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Case Studies

Platform Computing

For 17 years, Platform was the leader in the niche field of high-performance computing. In 2009, Platform made the bold decision to move into the much larger and faster growing enterprise-computing markets of cloud and big data. Platform’s experience and expertise was a good fit, but the competitors were iconic companies. How did Platform transform from a relatively unknown company to become a credible player in cloud and big data? It did so in two ways. It focused not on the broad-based cloud market, but rather on the emerging space of private cloud and big data favored by large enterprises. It embraced a challenger brand stance by establishing a compelling positioning platform and rallying cry around a provocative point-of-view: Clusters, Grids, Clouds, Whatever. Everything flowed from that – product decisions, sales training, messaging, analyst relations, biz dev, go-to-market efforts. In two years, Platform achieved what it set out to do. It grew at double-digit rates, attracted new talent, won new important enterprise relationships, generated credibility with customers, analysts and the media for its newest products, and it got noticed. And, in so doing it attracted the interest of IBM which acquired Platform in November 2011.


The situation was dire for PTC during the winter of 2001/2002. Competitors were taking market share; revenue was falling dramatically; Wall Street targets were missed two quarters in a row; cash was shrinking; and the stock was trading at an all-time low.  How the company responded to this critical moment forever changed the future of the enterprise. Expectedly, it severely cut costs. More importantly, it also invested in its future by developing a corporate positioning platform that was not only instrumental in lifting the company to new levels, but it also revitalized a highly undervalued market space into a value-creating enterprise endeavor. The Way to Product First was both a rallying cry for the industry and PTC as well as a roadmap to creating and capturing value in product development. This thought leadership effort, combined with a renewed focus on the customer base, provided PTC with the time to build an innovative product development system that soon became the software platform of choice for manufacturing companies. Today, PTC is leading its market space with healthy financials.


In 2011 SundaySky undertook the challenging steps to transform their highly unique, closely held, technology-centric company into a powerful, scalable, world-class player in the emerging space of real-time video communications. The company had excellent technological and product underpinnings, but it lacked two fundamental assets needed to rapidly scale a high-potential business. First, SundaySky needed to significantly upgrade its market-facing talent. It did just that with the hiring of a President/Chief Revenue Officer who had helped scale a prior company to over $100 million in revenue and a public currency. Second, SundaySky lacked a core positioning platform that was highly relevant, differentiating, and compelling. The solution was to name a new category of real-time, data driven, intelligent video-based communications, and associate the company as the leader of that highly valuable space. The strap line captures the essence of the positioning work on all dimensions: SundaySky. Where SmartVideo is. The positioning and the new narrative was rolled out this past winter on the completely overhauled Stay tuned to see how SundaySky capitalizes on its big opportunity.