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How would we distribute our Free Social learning management cloud platform?

We have built an application which helps you implement informal/social learning in the workplace. It has wiki, forum, social wall, chat, gamification, course creation tools (webcam recording, screen recording), build-in LMS etc. Its basically a platform to create and share knowledge, your mini corporate google.

Its a platform for companies to create, curate and find knowledge within the company. An average knowledge worker spends about 5-20% of the time finding the right info or right person or recreating same info which someone else had created earlier but could not be easily found.

We have a freemium version which can work for up to 50 users with all the features. Our goal at this point is to distribute this platform as quickly as we can in a cost effective manner. We are not really looking to monetize but let the users see the value first for 3 or 6 or 12 months without paying us. Its a cloud platform.

Here is the question: What technique/strategies/tools can we explore to distribute this free cloud platform to medium and big companies from top down or bottom up? By top down , I mean executives buying into the concept and sending it downstream or bottom up where managers or directors or employees try it within their group and expand within the organization with word of mouth.

7 Replies

Lawrence I Lerner
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Lawrence I Lerner Entrepreneur • Advisor
Digitalization and Transformation Coach
@Sach congratulations on your product launch. Organic product adoption is tough. Here are some questions
  • What problem do you solve for your customers?
  • How will your customers measures success? How have others?
  • What's the investment in time/resources your customer will require?
Writing some thought pieces (not sales) and publishing them to relevant @LinkedIn groups and other places will attract attention. The more metrics the better in your articles. You might try your hosting provider and see if they will load it as part of their installation packages. Adding links to business cards, flyers etc. (via QR codes?) is one way to get it into people's hands. It will be key to help people understand the value.

Another thought is that some states provide free data repositories. You might load up your tools and work with them to allow people to see the value. Try Meetups as well. Maybe ask the FD team if you can load their data and provide it free to members on this list.

Cheers

Uwe (Oova) Kleinschmidt
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CEO
Executives of bigger companies have other priorities than disrupting their current environment, and CIOs might just be the biggest road block.

Identify a group within the company, who are early adopters with the highest value gain and can be easily referenced later when the value has been delivered.

Be ready for a 3-9 months, even unpaid pilot.

Vijay Goel, MD
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Vijay Goel, MD Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder Chefalytics, Co-owner Bite Catering Couture, Independent consultant (ex-McKinsey)
It's going to be a pretty tough road in the US. Just went through this exercise with several clients and they can't use something that doesn't stay behind their firewall if it's operational. There are some project based exceptions with external consultants involved, but then the material must come down after the exercise.

You may want to see if you can leverage the project model and transform into something that can be operationalized, but security is going to be a major concern with your approach...organizations are just starting to get their heads around salesforce and the like...startups are quite a bit farther away.

Middle sized companies may be a target or porting through an approved app interface like Good or (can't remember the one in the education space)
Stephen Campbell, PMP
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Project Management Professional
And then there's the oversimplified approach. At the end of the day, you're selling to people, and hey let's face it... people buy from people they like. Get your golf game up and find where the right contacts are hitting them straight.

Either way, I wholeheartedly agree that your sales cycle is going to be very long initially. At least 9 months from the point in which the right decision maker says I do.

I was a top producer selling to the fortune 500. Again I've oversimplified it as there are many hurdles along that path, but at the end of the day relationships kill. In a good way.

Cheers!
Sach Chaudhari
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Sach Chaudhari Entrepreneur
CEO and Technical Director at Paradiso Solutions
Thanks Lawrence.

Vijay, Uve, Stephan, we already have 50+ customers through networking, marketing etc. My quest was more related to growth hacking than getting traction or 1 customer a month through enterprise sales cycle. But THANK YOU.
Ben Griffin
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Ben Griffin Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO Peer Group Facilitator | Executive Coach | Board of Directors | Strategic Thinking | Ben.Griffin@CEOIQ.com
Sach, Your Founder Dating post about your new 'Learning Workplace Application' got my attention... I operate a Peer Advisory Group organization in the Mid-Atlantic area - CEOIQ - (www.CEOIQ.com) - we currently have three groups with about 45 members - a significant part of our program is getting group members to engage with each other 'between meetings' (the groups meet once each month) - we've been working with our web development team to get improved features and functionality on our website (behind the membership paywall) that would engage our group members more effectively and get them using our website more. Your application sounds like a really interesting fit... My research indicates that there are about 400+ organizations like mine in the U.S. and Canada - that could be called 'independent' Peer Advisory organizations (there are a number of larger 'gorillas' in the space)...I have a regular monthly video conference call with 4 other entrepreneurs like myself who run similar smaller organizations around the U.S. and I'm thinking that this 'space' in the Executive Education / Learning Market could be an interesting way for you to achieve some 'beta test' users and get feedback...(Our members are typically successful CEO's who run their own privately held mid-market companies - in some cases, they would be candidates for using your app as well, so there is an added distribution possibility there as well). Since your app is a cloud platform, we would want to 'embed' it in our website or figure out some way for the link to your platform to be as transparent as possible and look like our Group Members were using our website and not going to a whole new 'domain' to access the features / functionality of your platform. If you are interested in some more dialogue, please let me know... Ben Griffin CEOIQ - Baltimore, MD, USA www.CEOIQ.com Ben.Griffin@CEOIQ.com
Peter Jones [LION: li.blueoyster~@~gmail.com]
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Peter Jones creates solutions for product USP, market messaging, team building, venture and other commercial capital
Empower your sales force.

Be they affiliate sales people or social influencers.

Give them the tools to do the job, and you can lighten your load and grow more quickly.

Key checklist:

1. Make sure the product delivers
2. Engage with your audiences
3. Incentivise sales folk

Good luck!
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