Land and expand!

A smart manager will establish a culture of gratitude. Expand the appreciative attitude to suppliers, vendors, delivery people, and of course, customers.”
Harvey Mackay
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Over the years, I’ve noticed an approach that is used by some OSS solution integrators / vendors but interestingly, not by others. It’s what’s known as “land and expand.”

It’s when the supplier manages to develop a small OSS foothold and then leverages that into a progressively larger slice of the customer’s OSS pie. It’s particularly prevalent with the suppliers that have a larger ratio of services to product. These suppliers are adept at expanding their services workforce to assist the customer.

Some may see this as sinister (and in some cases it is), but if the expansion is at the customer’s behest because the services staff are delivering much more value than cost, then this is a great outcome for all involved.

The contrast is the vendors that do a product drop, with a few services staff for product implementation, but little ongoing support other than maintenance. This may sound more pure, but in my opinion this is a lost opportunity for both vendor and customer. The vendor loses the potential to help refine and improve the product and the customer misses the ongoing value-add that the vendor can deliver using their OSS.

The value of an OSS is increasingly derived from new insights and efficiencies that are refined over time so the land and expand approach isn’t always as sinister as it first might seem.

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