IHS Markit Customer Recognition (CR): What were the organization's strategic business goals?
Burton: This particular organization has a number of very well-defined strategic and business goals. Operating in an era of increasing austerity in terms of defense budgets and defense markets, this organization really needs to find the next "land of opportunity". Where else can it look to pitch its products and its services? Historically, this group has sold in markets that are well-defined in Western Europe and North America. But as those markets face increasing challenges in terms of their defense budgets, their contracting and procurement programs, this company needs to look around the world. It needs to ascertain where else on the planet it can start to invest. Therefore, this company looks to new markets in Asia-Pacific, in sub-Saharan Africa, and even in parts of Central Asia to try and understand where else it can look to sell its products and its services. The problem is, of course, this organization does not have a particularly large amount of experience dealing in these new markets. It needs to understand, therefore, where the key opportunities lie. Which countries fall within its sweet spot? Where are the requirements for its products? Which countries within Asia-Pacific, for example, are keen to purchase the sort of solutions that this company can provide?
CR: What challenges did this organization face to achieve its goals?
Burton: The primary challenge, of course, is the deluge of information that will hit the end user's desk every day as they log on. A number of the sources that the analysts will use will come from various blogs in the blogosphere, from Google searches, etc. It becomes very difficult for that analyst to build a cogent, coherent picture based on data of high fidelity and quality. These problems are exacerbated when the analyst community, who will use this data, are tasked to come up with some very short turnaround projects by senior management. Where do they go? How do they know which data sources to use, particularly when there are countries that they have no experience in? It can often be like searching for a needle in a haystack to find that piece of information that's absolutely paramount to enable them to pursue their avenues of investigation in the right way. Of course, the dangers inherent in that (strategy) is that the final products that these analysts will produce and present to their senior management may be based on flawed assumptions. That will be counterintuitive to the organization's ability to be successful in these markets.
CR: How is this organization working with IHS Markit to address those challenges?
Burton: This particular organization uses a whole range of solutions from IHS Markit in order to help meet its information challenges. Primarily, they come from the defense industry portfolio, which looks at global defense budget forecasting, a defense procurement strategy, and also market forecasts across an array of different products and hardware and services. They use this information as the foundation for a lot of their strategic planning. Not only do they use it day in and day out, where this customer really gains benefit from IHS Markit is in its relationship with our analysts. This group has told us on several occasions that without access to our analysts and that flow of information and exchange of ideas between themselves and our analyst community, their ability to prosecute their strategic plans would be far lower and less successful.
CR: What results has the organization achieved by working with IHS Markit?
Burton: By using IHS Markit data and solutions, this organization is achieving results that ordinarily it wouldn't be able to. A great example of this is where they used our market forecast product to help them pinpoint an exact opportunity within a market in Asia where it hadn't done business before. It used that market forecast product, which is a significantly large database of various records and forecasts to whittle down its opportunity to a certain product type. It then came back to our analysts, and we helped them assess whether or not its product fitted this opportunity. We gave them the confidence to then invest more heavily within this particular market, focused on this one RFI and RFP that ultimately led to a successful sale within this marketplace. We helped them save time. We helped them establish their footprint in the market. And the customer, in a closed environment—defense customers aren't ordinarily keen to share their success stories—they came to us and they said, "Without you, we would not have been able to achieve this success." You can't have a more powerful indication of IHS Markit's ability to help customers than that.
They came to us and they said, 'Without you, we would not have been able to achieve this success.' You can't have a more powerful indication of IHS Markit's ability to help customers than that.