Corrections or additions?
Author: Melinda Sherwood. Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on January
19, 2000. All rights reserved.
The Strategic Alliance: Tom Moran
Even companies like Microsoft and Sun Microsystems can’t
afford to go it alone in today’s marketplace. They, like many
companies, are relying on each other almost as much as they are
with each other for technology solutions, customers, and ideas, says
development agency in Piscataway. "The pace at which technology
changes and evolves and the demand for technology services are so
great that there is no company that can be all things to all
says Moran, who covers "Successful Marketing Alliances" for
the New Jersey Technology Council on Tuesday, January 25, at Union
County College Executive Education Center in Cranford.
Also appearing: Michael Braun
Alliance; Chuck Polin
Savar, president, World Wide Web Communications;
president, Quadrix Solutions; and Kevin Seiler
sales, Gogh Technology. Call 856-787-9700. Cost: $40.
High-tech start-ups can leverage their client base to enter
with some of the big technology players, who in turn give name
to smaller companies, through channel marketing (an industry term
that translates to value-added resellers or manufacturers reps), says
Moran. "They ride my relationships within a targeted marketing
group," says Moran of NCS’ partner companies. "It’s all about
generating revenue by virtue of the relationship."
A former sales representative with MCI WorldCom, Moran earned a BA
in economics and English from Rutgers, Class of 1988, before joining
Today he borrows AT&T’s marketing strategy, "Gestalt
to create a Year 2000 Marketing Plan for NCS. The concept:
"Your web advertising should be related to your print advertising,
your Intranet should be leveraging your public website," he says.
"You want a consistent image. You want to make sure it’s all
each of the elements, so they’ll deliver a total marketing plan that
will be greater than the sum of its parts. You can have a 15-pronged
marketing plan, but if they’re not all interrelated, it could
Like many small custom software companies, NCS has alliances with
the big, out-of-the-box software companies like Sun Microsystems,
CE Software, and Oracle. "Oracle would like us to use their
Sun would like us to use their hardware. Likewise, if a Sun sales
rep walks into a place and they need a whole solution, they would
say we know this company NCS."
Michael Braun, district sales manager at ATX, a communications
provider in Woodbridge, suggests another partnering model: the
association alliance. "Design a grass roots marketing program
that is specific to what you’re trying to do, to enable you to sell
a turnkey solution to a council or chamber," say Braun, a 1984
graduate of Montclair State. "What they want is to add value to
their members, and having strategic partnerships like this will do
A business with strong ties to an industry organization or chamber
doesn’t need to worry as much about competition along price lines
because the affiliation itself adds value to its product, says Braun.
"If the only thing that you have is price, you’re not really
yourself," says Braun. "You’re commoditizing yourself. You’re
taking away the value. You want to try to create loyalty and long
term business prosperity and you won’t do that by doing just offering
Moran offers this advice for companies seeking out partnerships:
is doing well and which relationships make sense. "You want to
make sure you’re not getting in bed with someone who you’re competing
with," says Moran. "You also have to make sure there’s value
for both partners in the alliance."
employees, for example, had to get certified by Oracle. "There
are certainly criteria that these companies have mapped out,"
says Moran. "The onus is on the smaller company to make it
a company that’s already attractive can afford to be pickier."
"The more familiar you are with your counterparts, the more
will be discussed back and forth," says Moran.
qualified, prepared, and committed," says Moran. "There are
certain thresholds you have to meet. Someone might come to us and
say if you don’t sell $2 million of our product this year you’re not
our partner next year."
"In this industry, it’s tough to be good at everything," says
Braun, "so we depend on a lot of different partners to provide
the breadth to what we’re doing."
— Melinda Sherwood
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