Colocation Security: Facilities, Services, Meaning

Colocation Services: Why Use Them?

Colocation services provide businesses with the space, power, cooling and security required to host their IT equipment in a data center. Colo security providers offer a wide range of services tailored to the requirements of organizations of all sizes, from small businesses that may need only a few server racks to large enterprises that require entire data halls.

With cybersecurity as important as ever, it pays to work with information technology experts who can help store and manage your data. Specialized third-party service providers know how to do exactly that, no matter your company’s size or industry.

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Let’s talk in more detail about what colocation security is, as well as its benefits.

One aisle of a colocation security data center. It's dark with blue-green lights reflecting off the floor.
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Q1 2023 BluWave Insights: HR, Tech Take Center Stage

Every quarter our team analyzes the projects we work on with our 500+ PE firm clients to get a bird’s eye view of the market. We recently compiled our Q1 2023 findings into our BluWave Insights Report. You can request your copy and our client coverage team will be in touch.

Key findings from Q1 ’23 include:

  • Value creation activity is at an all-time high, matching Q1 2022.
  • Human capital remains PE’s primary area of focus at 45% of all Q1 activity, also matching an all-time high.
  • Technology remains a priority at 11% of all Q1 PE activity.

Learn more about the insights we gleaned from Q1:

We can support your value creation needs, human capital needs, technology needs, sales & marketing needs and more.

HIPAA Audit Needed for IT Firm Serving Healthcare Industry

Service Area: Compliance & Regulatory

Client Type: Portfolio Company

Service Provider Type: Supply Chain Technology Firm

Industry: Information Technology Managed Care Services

Healthcare Managed Services IT Firm

An IT firm that serves the mid-size and enterprise market needed compliance help around HIPAA laws

HIPAA compliance for sensitive client medical information

The IT firm had a lot of clients with a large customer base in the healthcare/medical industry. They had accumulated a large amount of sensitive information from their clients that had become an afterthought when servicing the customer.

The firm’s internal legal team is lean, and they didn’t have time to tackle this issue. They contacted BluWave asking us to connect them to a compliance firm that could help them do an internal audit on customer data.

How BluWave Helped
The Business Builders’ Network

We immediately tapped our network for a short list of exact-fit solutions. We knew just who to turn to for this mixed bag of regulatory challenges, having worked with third parties that completed similar projects for other companies.

Connected with an IT firm for an audit

The firm selected one of the service providers we shared, kicking off their audit to ensure HIPAA compliance. They accelerated the company’s process, freeing up internal resources to focus on other pressing matters while ensuring that they weren’t legally exposed to any privacy issues.

When the engagement was completed, the client asked us for opportunities to continue working with the third-party firm.

Our Primary resources have shown an exceptional level of knowledge in preparing us.

Their assistance made all the difference and allowed us to be extremely successful in preparing our policies.

They went well above expectations in answering questions, performing the work requested and being flexible with our schedules as we coordinated all of our teams availability. They were extremely detail-oriented and very organized throughout the entire initial period. We are looking forward to continuing our work with them.

-General Counsel at the Company

Sales Process Workflow: Stages, Examples for Businesses

What is a Sales Process Workflow?

A sales process workflow is a systematic and visual representation of the stages and activities involved in the sales process. It outlines the sequence of steps from identifying leads to closing deals and post-sale follow-up.

The primary goal of a sales process workflow is to provide a clear roadmap for the sales team to follow, improve their performance, reduce errors and be more efficient.

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It can also help identify bottlenecks or areas where the process can be improved. A well-designed sales process workflow ensures that every opportunity is properly managed, tracked and nurtured to maximize potential.

Let’s discuss the different components of a sales process workflow and provide guidance on how to develop and optimize a sales process that works for your business.

Specialized recruiting firm
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What is Product Positioning? Framework, Strategy for Marketing

Product Positioning Framework

Product positioning refers to the strategic process of establishing a distinct and favorable perception of a product in the minds of consumers relative to its competitors. It involves creating a unique and compelling position in the market that differentiates the product from others and resonates with the target customers.

It is also a strategic marketing process that of identifying and communicating a product’s or service’s key attributes, differentiators and positioning statements to target customers.

To effectively position a new product, it is important to have a deep understanding of the factors that influence its adoption within a specific market segment. This involves gathering and analyzing facts, as well as formulating hypotheses and incorporating them into a dynamic model.

The goal of product positioning is to create a favorable perception of the product in the minds of consumers, giving it a competitive advantage in the market and driving customer preference and loyalty.

Let’s dig deeper into the importance of product positioning and what it entails.

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Strategy session facilitator

I. Positioning Framework Strategy

The right strategy will help private equity firms and their portfolio companies, as well as public or private companies, to position their products and services as favorably as possible.

This can be done by conducting voice of the customer interviews, as well as other market research. By speaking with existing customers, organizations can better understand why people use their product or service.

Speaking to non-customers, however, can be just as important as it sheds light on why people are not using your product or service.

This information can then be used to determine current perceptions, and assess growth opportunities and requirements for deeper market penetration.

Customers – existing and potential – can also be segmented in a way that allows the company to understand which group would be most valuable. Future strategies could then be geared toward those segments.

Many companies seek outside expertise for their particular industry in these situations. Whether healthcare, manufacturing, industrial, technology or more, there are niche-specific third-party service providers that do this on a regular basis.

II. Indications

Indications are important considerations in product positioning as they help define the target market and communicate the value proposition of a product. They provide information about the specific problems, needs or desires that a product is designed to address or fulfill. They can be based on various factors, such as the product’s functional attributes, performance characteristics, intended user demographics or usage scenarios.

For example, in the healthcare industry, product positioning for a pharmaceutical drug may involve indicating the specific medical conditions or diseases for which the drug is approved, the recommended dosage, patient age groups or other relevant factors.

In the consumer goods industry, product positioning for a household cleaning product may include indicating the types of surfaces or stains the product is effective on, the recommended usage instructions, or the target market segment, such as families with young children or pet owners.

Indications help guide consumers in understanding how a product can fulfill their needs or solve their problems, and they can also help differentiate a product from competitors by highlighting its specific use cases or advantages.

Clear and accurate indications are crucial in marketing and branding strategies to ensure that the product is positioned effectively in the market and resonates with the needs and preferences of the target customers.

CONTACT US: Work with Proven Product Positioning Framework Experts

III. Product Features and Benefits

Effectively marketing your product’s features and benefits is crucial to a product positioning strategy. Here are some of the more important elements:

  • Differentiation: Positioning a product as unique or superior based on its features and benefits can create a competitive advantage and set it apart from similar offerings.
  • Value Proposition: A well-crafted value prop highlights the unique features and benefits of a product to customers, justifies its price and creates a compelling reason to choose it over competitive alternatives.
  • Target Market Alignment: Understanding the target market’s requirements and desires and aligning the product’s features and benefits accordingly can help position the product as relevant and appealing.
  • Communication: Clear and effective communication of what the product offers through marketing messages, packaging, branding and other promotional materials can create awareness, generate interest and influence perception of the product.
  • Customer Needs Fulfillment: Ultimately, the purpose of a positioning strategy is to fulfill customer needs or solve customer problems. By aligning the product’s features and benefits with customer needs, the positioning strategy can establish the product as a viable solution that addresses pain points and provides value, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

READ MORE: Product Vision Roadmap: What is it?

IV. Price Analysis in Positioning Strategy

A price analysis is conducted to assess and determine the optimal strategy for a product or service based on its intended market positioning.

Pricing is a critical element of a positioning strategy as it affects how a product or service is perceived by consumers in terms of its value proposition and competitive positioning. It can affect the perceived value of a product, influence customer perception of quality, impact customer willingness to pay and affect overall market positioning.

For example, if a product is priced too low, it may be perceived as of low quality or lacking premium features. On the other hand, if a product is priced too high, it may be perceived as overpriced and not providing adequate value.

READ MORE: Pricing Consultants: Hire an Expert

Here are three examples of pricing strategies:

  • Cost-Based Pricing: This strategy involves setting prices based on the production costs, such as materials, labor and overheads, with a desired profit margin. Cost-based pricing can position a product as affordable and budget-friendly, but may not necessarily convey premium quality or unique value.
  • Value-Based Pricing: This strategy involves setting prices based on the perceived value that a product offers to customers. It takes into account the benefits, features and unique value proposition of the product, as well as the target market’s willingness to pay. Value-based pricing can position a product as premium, high-quality and worth the investment.
  • Competitive-Based (Market-Based) Pricing: This strategy involves setting prices based on the prices of competitors’ products. It can be used to position a product as competitive and comparable to other products in the market. It may not, however, necessarily differentiate the product or highlight its unique value proposition.

READ MORE: How To Analyze Sales Data: Tools, Examples, KPIs

V. Competitive Analysis in Positioning Strategy

Competitive analysis is a critical component of positioning strategy as it provides insights into the competitive landscape, helps identify market opportunities and threats, and guides the development of an effective positioning strategy.

Some key aspects include:

  • Understanding Competitors: This understanding enables a company to identify the competitive advantages it can leverage and the potential vulnerabilities it needs to address in its positioning strategy.
  • Identifying Market Opportunities: By understanding the unmet needs of customers or the gaps in the offerings of competitors, a company can position its product or service to address those gaps and capture market share.
  • Assessing Competitive Threats: This may include competitors launching new products, changing their pricing strategies or implementing aggressive marketing campaigns. By understanding the competitive landscape, a company can anticipate and respond proactively while adapting its positioning strategy accordingly.
  • Differentiation: Competitive analysis helps in identifying the unique selling propositions (USPs) of competitors and their positioning strategies. By offering unique features, benefits, or pricing strategies that are distinct from competitors, a company can create a competitive edge and attract customers who are seeking something different or better.
  • Refining Positioning Strategy: By monitoring competitors’ actions, customer feedback and market dynamics, a company can make informed decisions about adjusting its positioning strategy to stay relevant and effective.

CONTACT US: Tap into the Business Builders’ Network

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Platform Modernization: App, Software Upgrade – IT Strategy

Platform modernization is the process of updating the infrastructure, architecture and features of existing platforms to bring them up to current standards. This makes the platform more efficient, secure and valuable.

Outdated platforms can be a major business liability, leading to performance issues, security vulnerabilities and compliance problems. Fixing this can help save money on operating costs and improve customer experience.

App modernization can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it is essential for businesses that want to remain competitive. There are a number of different approaches, all depending on your specific needs and your business’s industry.

If you are evaluating your application modernization strategy, it is important to carefully consider your needs and goals. These should be formulated with time, costs and the impact it will have on your business in mind.

Get Connected: Platform Modernization Experts on Standby

An experienced outside resource may be just what you need do make sure your applications modernization is done right, and we already know the perfect fit for your business. In the meantime, here’s a little more about the benefits of the process, and the steps that go into it.

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Fast-Growing Company Needs Help Managing Transactions

Service Area: System Selection & Implementation

Client Type: Portfolio Company

Service Provider Type: Supply Chain Technology Firm

Industry: Waste Management

System Selection & Implementation in Waste Management

A rapidly expanding outsourced waste management company had outgrown its accounts payable automation tool. With a modest-sized IT team, they needed expert help with greater depth and engineering to better handle their growth requirements.

Tech service provider to ingrate their CRM with their AP tool

With an IT team of less than 10 people, the VP of Tech asked BluWave for help finding a service provider that could better integrate their CRM with their AP tool. As business continued to boom, they weren’t able to keep up with the transactions and needed guidance on not only getting the most out of the tools in place, but finding something more powerful for the future.

How BluWave Helped
The Business Builders’ Network

The very next day, we connected them with four experienced service providers that have done excellent work for other independent and portfolio companies, respectively. They landed on their top choice – a proven system architecture firm that understands their industry – and we continued to support the company by monitoring the service provider until the project was finished, and beyond.

Connected with a best-in-class IT firm

The IT firm helped the portco reorganize its systems internally, better equipping them to select and implement a new AP automation tool. They were able to better integrate with their ERP and manage ever-increasing transactions more efficiently.

The work product we have seen is very good, both for documentation and quality of expected outputs.

They stayed involved from the discovery phase on through implementation.

The changes all look very good and were completed faster than expected. Additional input on changes were well received and follow up has occurred quickly.

-Vice President of Technology at the Company

Tech Stacks of Companies: How To Choose

What is a Tech Stack?

A tech stack is a set of software tools and programming languages that serves as the foundation of any technology project, including websites, desktop software and apps.

It’s also the backbone of a project and can determine its performance, scalability and maintenance in the long run. Selecting the right one can help developers streamline their work, speed up the development process and provide a better user experience.

For PE Firms and Companies: Get Expert Help Choosing Your Tech Stack

software merger integration

Tech Stacks of Companies: Examples

  1. The LAMP Stack is a widely used open-source web development stack that is suitable for creating dynamic websites. It comprises Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP, where Linux is the operating system, Apache is the web server software, MySQL is the database management system and PHP is the programming language used to create dynamic web pages.
  2. MEAN Stack is a comprehensive JavaScript framework that is widely used to create dynamic web applications. It comprises MongoDB, Express.js, Angular and Node.js. MongoDB serves as the NoSQL database management system, Express.js is a web application framework used with Node.js, Angular is the front-end JavaScript framework that enables the creation of dynamic web pages and Node.js provides the back-end JavaScript runtime environment.
  3. Another JavaScript framework that is commonly used for creating web applications that support real-time updates is the MERN Stack. It comprises MongoDB, Express.js, React, and Node.js. MongoDB serves as the NoSQL database management system, Express.js is a web application framework used with Node.js, React is the front-end JavaScript library used for building user interfaces and Node.js provides the back-end JavaScript runtime environment.
  4. Ruby on Rails is a well-known web development framework that utilizes the Ruby programming language. It is a preferred choice for startups because of its user-friendly interface and straightforwardness. Ruby on Rails follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern and emphasizes convention over configuration.
  5. The .NET Stack is a Microsoft technology stack that includes tools such as C#, ASP.NET, and Microsoft SQL Server. It is widely used for creating enterprise-level web applications. C# is an object-oriented programming language that helps develop Windows desktop applications and ASP.NET is a web application framework used for creating dynamic web pages.
  6. Django Stack is a Python web development framework that is widely used for creating scalable and secure web applications. Django follows the Model-View-Template (MVT) architectural pattern and incorporates an Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) layer that enables developers to interact with databases using Python code.
  7. The iOS Stack is a comprehensive stack of tools that includes Xcode, Swift, and Objective-C and is widely used for creating iOS mobile applications. Xcode is an integrated development environment (IDE) used to develop iOS apps, Swift is a programming language developed by Apple specifically for iOS app development and Objective-C was previously used to develop iOS apps before Swift was introduced.
  8. The Android Stack is another comprehensive stack of tools that includes Android Studio, Java, and Kotlin and is widely used for developing Android mobile applications. Android Studio is an IDE used to develop Android apps, Java is an object-oriented programming language that is used for building Android apps and Kotlin was introduced by Google as an alternative to Java for Android app development.

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How To Choose the Right Tech Stack

Choosing the right tech stack is a critical decision for private equity firms. The right PE technology stack should be a cohesive system that enables fund managers to source deals, manage relationships with limited partners and portfolio companies, and close more deals.

A firm with the right technology solutions in place can work smarter and faster, deliver higher-margin services and ultimately increase profitability. For private equity firms, the technology stack should be viewed as an investment and a way to stay ahead of the competition.

There are many factors that go into choosing the technology stack, but here are some of the more important ones:

  1. Out-of-the-box solutions: These are pre-built software solutions that can be used to solve common problems. They can save time and money by reducing the need for custom development. Examples include WordPress, Shopify and Salesforce.
  2. Integration with third-party solutions: This refers to the ability of a tech stack to work with other software solutions. It’s important to choose a tech stack that can easily integrate with other tools you may need in the future. Examples include Zapier, Segment and Twilio.
  3. Developer availability: This refers to the availability of developers who are skilled in a particular tech stack. It’s important to choose a tech stack that has a large pool of developers available so that you can find the right talent for your project.
  4. Documentation: This refers to the quality and quantity of documentation available for a particular tech stack. Good documentation can help developers get up to speed quickly and reduce the time needed for troubleshooting. Examples include React documentation and Django documentation.
  5. Easy to test: This refers to how easy it is to test code written in a particular tech stack. A good tech stack should have testing tools built-in or have easy-to-use testing frameworks available. Examples include Jest for React and Pytest for Python.
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Centralized Data Management: Business Intelligence & Analytics

What is Centralized Data in Business?

Centralized data in business analytics involves consolidating information from across an organization into a single system for easier analysis.

“This aspect of business intelligence and analytics is important because it gives companies visibility into KPIs at a high level,” says Brandon John, BluWave’s Service Provider Relationship Manager.

The consolidation usually happens in something called a data warehouse.

Read More:What Are the Different Data Warehouse Types?

Business intelligence practices like centralization are becoming more and more important to businesses, whether that mean private equity, portcos or private and public companies.

According to our most recent quarterly report, we saw “broad-scale adoption of data quality and visualization endeavors and emergent efforts in higher level analytics and AI.”

Let’s take a closer look at what data centralization can do for your business.

Read More: What is Business Intelligence Automation?

Benefits of Data Centralization

Increased Visibility and Transparency

Centralized data provides a single source of truth so leadership can make faster, more accurate business decisions.

Early Detection of Issues

Centralized data allows businesses to identify problems sooner before they become bigger issues.

More Consistency

Different departments often have the same definitions and metrics for things like active users and sales. By centralizing data, you can eliminate confusion at the leadership level.

Holistic View of Customer Journey

Centralized data from marketing, sales and customer service systems provide a complete picture of the customer experience.

Advanced Capabilities

It is easier to analyze data and find insights when all of the relevant data is in one place. Businesses can more easily see correlations across different data sets.

Increased Efficiency

Employees don’t have to spend time aggregating data from different systems. Everything is available in a single source.

Improved Trust

There is confidence that the data and reports are accurate and consistent since there is only one version of the truth.

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In the Know: Essential, Accessible Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is no longer something only the biggest, wealthiest companies can afford.

Not only are these services within reach for businesses of all size – from enterprise organizations to lower middle market companies – but they’re also essential.

In our latest In the Know video, we talk about why this practice is accelerating across industries.

  • Business leaders, including operations partners at private equity firms, C-level executives and functional leads are evaluating the digital capabilities and infrastructure in their companies to identify areas for improvement
  • Simple improvements to workflows or procedures can significantly trim manual tasks and optimize human capital during economic uncertainty
  • “No-regret” moves such as the following can accelerate change in a targeted, cost-effective way:
    • Adopting cloud and SaaS solutions
    • Improving cybersecurity
    • Enhancing website capabilities with tools like chatbots
    • Automating order processing and inventory management
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