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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Getting Ready for the Bounce: How Do You Turn Opportunities for Innovative Services Into Revenues?

The author Mark Twain once scoffed at reporters who had been writing stories about his having passed away by saying at a public appearance, "The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Well, perhaps the buzz that the global economy is dying is also a bit premature, as well. While things are still pretty tough out there, we're picking up a lot of signs recently that companies are starting to bounce back and seize great opportunities for information products and services that beckon around the world.

The key to many of these opportunities, though, is the time and the cost of execution. With lean product development staffs and leaner client budgets, getting a client to "yes" means being able to turn ideas into actions as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible. In the information industry, this often means that you have to be able to demonstrate a new concept for a product or service as rapidly as possible. The good news for many information technology and services companies is that today's software development environments enable companies to cobble together some great new application demos very quickly. A common sticking point, though, is that the content that would make those demo apps look best is not quite what clients were looking for - or just not available. Canned data and pages may get you past a few quick moments with a client, but when you want them to pull the string on the revenue-generating phase of a client relationship it generally takes more than that to build a high level of confidence.

This is where MuseGlobal has really helped our clients to shine in recent years, and even more in today's tough economy. Our MuseConnect content integration technologies offer information services developers truly amazing turnaround times in assembling content from any number of internal and external information sources. Having developed more than 6,000 Smart Connectors for MuseConnect through the years means that your ideas for assembling as much valuable content as possible in a new or enhanced information product or service can appear more rapidly than you may imagine. Since MuseGlobal maintains its own development staging services for our clients, we have the ability to start streaming updates from content sources to your development environment whenever you're ready to receive them. Sometimes within just a few hours of having spoken about an idea your development staff can be working with live data from the key information sources that they need to accelerate their efforts.

This can make an enormous difference in jump-starting innovation and product development from many perspectives. Instead of waiting weeks or months to get content from databases, subscription services, file services and search engines flowing into prototype applications, you can eliminate content connectivity and availability as a bottleneck for developing and testing new software and services. Besides shortening the product development cycle in general, it also means that you'll spend more time looking at "real-world" information flowing through your new applications that will put it through its paces. The result will be more reliable and useful applications that encounter fewer surprises once they hit your clients' production environments. Time-to-market issues get solved more rapidly and efficiently, which means that more revenues come more quickly. In an economy in which anything that can help a sales cycle to shorten is critical to meeting sales goals, you might say that MuseGlobal's Smart Connectors are like found money.

Once you do sell and install your new applications, the even better news is that MuseGlobal Smart Connectors will continue to be reliable for you and your clients all on their own. That's because MuseGlobal delivers its Smart Connectors as a service to you through MuseConnect's unique content integration architecture. Whether it's pre-existing content source connectors or connectors tailored to your specific needs, MuseGlobal will be testing your content connectors constantly - and ensuring that they keep on working for your clients. Instead of client teams having to focus on maintenance issues that are annoying your key accounts they can be focusing on the next great opportunities for your products and services to be solving valuable problems.

There are no perfect answers to bouncing back from the effects of a tough economy, of course, but we've discovered in these times that our MuseConnect OEM content integration solutions can help more answers to be tried, tested and delivered to more of our clients' customers - an advantage that can turn a tough sales environment into one in which you can have the edge through rapid innovation. I hope that we can help you and your teams to see how MuseGlobal technologies and services can put your own organization on the path to innovative information products and services soon - and to keep them running smoothly and cost-effectively for years to come.