From Niche Player to Broad Market Acceptance

Challenge

When Toronto-based Platform Computing hired Bateman Group in 2009, the company was already a well-established leader in the niche market for high performance computing (HPC). Platform was profitable and successful by many measures; however, many years had passed since the market for “grid” and “cluster” computing solutions captivated the attention of the technology media and Silicon Valley in general. In addition, perceptions that Platform’s technologies were too difficult, complex and expensive for broad acceptance in the enterprise were preventing the company from entering new markets, slowing growth. What the market didn’t know was that these same technology assets were well-suited for building and managing Private Clouds. The challenge was to overcome legacy perceptions of the company and establish Platform Computing as a player in Private Cloud Management — a tall order in a market that pitted well-funded hot new start-ups against publicly traded tech stars like VMware.

Strategy

Platform’s advantage was clearly rooted in the fact that the company’s distributed computing technology was 10-15 years ahead of its time. Bateman Group recognized this advantage and focused Platform’s messaging on the similarities between management of clusters and grids in an HPC environment and the requirements of the new cloud computing paradigm. This was first demonstrated via the launch of Platform’s first private cloud management product, Platform ISF, which was unveiled along with a new corporate brand identity and company tagline: “Clusters, Grids, Clouds, Whatever…”
Building on that launch, the Bateman Group embarked on a series of traditional and social media campaigns for Platform to help the company maintain visibility in the larger IT industry over the long term. This included placing speakers at events such as Interop, Cloud Slam and the Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Conference, and the pursuit of product awards produced by InfoWorld, Computerworld and the International Business Awards.

Bateman Group placed a high emphasis on proving Platform’s impact through testimonials featuring high-profile customers, such as CERN, Harvard Medical School and Red Bull Racing. In addition, the Bateman team helped Platform to launch and maintain a company blog and Twitter presence to expand visibility beyond traditional media channels.

Concurrently, Bateman Group helped re-position the company’s legacy HPC products for new vertical markets, actually helping to drive adoption of these solutions in lucrative new industries. More recently, the team was tasked with helping Platform enter the enterprise data analytics market via the launch of a new product based on Hadoop Map/Reduce, a programming model and software framework for writing applications that rapidly process vast amounts of data in parallel on large clusters of compute nodes.

Results

Bateman has helped transform the perception of Platform into a viable, leading vendor in the Private Cloud Management market. The program turned a significant corner in April 2011 with the release of a Forrester report evaluating the 15 Top Private Cloud Management vendors. The report ranked Platform’s ISF solution first out of 15, ahead of companies like CA, Eucalyptus, HP, IBM, Microsoft and VMware. Bateman has also established strong reciprocal relationships for Platform with prominent cloud, HPC and financial services media including: Derrick Harris of GigaOM; Timothy Prickett Morgan of The Register; Jon Brodkin of Network World; Michael Feldman and Nicole Hemsoth of HPCwire; Dana Gardner of ZDNet; and Rob Daly of Sell-Side Technology. Cultivating these relationships over a two-year period positioned Platform well for its next foray into enterprise analytics, which garnered more than 40 articles and has given the company a jumpstart into yet another hot market.

Today, Platform is no longer perceived as a niche player with old technology based far outside the Silicon Valley mainstream. Through the power of PR, Bateman Group turned what were once liabilities (20 year history, remote location, complex technology) into brand assets, successfully re-positioning Platform as a Cloud Computing innovator with true staying power.

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