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StartupBD: Of endpoints and BD

March 29, 2016

In the cloud, everyone is making a connection.

Cloud companies partner to connect processes, to connect dataflows, to connect user-experiences, and to connect go-to-market strategies, all to make customers more successful.

Cloud apps tend to do one or a few things really well, and then connect to an ecosystem of other apps with other features in order to create a broad solution. Unlike software of the past, cloud apps are architected to be rapidly deployed, and rapidly integrated.

When integrations work well, a customer’s data passes effortlessly from one app to another letting end-users accomplish more tasks, collaborate more effectively, better manage processes and get more value across their entire IT environment.

On the tech side, the responsibility for connecting to other software is handled via protocols, APIs, or other endpoints.

The human equivalent of these endpoint is the BD person. BD figures out the policies and business model of who can access the endpoint.

The proliferation of cloud apps increase the need for secure endpoints and for BD policies/business models. Cloud software is easy to deploy, and easy to rip out. Connecting to other software entrenches a cloud app within a customer’s environment, creating that elusive “sticky” factor we all crave.

But we crave sticky with a purpose.

Across the industry, smart companies have moved past the notion of connection-for-connections sake. Increasingly, endpoint access is governed by well-defined terms. Ecosystems can still be large and open, but the good ones are now better organized and exist for a defined business purpose.

Organizing these ecosystems is the responsibility of an ever more sophisticated BD function. BD is no longer measured by the size of their ecosystems, but rather the value those ecosystems bring to the company.

Successful BD people work to create more value-added solutions for customers by leveraging a high-quality ecosystem. With this ecosystem, BD has the opportunity to create new go-to-market initiatives that drive increased value for (1) their company, (2) their partners and (3) ultimately the joint customers.

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