In a 2009 post, I commented on a key difference between WeDo’s strategy and those pursued by their main competitors:
WeDo has expanded horizontally, by repositioning its technology to provide solutions to other industries, moving outside of the telecoms vertical.
There is a big difference between a business strategy, and marketing spin that purports to be strategy. Any firm might land the occasional oddball customer that does not fit their usual profile, but that is not the same as investing in a purposeful strategy to extend their share in new markets. With the announcement of not one but two new retail customers – in the US and Russia – WeDo is winning prizes for playing their long game. WeDo adapted their RAID business assurance suite for companies in the retail sector, and branded it RAID Retail in 2011, but their strategy of pursuing non-telco customers was established long before then. And that, after all, is the point of a business strategy: you pursue it over a course of years. In terms of strategy, WeDo has followed a clearer path than some of their muddled rivals. And we should not underestimate the importance of first mover advantage and building critical mass; rival business assurance vendors wanting to expand outside of the telecoms vertical need to take note of this latest announcement. The potential scale of the market being chased by WeDo was underlined by Maria José Gonçalves, their director responsible for the retail sector:
“Being selected by leading electronics retailers in two of the world’s biggest markets is a sign of the innovation and thought leadership that we strive to bring to the retail sector. This is another important step in growing the retail side of our business and we look forward to developing our customer base further in this area as well as with grocery and fashion retailers that have similar needs.”
WeDo’s new US and Russian customers are both retailers of electronic goods. João Moita, WeDo’s Regional VP for Northern, Central and Eastern Europe, emphasized that:
“Electronics retailers have particular areas of interest that can benefit from specific controls available in the RAID package.”
There may be another area of linkage between retail and telecoms that WeDo, and others, need to anticipate. Traditional retail has been hit hard by the growth in online sales. Meanwhile, Amazon is heavily rumoured to be moving on from the Kindle and are developing their own smartphone…