SBA Case Studies

Below you'll find a series of mini-case studies. We're offering these as a way to give you a glimpse into the kinds of services at which we excel. We're not limited to these types of engagements, however. Connect with us to get your questions answered!

For an International Banking and Brokerage Firm

Need: Engage top I.T. Consulting Talent to deliver on multiple projects within the Fixed Income Technology Organization.

Challenge: Losing out to faster moving competitors for interviewing and hiring key consultants to finish competitive advantaged tools for users.

Solution: Evolve a program which reduces time to delivery of qualified candidates to 48 hours from original 2 week timeline, eliminate losses of top candidates to competing Banking and Brokerage firms, and educate hiring managers on the process and advantages of using the differentiated service.

Result: The firm engaged 85 consultants in the U.S. within a 6 month period. Based upon initial success of the program the offering was launched in the U.K. and the firm grew its key I.T. Developer team by 25 in that marketplace as well. As a result the client was able to out-compete other Banking and Brokerage firms for top talent and deliver on its I.T. development initiatives. The program was marked as a significant success for the client and the client-side engagement

For Chateau Safflyn, LLC—Rostropovich Mansion

Need: Cut cost of overall operating budget and eliminate fossil fuel heating while reducing carbon footprint in 8,300 sq ft mansion and keep cost lowered for sustainable future.

Challenge: No proven solution for lowering heating costs in existing electric, wood or geothermal, limited budget, extreme weather conditions.

Solution: Removed existing Gas furnace, Propane Boiler & electrical HVAC system. Created hybrid solar/electric hot water heating system at low cost that purchases off-site wind-power. Lowered electrical bill by switching to CFL & LED lights, install new energy star appliances, create low energy geo-thermal air conditioning system, installed new commercial water filtration “iron curtain” to protect pipes & household water supplies, used no-VOC paints on interior, establish recycling program, composting pit, sustainable gardens, purchased “antique” second hand furniture, installed solar garden & landscape lighting.

Result: Creating carbon neutral solutions for our building helped us reduce our costs by more than 60%. We cut our heating bill from $2,600 a month to $600. We lowered our water usage by 50%. Our investment has been repaid in 10 months. Our carbon footprint has been more than halved.

For an International Fortune 100 Operating Systems Software Company

Need: C-level team to make their first trip to China.

Challenge: To make 7 US executives culturally sensitive to doing business in the oldest civilization in the world.

Solutions: Delivered a very tailored China briefing report personally to each executive and prepared everyone individually to suit his/her visit, agenda and counterparts. We then accompanied the senior managers during their entire stay, determined to make them feel comfortable and interested in an alien land. One way was to take them to markets and advise them on how to negotiate prices for themselves; another was to introduce a Chinese CMO to an American CMO.

Result: Both sides soon realized there wasn’t too much difference between themselves - even down to their twin boys.

For a Leading US Technology Firm

Challenge: Required 2nd opinion on local China operation.

Solution: Because Chinese society is very polite, we had to use different tactics to get answers for the headquarters office, especially in the case of the General Manager and Country Manager.

Results: We allowed the General Manager to “save face” and he facilitated our return to attend his executive briefing for the Marketing Leaders. Alternate findings were discovered, through the use of triangulation, in parallel and independent research we conducted.

For a US Software Firm

Need: To understand why a US software company, with a viable and popular product in the US and some overseas markets, could not break into Germany.

Challenge: Concerned that US competitors were outgrowing it, with negative potential effect on its planned IPO.

Solution: Survey the competitive market in Germany to check that potential customers understood the value proposition, engage with the market sector Systems Integrators to discover what alternative products were dominant and generate a road map that would allow the US company to crack the German market.

Result: The US software vendor undertook a relatively simple development project to overcome the perceived technology weakness, localization project was started and the Systems Integrators who contributed to the first phase of the project, recruited as the first German partners. The company was acquired before its planned IPO date.

For a UK Venture Capital Firm

Need: UK Venture Capital company was disappointed by the progress of one of its investments in the software industry that was demanding yet another round of funding.

Challenge: To understand why costs continued to grow faster than sales.

Solution: Engage the consultant as Head of Sales for a limited period to lead the small sales force and turn funnel into pipeline, while investigating the cost base. Formalize the sales reporting structure and recruit or train a sales manager for the longer time horizon.

Result: The VC company received a very quick report on the mystery of the revenue versus costs question so that it was able to decide how much to invest further and under what constraints. The introduction of a formal sales reporting package allowed an internal candidate to be promoted to Sales Manager and a buyer was found for the company within 12 months.

For a European Sporting Goods Brand

Need: Company extending sales and marketing to China.

Challenge: The marketing team travels in 6 months to China and need to learn quickly about the marketplace.

Solution: Researched, prepared and delivered a nation-wide market sector report including photos, price points, complete list of competitors, government policy-making bodies and its future plans.

For a US Publisher Wrestling with Licensing Issues

Need: A division of a company needed to break through some walls being erected by the licensee in China.

Challenge: Although the division manager was experienced with 30 other international licensees, despite several months of correspondence and communications with the Chinese licensees, the project was not moving forward.

Solution: Travel to Beijing on behalf of the New York firm to meet with the managers and president. Negotiated, and urged partner to explore options. We came up with several flexibilities that management could use to satisfy the licensor’s requests.

Results: That same evening, the Chinese management team sent a letter to NY accepting all of licensor’s guidelines - this enabled the project to finish on time and on budget for my client, the US publisher.

For Teleo—a VOIP company

Need: Teleo was a new company, positioned to be the primary contender to compete head-on with the then–VOIP leader, Skype. But this solution offered so much more, and great business applications.

Challenge: Multiple VoIP products on the market. Launch scheduled at one of the world’s biggest new product stages: DEMO. Fierce competition required clear communication about why this company was so above the rest.

Solution: We primed the pump: in this case, the pump was the press. We assembled a team of ace media relations pros and set to work at CES – 3 weeks prior to DEMO. We established “LIMO DEMOS” which, under NDA, we used to drive key journalists from one appointment to another, making full use of their time and our product exposure. We also went on two press tours prior to DEMO, all to get the journalists fully exposed to both Teleo and its unique selling proposition.

Results: At DEMO, Peter Sisson, CEO, received the coveted DEMO GOD award. On announcement date, Teleo received a full page article in Newsweek - page 14 - by renowned journalist Steven Levy. The “blogosphere” took off immediately, with celebrated blogger Robert Scoble calling it “the Skype Killer.” Hundreds of articles appeared – and in fact, instead of reaching our goal of 1000 users in the first week, we reached 10,000 in the first two days. We aggressively sought speaking engagements for Sisson and co-created and managed a marketing partnership with Avis rental cars to distribute copies of the software along with VoIP headsets to all Elite-level customers. We developed and executed several press receptions, that kept the Teleo name alive and in front of several different audiences. But before we could make the product available for sale, Teleo was acquired by Microsoft.