment of additional technologies that are increasingly available in the marketplace today.

BUILD YOUR FUTURE RIGHT: The “Land and Expand Approach” to Building a Dynamic eBusiness Ecosystem for Manufacturers and Distributors 110 North 5th Street 8th Floor Minneapolis, MN 55403 1.866.746.0377 612.367.8600 INSITE SOFTWARE: ECOMMERCE STRATEGY CONSULTING COPYRIGHT © 2014 INSITE SOFTWARE / P 866.746.0377 / WWW.INSITESOFT.COM2 INTRODUCTION According to Forrester Research’s 2014 report “The Future of Business is Digital,” by Nigel Fenwick and Martin Gill: ”…digital technology has fundamentally changed two things: the dynamics of the markets in which you operate and the speed needed to remain competitive” eCommerce is clearly one of the catalysts for digital transformation, and your need for the speed to enable these technologies, and weave them into the overall fabric of your business, is critically important. This white paper will outline an approach to land and expand your eBusiness digital strategy with InsiteCommerce™, the leading .NET eCommerce platform for manufacturers and distributors. THE CHALLENGE Until now, most eBusiness efforts have been fragmented—deployed without a strategic plan or having us services budgets. In today’s market these conditions are simply unacceptable. The fragmented and customized approach to selecting and implementing eCommerce technologies of the past is quickly causing an increased slowdown in execution and an ever-increasing cost for organizations. With multiple systems and tools in place that are poorly integrated, the long-term viability of the ecosystem finds itself either underperforming or, at the very least, compromised. As Forrester states: “Digital is more than a bolt-on strategy. Bolt-on digital is like painting go-fast stripes on a car; it doesn’t change the underlying business. To become a digital business requires enterprise transformation;… 1”. Likewise, multi-year implementations can easily become outdated before they are even launched and due to the extended deployment life cycle will ultimately carry a higher price tag. With a project scope that is “too big,” the ability to gain agreement and ensure viability of the effort often causes unexpected delays, as well. For most organizations, this approach is not only unnecessary; it may set a project up for failure. Insite’s land and expand strategy disintermediates both the bolt-on-fragmented approach and the multi- year approach by allowing an organization to quickly and cost effectively establish the “core” for its digital ecosystem, enabling the speedy deployment of additional strategies or adjacent technologies that are increasingly available in the marketplace today. Most organizations are challenged to architect an effective ecosystem for this digital transformation evolution. This is no small feat, as the technology landscape, especially in the area of marketing, is becoming increasingly complex. THE COMPLEXITY OF THE LANDSCAPE Digital enabling technologies are exploding. The evolution of the Marketing Technology Landscape produced by ChiefMartec is one graphic representation of this rapid change. Creator Scott Brinkler states “It comes with one main caveat: this graphic is not comprehensive. It is just a sample, albeit a large one, of the many different kinds of software available to marketers today. There are many more companies — indeed, entire categories — that were not included, merely due to the constraints of time and space. And by the time you read this, it will inevitably be out of date due to new launches, re-launches, expansions, exits, and mergers. The pace of change in this field is breathtaking.” 1Unleash Your Digital Business, Forrester Research, Inc., March 19, 2014 COPYRIGHT © 2014 INSITE SOFTWARE / P 866.746.0377 / WWW.INSITESOFT.COM3 It is important to realize the complex challenges faced by the CIO’s and CMO’s to make the “right” choices. The density of this graphic alone should have an impact on how an organization approaches digital transformation. There is little guarantee for “tried and true” in this emerging landscape today, and companies need to shed their “color between the lines” management styles and allow visionaries, marketers, and technologists to experiment and innovate to solve the problems facing them. The “fail fast and iterate” approach is the one generating the best results today. In the report “The State of Digital Business 2014”, Neil Fenwick of Forrester Research notes that “existing technology assets are not ready for digital strategy.” The report highlights the technology deficit many companies find themselves faced with after years of squeezing technology budgets combined with the “free-for-all” approach in which individual departments are allowed to pursue technology implementations that they independently fund. The resulting tangle of technologies leaves many organizations dealing with architecture so complex and customized that even minor changes are expensive and slow. And when it comes to integrating digital technologies, attempts by marketing to circumvent the technology nightmare only exacerbate the problem, creating disparate silos of data. To be in a position to execute a highly profitable land and expand strategy, an organization must have a vision for an overall technology upon which it can build. The following graphic represents Insite’s recommended approach to building your technology landscape. ~950 Companies COPYRIGHT © 2014 INSITE SOFTWARE / P 866.746.0377 / WWW.INSITESOFT.COM4 The core systems tier is both foundational and essential to all eBusiness initiatives in order to enable the level of customer engagement your customers desire. This tier will typically include ERP, eCommerce, CRM, and Business Intelligence. Recognize that other supporting systems may be included in the landscape around these core systems, and some overlap may exist. In general, however, these four systems should be highly integrated, reflecting an omni-channel model supporting the unique policies and programs of the organization to all of the personas inside and outside your four walls. These systems represent the key “system of record” da- tasets for customers, customer communications, promo- tions, online and offline analytics, products, transactions, inventory and warehousing, matrix pricing, fulfillment, quoting, configurations, and more. As your ecosystem evolves, look for opportunities to shed customizations made to these systems, especially to the ERP, so that the environment can be quickly up- graded to take advantage of emerging capabilities and to lower the overall cost of maintenance. The Core Systems Tier With the core systems tier in place, the ecosystem can be efficiently and opportunistically extended to “plug in” and leverage all of the additional technologies related to web content and experience management, as well as to marketing automation, experience, and operations management. Common examples include live chat, ratings and reviews, surveys, email subscriptions, and personalization tools. This layer of the ecosystem is very dynamic today, and incorporating plans to regularly investigate, leverage, test, and measure the performance of the marketing technologies employed is essential to serving the increasing demands of your customers and internal users. The Marketing Tier The Persona Tier The ecosystem for all manufacturers and distributors will need to serve a variety of personas both internal and external to the organization. This is the most significant delta from B2C eCommerce where the primary persona is the consumer. “Customers” may include buyers, engineers, maintenance managers, warehouse manag- ers, requisitioners, clinicians, doctors, veterinarians, field service managers, procurement managers, channel developers, investors, product sourcers, and more. Each of these personas may have various levels of au- thority, expertise, information requirements, etc. Internal- ly, sales, customer service, and call center organizations can be better served from this ecosystem as well, with the added benefit of providing the desired experiences both inside and outside the organization. To serve this diverse community, the eCommerce plat- form must have the architecture to support the various personas and all of the rule and information data that dif- ferentiate the various roles. This is a significant require- ment that demands a separate conversation and sets In- siteCommerce apart from the rest of the field serving the eCommerce needs of manufacturers and distributors. The Sites Tier With the core systems tier and the marketing tier in place and ready to serve your personas, you are now ready to launch any number of sites on top of this dynamic ecosystem of value. “You must think of your company as a part of a dynamic ecosystem of value that connects digital resources in- side and outside the company. You must harness digital technologies both to deliver a superior customer experi- ence and to drive the agility and operational efficiency you need to stay competitive.” The Future of Business is Digital, Forrester Research, Inc., Nigel Fenwick and Martin Gill, March 10, 2014. The Land and Expand Approach “Land quickly” and “expand iteratively.” Insite’s definition of “land quickly” is to identify the first set of personas through which the most benefit can be gained or to serve the greatest business need during the “land” phase. Ideally, this phase would have duration of no more than 6–9 months and may be implemented as quickly as 30–60 days. All of the elements discussed below are integral to accomplishing a high quality land phase and to establish the ecosystem required for the long-term digital journey. COPYRIGHT © 2014 INSITE SOFTWARE / P 866.746.0377 / WWW.INSITESOFT.COM5 During this phase, the following key steps are accom- plished: • The InsiteCommerce framework is installed. • The integration services are installed and imple- mented with the other core systems of record and their supporting systems to reflect the business rules and data requirements for the organization. While this is foundational to the land phase of the journey, establishing this early on in the development of the ecosystem is imperative for gaining speed in the future “expand” phases of the journey. • The first project is installed, and the base configura- tion set up. Keep in mind that the land phase might serve an internal persona, such as a sales rep with a responsive site deployed on an iPad or mobile phone. In a future phase, as the organization is able to absorb the change, this application then can be pushed out to external users to gain even more coverage and efficiency. Similarly, the first phase might be a classic B2B site primarily serving buyers whose primary goal is to efficiently process orders and look up history. The list of options for the land phase are unlimited, however our recommendation is to carve out a phase that allows the implementa- tion of the project within a 6-month window. This approach is also opportunistic. Once a site launches with a proper onboarding program, an organization will be surprised at how much they learn from their customers….it happens every time. If an organiza- tion is poised to listen and iterate on the feedback it receives, the overall performance of the initiatives is certain to improve. • The project is implemented. This step may require development to support the various requirements of the site that extend beyond the web page library or to support the implementation of the unique busi- ness rules or data requirements for the company, its products, or its customers. • A large multi-brand manufacturer is replatforming and decides to start with a corporate site followed by a mobile site. By implementing the eCommerce platform first and establishing the integration to their ERP, the integrity of the product flow from the ERP to a new CMS (where the product content is enriched) establishes the long-term integrity of the product data set. This integration layer then can support the mobile application within the eCommerce platform using the same enriched global product set. • A large animal health manufacturer is migrating ERPs worldwide. Throughout the migration, requirements include a fully functioning B2B site for their veteri- nary customers deployed in multiple languages and currencies. By using the InsiteCommerce Web Page Library and integration architecture, the migration for the first country was accomplished in only 90 days, fully integrated to the new ERP with integrated promotions management. The Land and Expand Examples The InsiteCommerce integration architecture allows clients to control data sources and the associated field mappings. While a “slightly disconnected” integration model is preferred in order to preserve maximum site uptime, the integration architec- ture supports both real-time and batch-oriented configurations to meet the business needs of the client. In order to support both of these models, the InsiteCommerce platform is architected to support the complex architecture the various models require. Examples of this architecture include matrix pricing, multi-warehouse, many-to-many assignments of us- ers to customer bill-to and ship-to records, custom catalogs by user, bill-to, or ship-to, multiple units of measure and conversions, rules based configura- tions, multiple named lists, subscription orders, multiple fulfillment options, budget management, and many more. Additionally, the platform is architected for unlim- ited sites, supporting corporate, B2C, B2B, mobile, customer microsites, sales rep applications, cus- tomer service applications, and punchout applica- tions. Integral to this phase is the use of the InsiteCom- merce Web Page Library. The Library contains hun- dreds of fully functioning, pre-integrated, responsive pages that reflect best practices for eCommerce today and can be configured to serve a variety of personas within one site or on a site-by-site basis. The pages in the library are architected to efficiently apply a custom site design and are extensible to ac- commodate the uniqueness in every organization’s data requirements, business model, or business programs and corresponding rules. COPYRIGHT © 2014 INSITE SOFTWARE / P 866.746.0377 / WWW.INSITESOFT.COM6 • A distributor of highly engineered industrial products desires to quickly launch a customer portal while they work on acquiring product content for a future B2B online ordering site with complex product con- figurations. • A manufacturer of sporting equipment plans a first phase of automating online ordering and customer self-service to gain efficiencies in the customer ser- vice department but found opportunities to automate processes for sales reps, as well, and co-launch these initiatives. Within 18 months they move 60% of order acquisition to the online models. InsiteCommerce is unmatched in its ability to enable a robust ecosystem for the long term deployment of eCommerce for an organization. With our strong orienta- tion to “land” an organization within six months, we bring a lower total cost of ownership and a true business to business model that supports all aspects of eBusiness to your organization. With our internal deployment resourc- es and our expanding ecosystem of the best of breed partners, we are the partner of choice for manufacturers and distributors worldwide. Conclusion ABOUT INSITE SOFTWARE Insite Software is a leading provider of B2B and B2C ecommerce platforms and internationally enabled shipping solutions, serving more than 950 customers, design agencies and .NET development firms across the globe. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Insite Software’s solutions are used by leading manufacturers and distributors to sell and distribute their products to dealers, franchisers, stores, contractors, consumers and others, supporting competitive advantage through end-to-end online order fulfillment. Offering eCommerce and shipping solutions for companies at all stages of adoption, Insite Software solutions are fully integrated with a wide range of cloud platforms; CMS, CRM, ERP, search, optimization, payment transaction, tax table, and online analytics providers. Visit us at, or via phone at 866.746.0377.