I joined Sybase to lead product marketing for their mobility initiatives. Sybase had three lines of business: database technologies, analytics, and mobility, with mobility being a new addition to their product offering. Shortly after I began working with Sybase, they were acquired by SAP, and the scope of responsibility expanded exponentially, as the team I lead was now responsible for enabling mobility to the entire global SAP machine. The product marketing and product management teams I managed were the key enablers that took SAP from a standing start to over $200 million in revenue in less than eighteen months.
I was responsible for Product Marketing and Product Management for three separate lines of business; a Mobile Enterprise Applications Platform, a Mobile Device and Applications Management system, as well as a Mobile Consumer Applications Platform. After the SAP acquisition, this expanded to include white label App Stores as a delivery mechanism. We targeted primarily large-scale enterprise companies (e.g. Halliburton, Disney, etc.) within the SAP ecosystem.
Product Marketing was primarily focused on enabling the SAP sales force, which numbered in the low thousands, across seventy+ countries. We developed and delivered sales training for all three product lines; this included creating the materials, delivering new and updated training courses and associated materials on a quarterly basis, developing a very broad range of collateral including webinars, virtual brochures, competitive analysis studies, videos, customer facing demos and presentations, as well as materials geared to the information needs of the developer, analyst, and media communities. I also played point when dealing with industry analysts or technology media and was (and still am) an active blogger.
Our go-to-market execution was persona-based, and followed the Pragmatic Marketing framework. This approach worked really well, and was a key element in our hitting our revenue targets as quickly as we did. I have an extensive array of samples of the types of materials I developed for SAP.
I inherited a group of product managers shortly after the acquisition occurred, who were segmented along product lines, two product managers per product line. Their primary focus was working with Engineering to create and maintain product roadmaps, gathering customer and channel requirements and sequencing them into the product backlog, defining use case scenarios and mapping them to product specifications, and delivering a technical product message to the analyst community; essentially textbook product management functions.
The operational context for this was dealing with a very dynamic mobile industry ecosystem; I spent a lot of time working with people at Apple, Google, RIM, IBM, and Motorola (prior to their acquisition by Google), since our software enabled the device manufacturers to take their products into the enterprise space. Apple was surprisingly easy to work with, Google was more of a challenge, since they tended to throw Android over the wall and let the device manufacturers worry about the details, RIM was noisy and demanding, but clearly had problems, as did Motorola until they were acquired by Google.
We delivered on average twelve major product releases per year across three product lines; each release was a fully globalized, enterprise-grade feature release, that generated over $10 million per month in revenue.