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IT / Telco Practice



Comprehensive Competitor Investigations

(These one-time or periodic “baseline assessments” oftentimes precede or are complementary to our continuous, systematic competitor monitoring program.)

Assess your core and emerging competitors’ current and planned activities, organizational structure, cost structure, financials at the business unit or product line levels, and business practices in various functional areas (e.g., sales and marketing, HR, R&D, manufacturing, service/support, etc.)

Investigate how a competitor’s current and former customers perceive and rate the company and its products on specific evaluation criteria (e.g., product quality [both pre- and post-installation], industry knowledge, service & support, etc.)

Analyze competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, define well-substantiated threat scenarios of competitors’ likely future actions and their impact on your business, and produce tactical “sell-against” tools for your sales force (and channel) to win against competitors

Recommend specific offensive and defensive actions to attack competitors’ strengths and exploit their weaknesses.

Continuous, Systematic Competitor Monitoring

Typically starts with a comprehensive CI baseline investigation, assessing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, positioning strategies and tactics, and anticipated moves (see Comprehensive Competitor Investigations for more details)

Based on initial assessment, systematically track key CI variables on a monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or ad hoc basis.

Investigate competitors’ upcoming product introductions, alliances, threats and opportunities, product delivery mechanisms, product development activities, sales force structure, pricing practices, and how they sell against you.

Validate rumors, hypotheses, and assumptions heard or developed by your field sales force, product management, R&D, legal, and other sources.

Provide interim intelligence briefings (at least weekly), respond rapidly to your ad hoc CI inquiries, update CI tracking matrices, and participate in your company’s “war room” meetings/conference calls.

Issue “red alert” briefings as part of real-time CI monitoring; implement a fast, reliable early warning system.

Sales & Marketing Intelligence:
Pre-Sales Account Intelligence

Identify your target accounts’ key decision makers, decision influencers, “hot button” issues and trigger points, purchasing decision criteria, budgets, purchasing decision process and associated timelines, planned projects, current products used and motivations to replace them, perceived strengths and weaknesses of current product vs. possible substitutes (including your company’s product), etc.

Uncover purchasing accelerators or obstacles that may impact the target account’s ability or willingness to make a buying decision in the near future.

Evaluate competitors’ sales methods and tactics, how they sell against you, and how you can sell more effectively against them.

Gain insights into customers’ expectations and needs during the sales process.

Equip your sales force (or channel partners) with tactical “sell-against” tools for immediate use.

Present findings in an actionable format to help your salespeople shorten sales cycles, implement proactive account management, increase probability to win competitive bids, and increase customer loyalty and retention rates in the context of consultative solutions selling and partnering strategies.

Win-Loss Tracking Program

Select strategic accounts recently lost to the competition or lost by your competitors.

Investigate reasons why these accounts selected the competition’s offerings, probing for specific weaknesses at the product, sales process, price/value, and value-added services levels

Understand how competitors win business from you, how they sell against you, how competitors’ customers view you, and how to most effectively modify your sales and positioning techniques.

Recommend actionable steps to modify your customer value proposition, change product/service mix, sell more effectively against the competition, introduce product bundling strategies, alter marcom strategy, and/or modify the sales strategy and tactics.

Optimize sales productivity, competitive win rates, and account acquisition and retention rates.

Sales & Marketing Intelligence:
Competitive Messaging & Branding

Investigate competitors’ brand strategy, brand value proposition, key customer values, and messaging tactics for different target markets.

Identify the market’s perceptions of your brand vs. competitors’ brands to determine the effectiveness of your marketing message.

Uncover how your target markets view your company and products within your industry.

Define appropriate messaging/branding to achieve optimal competitive differentiation, maximum customer recall, and desired association of brand with key customer perceptions.

Competitive Benchmarking

Select a group of companies in your industry and/or other industries that are known to set the standard in an operational, marketing, customer satisfaction, and/or product quality area (e.g., Malcolm Baldridge Award-winning companies, etc.)

Investigate these companies’ best practices, synthesize the intelligence insights and recommend actions for process improvement with specific benchmarks to be met at certain milestones/intervals.

New Product/Concept Development

Obtain competitors’, customers’ and other stakeholders’ assessment of a proposed new product’s or concept’s features, functionalities and user benefits.

Identify aided and unaided product trade-off decisions, preferences and reasons for product acceptance or rejection.

Investigate competitors’ current and planned product development and go-to-market strategies, tactics and timelines to ensure your competitive advantage and optimal differentiation, but avoid “me too” products, faulty release schedules, and rapidly evolving, disruptive technologies.

Recommend a product development “blue print” and roll-out roadmap based on research and competitive intelligence input.

Market Intelligence

Strategically evaluate new market opportunities, including an assessment of that market’s size, segmentation, competitor positions and activities, degree of competitive rivalry, pricing and distribution practices, customer requirements, barriers to entry, and growth projections.

Analyze how competitors initially entered that market, what worked/didn’t work for them, key alliances built with market influencers and other stakeholders, and how (and why) competitors’ marketing and sales practices have changed over time.

Provide a well-substantiated “go/no go” strategic CI analysis of the market’s commercial opportunity, apparent risks, fit with your company’s strengths, optimal market entry strategy scenarios, and associated likely “ramp-up” and growth rate alternatives.

Trade Show Intelligence

Conduct pre-conference interviews with target sources; then “work the floor” at conferences, trade shows and industry conventions by interviewing competitors’ key stakeholders.

Provide daily interim CI reports and hold daily debriefing sessions with your company’s conference attendees for “real-time” CI updates.

Due Diligence Investigations

Investigate a target company’s markets, growth prospects, patent positions, suppliers, customers, etc. to provide a solid “second medical opinion” in support of your investment, M&A, partnering, joint venture and/or credit decisions.

Counter-Intelligence Program

Identify existing or potential sources of sensitive data leakage within your company by conducting a staged counter-competitive “Red Tag Team” CI attack on specific departments and stakeholders of your company.

Recommend and help implement specific corporate counter-intelligence measures to prevent data leakages and protect intellectual property.

Define (and help implement) appropriate reactive countermeasures, pre-emptive strategies, and relevant employee behavioral conditioning techniques.

Design and implement an effective, consistent and pervasive corporate counter-intelligence program.

Long-Term Trend Analysis

Construct a panel of thought leaders, industry “influencers”, customers from the “early adopter” and “innovator” segments, competitors, and other relevant sources from INOVIS’ in-house database of well-cultivated, pre-qualified industry contacts to periodically test product or market hypotheses, rumors, scenarios and assumptions, and solicit their feedback on market trends and developments.

Synthesize research findings and conduct scenario analysis (best case, realistic case, worst case), assigning a degree of confidence to each scenario outcome

Recommend a prioritized list of medium- to long-term market opportunities and threats that will influence corporate resource allocations and strategic planning efforts.






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