Introducing : Embedded Directory

27 September 2017

This time next week I’ll be launching my new website, the Embedded Directory. It intends to be a Directory of UK IT and Telecoms Companies, indexed in a way that allows Clients to identify the right partner to work with based on skills, service capability, geography, target market, accreditations. Clearly it’s going to take some time to get traction, but I feel like I’m having a go at fixing a problem in the marketplace.

It all stems from my 25+ years in the IT and Telecoms industry. On numerous occasions, I have been involved in Client situations where they are unhappy with their existing IT or Telecoms supplier. Either the supplier doesn’t have the right skills for their business, or they are too small/big for them, or they just aren’t very good at managing the relationship.

The problem the Client faces however is “better the devil you know”. They have no easy way of finding a supplier that would fit culturally, technically, operationally and commercially into their business, so they stay where they are. This just compounds the situation, and usually ends up with people within the business finding their own IT suppliers to work round a floundering IT department with an underperforming key supplier.

Embedded Directory is a tool that Clients can use to search for IT and Telecoms suppliers. It is entirely independent, and suppliers are weighted based on fact-based attributes NOT marketing spend or Pay Per Click algorithms. A Client describes their industry, size, location, and technical requirement – and the Directory matches Suppliers to that need based on a matching algorithms. A shortlist of suppliers will be presented to the Client to chose from, and those suppliers will be invited to engage on the project without knowing the actual client name – they’ll see the Client’s attributes and requirements before that information is shared.

In real terms, this is a bit of an experiment. There are other “lead generation” sites available in the market, and clearly Google does a fair bit of search work, but I struggle with the business models of these options. Lead Gen sites are designed to spray a clients requirement to as many suppliers as possible (generating them a fee for every lead they pass), which actually just amplifies an already noisy market. Google just presents suppliers based on who has the biggest PPC or SEO budget, which again is hardly a good set of criteria for a client to find a supplier.

I’m hopeful the Directory opens the eyes of Clients to a more local supply base. There are 12,000 IT and Telecoms Suppliers in the UK, and it would make me very happy if they all registered (for free) to the site. Providing they enter their details factually (which I will be checking!), it should drive a more even placement of work across the Channel and give Clients a better view of options for their IT and Telecoms projects.

I’m also hopeful that suppliers see the site as valuable, providing I can drive Client flow I can’t see why not. Having a resource which you only pay for if you win a project, therefore having revenue to cover the marketing cost, seems a no-brainer to me. I’ve run marketing departments where we’ve spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on events and generated no new business, or the wrong sort of business. This matching concept should get round this.

So, here’s to this time next week being a success. Its been 3 years in the making, and I’m a bit excited about it. If you want to have a chat about the site, or make sure you are invited to its launch next week, please leave your details in the comments below.

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