The factory in the center

Seth Godin talks about how an entire generation of manufacturing was based on the single drive shaft layout of an industrial factory and asks the question: What if you produce a service or traffic in ideas?  This prompted me to think about how our organization is structured and what drives how we do what we do.

At our core E-By Design is a consulting organization.  We work with other organizations to understand their business, their needs and their technology.  Then we work with them to make sure all those things align.  Sometimes this results in software development, sometimes in PR and marketing.  Sometimes this results in short term engagements, sometimes in symbiotic relationships.  But the primary driver of all of this is the business, needs and goals of our clients.  We build our “factory” around that.  But what does that look like from an operational point of view?

When I look at the past year and the efforts we've put into selling a platform, evangelizing a new direction for software development and defining what we do to marketers, I begin to understand our challenges.  Inherently, we're not setup to be successful finding buyers for a solution to a problem we've defined.  Its important to understand that we're not a product company.  We don't want to be a product company.  So its not about capturing a market and selling a solution to that market.  Its about re-orienting our processes to service our clients needs rather than define ourselves by our clients needs.
So, what do we want to be the primary driver of our organization?  One of the mandates of our organization is getting enterprise class software in the hands of those that can't afford to develop it on their own.  While to some extent this is a product mentality, it always seems to express itself as a service offering.  I think that fundamentally the software-as-a-service  model appeals because it allows us to redefine our organization around a better driver:
We always have our services to improve Staff can always be working on support and maintenance of the services Income is dissociated from effort marketing has functionality to match to a client Seth Godin talks about how an entire generation of manufacturing was based on the single drive shaft layout of an industrial factory and asks the question: What if you produce a service or traffic in ideas?(
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/03/the-factory-in-the-center.html)  This prompted me to think about how our organization is structured and what drives how we do what we do.
At our core E-By Design is a consulting organization.  We work with other organizations to understand their business, their needs and their technology.  Then we work with them to make sure all those things align.  Sometimes this results in software development, sometimes in PR and marketing.  Sometimes this results in short term engagements, sometimes in symbiotic relationships.  But the primary driver of all of this is the business, needs and goals of our clients.  We build our “factory” around that.  But what does that look like from an operational point of view?
Its not a perfect model.  A mentor told me recently that a software product has to have two forms of revenue:  subscription and licensing.  The transaction/monthly/yearly subscription has to support the tender care and feeding of the application.  The licensing of the software to new organizations defines corporate revenues.  I think for E-By Design, the SAAS offering must be a platform upon which we can solve our clients needs.  We don't sell the service as is, we bolt on solutions to our clients needs to a base platform.

Now to figure out how to make that happen.