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Technical Validation

The challenge

A large enterprise software company was entering the burgeoning Windows database management program with a port from its high-end offering. However, the client had little or no track record with the Windows operating system and industry skepticism was very high and more established players had a significant head start in the market.

The activity

As part of a major visibility campaign, the client embarked upon an effort to demonstrate that it provided superior technology, pricing, and flexibility. A major facet was building long-term relationships with the technology analysts and columnists at top tier trade publications, such as eWeek, InfoWorld, and InformationWeek. Through regular, in-depth technology briefings, the client gradually demonstrated that its DBMS not only offered the power demanded by enterprises, the product's pricing, flexibility, ease of use, and range of platforms met or exceeded that of the competition.

Central to those efforts were early beta reviews, technology demonstrations, discussions with product development visionaries, and frequent education sessions. In addition, the feedback from the labs to the client was extraordinarily valuable, as the product development teams were able to incorporate some of the reviewer suggestions into subsequent versions. The crown jewel was an exclusive, on-site briefing to demonstrate a world record database benchmark costing millions of dollars.

The Results

Initially, reviews lauded the power of the product, but noted that the management tools lacked polish ("powerful, not pretty" read one review), but over time reviewers and columnists warmed to the product. The client improved the product, closed the gap with the DBMS competition, and ultimately took over leadership in the market, making the category a two-horse race. "Top Flight Database" read the headline of one review where the client's product earned analyst's choice.

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