There was a time about five years ago and more when I would delete an online press release just by the sound of its title. Now, not only do I read them all, but I catalog them, file them for future use, and drill down to create more research than the vendor saw fit to include. It's a lot of work, but it pays off if increasing one's knowledge is the goal.I can't say that I have a favorite vendor when it comes to this turnaround. They all seemed to have attended the same seminar on how to write interesting papers. One simple correction is this. Before it was, "Look at us." Now it's, "Look at them." Vendors talk about their customers and their experiences.
The emphasis these days is on "news." Everything I read is something I didn't know.
What are banks buying? There's an exhibit in my report [Automation in Banking - 2009] called "Popular Applications That Banks Are Buying." That's by the numbers (Top 10), but sometimes it's nice to know what is selling that is not so popular. Press releases will tell you.
When I was a freshman in college every business student had to take Marketing 101. It was a gut course because so much of the content was obvious. That's why decades later I couldn't understand why some vendors never released the names of their customers. Now they all do, and they sometimes have quotes from real people who sing the praises of their vendor.
New patterns of solution acquisitions are occurring. Recently I blogged about the importance these days of ancillary applications. A bank in Wisconsin provided specific evidence of that when they acquired 16 ancillary applications along with the core system from their vendor. Mutual of Omaha acquired 11 ancillary solutions along with their core system.
There's no better way to learn what a vendor can do than when they sell it. And that's what press releases tell us. With flat revenue for the top six bank tech vendors in 2009 (and I mean flat - $10.6 billion vs. $10.6 billion), I have a feeling that the most important division for all these companies will be Sales & Marketing.