Differentiation, and Switching

Scott Francis
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Linkedin vsDuring a growing market you often can’t differentiate between the vendors as easily. They all appear to be doing well and growing, and so growing ceases to be an interesting indicator of winning.  And it is difficult for new customers to discern the differences in quality between two new platforms when the whole paradigm is such a shift.  Quality only becomes apparent in year 2 or 3 of owning a device like these.  Witness the “smartphone market” – where Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android have been battling for supremacy.

Horace Dediu’s recent post on the new switchers is an interesting take on that market-share battle (the graphs are Dediu’s).

We’ve seen many surveys which show higher loyalty with iOS than with Android. But it’s been very hard to spot the evidence in the data which is visible publicly. Both iOS and Android are adding users and sales for both platforms are still increasing.

The graphs are just now starting to show an interesting picture in the US:

We are starting to see Apple’s share gain on Android in a measurable way.  The situation may be worse than this near-parity describes it, however, as Android is suffering from more churn – so it’s growth is undercut by users leaving Android for iOS, and iOS is impacted by this to a much lower degree. Eventually, the high quality experience is winning out.

In our own corner of the BPM world, I think the same sort of trend line is emerging.  For a time, everyone could jump into BPM services and do well, because the market was both growing, and undiscerning when it comes to quality.  The market at large didn’t recognize that BPM required a different kind of domain expertise than the generalist consultancies were likely to have.  The market at large wasn’t able to differentiate between the best and the worst BPM service providers.

But every day we see evidence that this dynamic is changing. That customers do perceive the difference in quality, and that the purveyors of quality are winning in the BPM services market.  We’re hearing it from our customers and prospects, and we’re hearing it from our technology partners.  As a partisan of BP3, I feel like there’s never been a better opportunity in front of us to do well by doing good (for our customers). And it feels like all those years of hard work by our team are paying off. Looking back, BP3 has grown more than 10-fold since IBM bought Lombardi in January of 2010.  We’re well positioned to expand into Europe, and other geographies.

And we’re getting a big vote of confidence from our customers, who attended BPMCAMP in record numbers.  I’m looking forward to the home stretch of 2015.