Transforming ideas into reality.

Working hand-in-hand with our Marketing & Sales Practice, our Product & Service Practice helps you ensure you get those great ideas on product and service offerings into the hands of your customers all the while creating compelling differentiators to beat the competition and enable a win-win partner ecosystem.  Whether you’re a start-up or established company, the volume of product requirements always seems to exceed your number of resources.  There are a myriad of issues to address such as how do we build a set of requirements that match our available resources? How do we balance functional priorities vs. infrastructure priorities? Which parts of our product should we we build vs. buy vs. partner/OEM? How much of our effort should be on “productizing” vs. meeting unique customer needs?  How do we know that what we’re building will meet customer needs?  What services should we bundle with the product vs. charge for?  How do we engage our partners?

Examples of the services we can assist with include:

Market Requirements Definition Driving innovation is a significant challenge.  Customers and employees often complain about the lack of new features/functions yet you have an overwhelming backlog of requirements–there so much opportunity, so little resources.  The Octane Group leverages its expertise  in leading product and engineering teams through a product requirements process—whether it’s Version 1.0 or 10.0.  We can facilitate a cross–functional team of people or work with existing product managers to ensure that the market requirements meet customer requirements, timeframe goals and resource constraints.

Product Management Process — For a 15–person company, the process of making decisions on product requirements and release plans involves only a few people and can be managed by a meeting in the hallway! But as you grow in size and customer base, suddenly the product management process grows in complexity and involves coordinating the requirements and constraints of multiple internal and external constituencies – marketing, sales, engineering, finance, as well customers, partners, prospects. The Octane Group has experience building product management organizations and executing the product management process. We can help you to design a “right size” product management process that fits your company’s resources and needs. We’ll help you define the organizational roles, processes and timeline with action items, deliverables and milestones to implement your “right size” product management practice.

Product Roadmap Development —  One of the toughest things for any company to develop is a product roadmap that’s accurate, easy–to–understand, and makes best use of the company’s limited resources to maximize revenue.   It’s critical to take into consideration all of the potential audiences for the roadmap—internal, industry analysts, investors, customer, prospects and partners. Although the roadmap is often distilled into a 1-page graphical view, it’s one of the most important tools for communicating product direction and how it ties to the overall company strategy.

M&A Integration Mergers and acquisitions are a common occurrence as markets evolve and mature.  A key decision that is the responsibility of your product management and corporate development organizations is that of achieving growth via build vs. buy.  Often, a goal of an M&A is to achieve product and technical synergies by merging products and teams into a more cost–effective and streamlined unit. The Octane Group has experience in identifying M&A targets, developing the business case of why 1+1=3, as well as working through the internal and external communication of the M&A process.  While easy on paper, the merger of two organizations is often quite difficult in practice. We work with your team to determine what product or architecture areas to merge, the organizational structure into which to merge the teams and a project plan that identifies the action items, owners, milestones and timeframes for creating the most effective results with minimal disruption to day-to-day operations.

Training Curriculum and Courseware Development — As companies hit a growth curve, they begin to need a formal education program to train customers and partners. Not only is it difficult to find resources that are skilled in learning development methodologies and traditional learning management system solutions, but who also have experience in leveraging today’s community oriented technologies such as social software to deliver “YouTube” for the enterprise.  The Octane Group has experience helping companies to design the right curriculum and courseware for their stage of company and type of product ranging from traditional instructor-led training curriculum, to self-paced computer based training modules, to launching a social networking solution designed to leverage the experience, expertise, and contribution of all employees.

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