– By Steve Robins
The 5 Solution Requirements
Let’s face it, the word “solution” is often derided. Why? Because all too often, marketers and tech companies act as if adding the word “solution” to the end of an offering immediately transforms it into a solution. And they’d be wrong.
So what makes a solution a solution?
To be a solution, an offering must:
(1) Solve a business problem
You must be able to answer the question, “The solution to the problem is….” It’s just not a solution unless it solves a defined business problem.
(2) Provide value
Benefit = benefit less cost. The solution must provide a business benefit to the user that is greater than the total cost to deploy the solution. Let’s face it, if the solution doesn’t provide value, it’s not really solving the problem in an effective manner.
(3) Go beyond technology
Surprise – #1! Technology alone does not solve problems. Technology may be important but it’s just a part of a solution. Also think about who will use the technology, what business processes they use, the content/data they’ll need to run those processes. Incorporate those elements from your company and partners, and you’ll have a complete solution. Hint: it’s not a solution if it only includes code.
(4) Include services
Oftentimes, services are required to provide a complete solution to a business problem. Services can include everything from strategy to integration, deployment and training to hosting and tech support. You or your partners can provide those services.
(5) Extend beyond your company
Surprise #2: chances are, your company can’t do everything. That’s why a complete solution often needs to include partner technologies, services and information to completely solve the problem.