Case Detail

Case Summary

Asera: Positioning and Partnering for Success

Case Number: 5-104-028, Year Published: 2004

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Authors: Mohanbir Sawhney; Heather Abel; Bonnie Goertzen; Michael Thompson; Michael Wiser; David Withers

Key Concepts

Enterprise Software, Modular versus Integral Architectures, Positioning Strategy, Competitive Strategy, Technology Markets, e-Business Software


Kamal Shah, a product manager at Asera, was evaluating strategic positioning options for a startup company that offered an e-business infrastructure platform for large enterprises. Asera offered a modular software solution that allowed customers to mix-and-match “best-of-breed” enterprise software applications, in contrast with the integrated “suite-based” approach of incumbent vendors like Oracle. Shah was evaluating three strategic positioning options for Asera – positioning as an eService provider, as a provider of partner management solutions, and as a provider of corporate portals. Could Asera choose a positioning that differentiated it from a flock of incumbents as well as new entrants in the industry, without being pigeonholed into an undesirable or overly narrow positioning? Should Asera try to create its own category, or should it position itself as a “newer and better” player within an existing category? The positioning choice had important implications for the customers that Asera targeted and the competitive landscape it defined for itself.

Number of Pages: 23

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Marketing, Technology

Geographic: USA, West Coast

Industry: E-Commerce, Technology

Organization Name: Asera

Organization Department: Marketing, Product Management

Organization Size: Medium

Decision Maker Position: Product Manager

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2000