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The Very Best Algorithm

The Very Best Algorithm

In a not-so-distant past, pricing companies competed, among other things, on algorithms that lend themselves well for pricing. Companies invested money and effort developing their own analytic tools, with as few dependencies on third-party software as possible, to avoid overcomplicating their offerings.
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Revenue Leakage: A Focus on Deductions

Revenue Leakage: A Focus on Deductions

Today’s ever-changing revenue ecosystem is increasingly complex, regardless of industry. Various industry experts have concluded that companies’ revenue leakage contributes between 1 to 5 percent reduction in Earnings Before Interest Taxes & Amortization (EBITA). Why should companies continue to miss revenue and reduced margins, while also dismissing the leakage as simply a cost of doing business? Any reduction in revenue in performed processes can and should be prevented or, at minimum, marginalized as much as possible. The full financial supply chain contributes to revenue leakage. An area where a company can quickly see symptoms not only for leakage but for process gaps and inefficiencies is deductions. We’ll focus on deductions occurring from Go-to-Market (GTM) Processes.
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Key Steps in Developing a Channel Strategy

Key Steps in Developing a Channel Strategy

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Creating and initiating an effective channel strategy is one of the hardest challenges channel program strategists face today. Due to rapid changes in the industry, vendors are more deliberate and outcome-focused, and it’s not as simple as pivoting to a one-size-fits-all approach. They need a flexible, step-by-step model on how to build the best channel incentive strategy and program.
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Do you have the right Elements in place for a Successful Channel Partner Program?

Do you have the right Elements in place for a Successful Channel Partner Program?

Is it even possible to overestimate the role the channel plays in the high tech industry today? I’m pretty sure it’s not.

If your company operates in the B2C market space, you need the distribution and reseller channel to hit your sales targets. If you focus on the B2B space or the enterprise market, you also need to take note of deployment, consulting, retention, upselling and all the other areas companies outsource in today’s ever-changing IT arena. The brutal truth is that all sales targets do is increase, so it’s critical to have a capable and reliable channel partner presence to sell to your customers and service their needs.
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Effective Special Pricing Agreements

Effective Special Pricing Agreements

Using Vistex technology to increase the speed, compliance and accuracy of SPA management

Special pricing agreements (SPAs) are a great way to manage contract compliance and ensure that every channel partner is competitive. For manufacturers, SPAs are a great way to give your distribution partners a fair chance to stay competitive. Properly executed, a SPA will ensure your customers receive the correct price and place the responsibility to gain market share on the distributor. But how does a manufacturer execute successful SPAs with so many distribution channels and different incentives? From our experience, we’ve worked with many clients who have disparate systems managing each part of the whole answer. Some may use a combination of software applications, manual spreadsheets or nothing at all to effectively manage the entire lifecycle. These are the four ways our solutions bring value to the high-tech industry:
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Get More For Your Money: Rebates 101

Get More for Your Money: Rebates 101

In both my personal and professional life, there has been one phrase I have repeatedly heard for ages: Rebates are simply a cost of doing business. Nowadays, nothing sells for full price. Whether you receive a discount at the time of purchase or sometime after the sale, there is the expectation that list price is just the starting point. Personally, I have certain retailers I will not purchase from unless they have a sale. I will even wait a few days until I get that coupon in the mail (do people really clip and carry physical coupons other than me?) or a sale notice in my email inbox since I know it’s on the way. There are so many sales and discounts running at any given time, what’s to be excited about? They have lost their impact.
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The New Music Modernization Act: 3 Key Points

The New Music Modernization Act: 3 Key Points

Since my last article discussing the Music Modernization Act passage from both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the President signed the act into law. Recently, I had attended a conference held by the Copyright Society of the USA, in which two of the founding figures behind the legislation (songwriter Michelle Lewis and music attorney Dina LaPolt) discussed the amazing story of their battle to bring this to the attention to Congress. Thanks to their efforts, songwriters will now be better protected in the digital era, and streaming services can more effectively license mechanical works in their offerings. Three of the key pieces within the legislation include:
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Visibility and Transparency into Consumer Products

Visibility and Transparency – A Bird’s Eye View into Consumer Products

As long as I can remember, senior management within consumer products manufacturers have talked about achieving a working framework for sales planning and forecasting providing ‘visibility and transparency’ (V&T) of the planning processes and outcomes to all teams within an enterprise. Keeping marketing, consumer research, finance, operations, supply chain and partners informed on key volume and trade spend forecast information enable the enterprise to be as efficient as possible, while also allowing for optimal execution across all teams.
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Who Still Pays for Cable? And Why?

Who Still Pays for Cable? And Why?

There are a dozen websites and Twitter accounts dedicated to divorcing your cable provider and mixing up the perfect cocktail of streaming services. If CordCutting.com is any indication of America’s evolving view of pay television, there’s a lot of pent-up cable bill outrage brewing out there. In fact, more than 1 million people have already canceled cable TV services in the first quarter of 2019. Variety reported that the five biggest cable providers saw a 4.2 percent decline in 2018, higher than the 3.7 percent decline they saw in 2017.
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The Race is On for Delivering Content to Consumers: Can You Easily Monetize Your Rights?

The Race is On for Delivering Content to Consumers: Can You Easily Monetize Your Rights?

"Ability will never catch up to the demand for it," – Confucius

While these words have never been truer – especially in the direct to consumer (DTC) economy – there is a tremendous amount of effort going into figuring out how to develop and distribute compelling content faster and engage directly with consumers to try to keep up with demand and outpace the competition.
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Vistex at NAMM 2019: Believe in Music & Software

Vistex at NAMM 2019: Believe in Music & Software

If you think the music industry is in a dire, downward spiral, you wouldn’t know it while standing in the middle of California’s Anaheim Convention Center during 2019 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchandisers) the last week of January. NAMM’s tagline, Believe in Music, said it all. Founded in 1901 to serve the needs of music merchandisers, the NAMM show has expanded to serve the broader music community. Today, more than 115,000 attendees frequent 150+ networking events and 400+ educational sessions — workshops like Publishing, Mixing, Tour Management, Artist Management, Finances, YouTube Monetization – forums intent on helping attendees gain the knowledge and tools to sustain successful careers in the music industry.
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Maximizing your ROI through Market Development Funds (MDF)

Maximizing your ROI through Market Development Funds (MDF)

Recognizing the foundational blocks

In my experience, the ability to plan, pivot and execute is what sets companies apart. Successful organizations can look ahead to both potential challenges and opportunities for growth. Being nimble, or having the ability to pivot, allows an organization to course correction its strategic initiatives during the execution phase. Hitting your target is not only a fiscally responsible objective, it breeds confidence and high performing teams. High-performing organizations in the high-tech industry can leverage their market development funds (MDF) in such a way to achieve the highest possible return on their investment. How do they do that? Let’s start by looking at three key principles:
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Protecting your Intellectual Property

Protecting your Intellectual Property

The Secret Decoder Ring for Licensing Contracts

From eHow.com to WikiHow to Lifehacker and YouTube, there is no shortage of D-I-Y tutorials. But there’s one area where you want to avoid playing D-I-Y leapfrog — legal. There are dozens of tips columns on protecting your intellectual property by renowned licensing and entertainment attorneys. Read them all. Every article will have value and strengthen your legal muscle, but…the devil is in the details.
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Loyalty Program Strategies: Define, Design, Launch

Loyalty Program Strategies: Define, Design, Launch!

We obviously live in a fast-paced society. Many people are constantly on the go and in search of ways to simplify their busy lifestyles. As a result, companies are faced with the challenge of frequently devising plans to help adapt to the speed of change. What steps can companies take to help ensure they remain relevant? How can companies promote their products and services or attain specific business goals in a manner which will yield increased loyalty and year-over-year revenue growth? Furthermore, how can companies show their appreciation for those who have been instrumental in helping them reach those goals? To address these challenges, many companies have resorted to implementing loyalty programs. What better way to accommodate the needs of our ever-changing society than to reward individuals for doing something they are already planning to do! The purpose of this article is to expound on three essential phases that will ultimately affect the overall success of a loyalty program launch: Define, Design, Launch.
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7 Content and Licensing Trends to Watch for in 2019

7 content and licensing trends to watch for in 2019

As the sands run out on the 2018 hourglass, I cannot help but look forward to where technology and consumer trends will take us in 2019. In reviewing the projects we’ve deployed and the industry experts I have spoken with over this past year, plus my own observations, I have some predictions on content and licensing to share that we can revisit next year for accuracy.
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The Hidden World of Intellectual Property Licensing

The hidden world of intellectual property licensing

The next time you’re sitting in Caesars Palace amongst the cacophony of lights and sounds, pulling the one-armed bandit in rapid succession on what is hopefully a loose slot, perhaps you will reflect ever-so-briefly on this post. You see, that branded slot machine has a lot more going in the payout department than meets the eye. There’s so much more hidden complexity beyond its programmed wins-and-losses algorithm. Learning this along the way in my career, while working with one of the largest casino game creators around, really made me recognize all the ways that Intellectual Property (IP) is created, licensed, and used in our lives every day.
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Channel track raises the stakes at VISTAS 2018

Channel track raises the stakes at VISTAS 2018

VISTAS 2018 was the biggest and best yet, complete with an electrifying keynote presentation from Vistex CEO, Founder, and Chief Architect, Sanjay Shah, mystifying magic from the highly talented Jason Bird, poolside networking events, and an inspiring seminar track dedicated to channel program management. If you couldn’t join us this at this year’s event, don’t worry, there’s always next year for VISTAS 2019, to be held in Chicago, October 2-4, 2019. In the meantime, here’s a summary of the channel program presentations from this year’s event!
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The Music Modernization Act and CLASSICS Act move a step closer to becoming law

The Music Modernization Act and CLASSICS Act move a step closer to becoming law

As consumption of music has moved away from the physical realm of CDs and vinyl into the digital realm, copyright laws have had difficulty representing this technological shift in a fair way for all parties involved.  The Music Modernization Act (MMA), which also contains the Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society (CLASSICS) Act, recently enjoyed big wins since the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed the motion unanimously (an impressive feat, considering modern bipartisan politics).  It is now ready for consideration and on its way to the President for his signature into law.
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