How Competitive Intelligence Helped a Software Provider Better Understand Their Competitive Environment

This article explains how Competitive Intelligence helped a software provider better understand their competitive environment. And gave them a deeper understanding of their main threat. 

You know how

You when you have a pretty big competitor. And it’s taking market share from you. And you know your product is so much better. Your UX is cutting edge while theirs is ten years old and dated.

What is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is the finding, sorting and critical analysis of information. To make sense of what’s happening and why. Predict what’s going to happen and give the options to help you control the outcome. Competitive intelligence offers certainty, competitive advantage, insight, growth & security.

Your customers are very loyal to your product, but because of their size and influence in the market, you are not growing. Well, not growing as much as you would like.

What was happening

Our client was a top 5 provider of Occupational Health software. Their clients liked that they could record all occupational health data in one place. Data that could be analysed and integrated into their other systems. They had two major UK and maybe three major global competitors. They knew they could outperform the number one in the UK market. But wanted to learn more about them and their plans. 

This is what we did

Our starting point. We begin with activities that enabled us to gain an understanding of the market they worked in. We looked at the information available. And then we defined their industry-specific terminology and developed sources with an initial secondary research sweep.

We then developed a more extensive investigation using primary research methods. In other words, we spoke to people. 

This is what they got

Our client developed an understanding of their market and their key competitor. Finding out things they did not know, including:

Market

  • The market was consolidating with prominent software vendors acquiring smaller, specialised players. Creating more comprehensive portfolios. 
  • A realisation that their niche within Occupational Health was beginning to align itself to other similar sectors. Such as Health & Safety, Industrial Hygiene, Quality and Environmental. 
  • There was a sector move to integrate software solutions into a single package.
  • Competitors are getting bigger by acquiring other software providers.
  • Competitors were enhancing their product safety offering by releasing new solutions. To help customers comply with then forthcoming European Regulations. 
  • Another competitor was to offer a broader suite within EHS and sustainability sectors.

Key competitor

We helped them understand the most significant competitive threat so much better. We provided technical insight and the following:

  • Their biggest UK competitor claimed to have 52% of UK hospitals within their customer base. 
  • Yet, the staffing levels within their service centre contradicted this claim.
  • Their claim to a British success story was flawed. They failed to publish UK accounts with Companies House. And it turned out that 80% of the business was being run out of North America. The UK was little more than a branch of the partner company.
  • 80% of the UK directors were also North American.
  • An understood they were going to focus less on the UK as they had become the biggest supplier. They were going to expand into the Middle East and Australia. Their sales teams were beginning to mirror this strategy. 
  • They had a fighting fund. They had recently received Private Equity. It was to be used to acquire niche related businesses and the building of its worldwide presence.
  • They had an excellent platform until a customer wanted anything slightly bespoke. Anything other than standard reports made their product harder to learn and use. 
  • At the time, their platform was moving to the cloud, and it was causing considerable problems for their customers. Offering our client more opportunities.
  • They had a pretty standard sales process, and they were not very proactive. They took a week to reply to a sales call request. 
  • The starting price for the software was £10,000 for a relatively small database of 1000 entries. 
  • Our client disputed that their main competitor claims to possess ISO27001 certification. Some digging revealed that they did indeed have the certificate. But the rewarding body was owned by its North American parent company. 
  • They were about to rebrand and change their company name completely. 2 months later, they rebranded, and our client was ready and prepared. 

And we can do the same for you.

How Competitive Intelligence helped a software provider better understand their competitive environment

This article explained how Competitive Intelligence helped a software provider better understand their competitive environment. And gave them a deeper understanding of their main threat. And we can do the same for you.

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