Creating a new category "FIELD-READY" computing solutions enabled an entry-level manufacturer of data storage products to secure a hold in the C4ISR (Computers, Command, Control Communications, Surveillance & Reconnaissance) specialized niche of the military market.
The DoD (Department of Defense) is not a market that is easily penetrated. Solutions for products are developed in response to written RFP's (Requests for Proposals) handed off to the major DoD systems integrators, who then look for specialized subsystems manufacturers.
To succeed, a small company must make itself attractive to integrators, but also come to the attention of high ranking leaders within the Military, who also direct integrators attention to solutions providers surfacing on their radar.
Everything in the Military is custom. Each program for the Navy, Air force, Army, Marines or Special Forces has specialized requirements. Environmental specifications are extreme, while volumes are extremely low, when compared to commercial markets. Designing and growing a brand in a market where you can not have full insight is an exciting challenge. Z Microsystems was determined to take a stance and leverage ad-hoc special order requests, into effective product development for a broader segment within the Military markets.
Vladymir Rogov served as a bridge between the customer and engineering. On one side, developing the positioning statement, communications materials and design concepts which resonated with the customers, and on the other side guiding engineering to accurate and cost effective solutions.
In concert at the front-end with each sales person as new product sales opportunities surfaced, Rogov developed a process to quickly evaluate and establish effective design and development parameters and procedures. This provided engineers with a working process to address every sales opportunity, quickly and efficiently. Product designs progressed through detail design and validation to order completion.
Rogov also developed a brand's flagship web-site with finely tuned keywords which brought the company to rank on the first page of all search engines. The web-site also became a customer portal and directed lead inquiries to the sales force.
The communications machine was rounded out with integrated collateral materials and messaging systems, including a highly effective FIELD-READY Internet-based quotation submitting system, which plugged into a web-based CRM system.
A monthly email-newsletter was also developed and distributed with the sole purpose to share "inside Z Microsystems" insight, customer stories.
An Internet field-forum was established to provide the FIELD-READY community with a platform for conversation, to discuss and share on-the-fly updates and insights.
Sales grew as Z Microsystems' " FIELD-READY" brand cemented a position as the trusted authority for rugged military computing equipment.
A reputation as the One-Stop-Shop for COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) computing solutions was set. Customers were attracted to the competitive advantages of Microsystems' products in addition to rugged and "cool", customizable features.
Over six years, annual revenues grew from a pots-and-pans type business of $4M to $18M with a $22M back log.