nGenius Keeps e-Business Up and Running
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Holmes Report
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nGenius Keeps e-Business Up and Running

Those companies that recognize the need for network management understand it is no longer just about tracking how technology is performing; but how a company is performing.

Paul Holmes

 

In many industry sectors network management is still considered to be an obscure, back office issue.  Those companies that recognize the need for network management understand it is no longer just about tracking how technology is performing; but how a company is performing. Whether selling books online or facilitating stock trading, e-business is crucial to almost every company's operation.  Falling victim to cyber-assaults can easily translate into losses of millions of dollars, which is why companies need network monitoring technology that provide insight into network traffic and deliver the information needed to quickly respond to calculated attacks such as these.  NetScout Systems, Inc. (Hereafter known as NetScout) of Westford, Massachusetts represents the new face of network management and the importance of evaluating not simply whether it would benefit an enterprise company to move into eBusiness but whether its network could handle such a transition! 

Demonstrating its position as one of the market’s premier providers of networked application performance management solutions, NetScout launched the nGenius e-business performance management system.  Geared towards keeping the e-business infrastructure always up and running, nGenius is the industry’s first, real-time, system-wide performance management solution for visibility and control of both the front and back-office network. Demonstrated at NetWorld+Interop, Las Vegas, May 9 – 11, the nGenius system includes the nGenius Performance Monitor, nGenius Traffic Monitor, nGenius Server and the nGenius Probe

The launch of the nGenius Performance Management System would position NetScout Systems as one of the market’s premier providers of networked application performance management solutions and would open the door for NetScout to position itself as a leading e-business service provider.

OBJECTIVES

  • Publicize NetScout’s launch of the nGenius system
  • Generate interest and awareness around NetScout positioning the company as the leading application performance management provider.
  • Highlight the launch of nGenius as the first in a series of market leading products from NetScout to be announced through the end of 2000.  

AUDIENCE

Blanket Media and Analysts: The Miller/Shandwick Technologies (hereafter known as M/ST) public relations team targeted major trade publications in both the networking and high technology sectors, business publications and online news outlets in order to maximize editorial opportunities.  The team scheduled a comprehensive press and analyst tour prior to the launch in order to finalize key messages for the product.  A total of fifteen meetings were scheduled.

RESEARCH: 

Launching at NETWORLD+INTEROP: As NetScout already had plans to exhibit at NetWorld + InterOp it seemed a logical place to make the announcement as many of their top press and analysts planned to be in attendance. Also by setting up a demonstration of the nGenius management system, this would facilitate press briefings with those key press targets.

PLANNING

Position NetScout Systems as an Industry Leader: Once it was determined that launching the nGenius management system at N+I would make a significant impact we recognized we needed to determine who at the company would be the spokesperson. Michael Szabados, Vice President of Marketing, was identified as spokesperson due in part to his closeness to the company’s key messages for nGenius as he was a big part of their development in addition to his 19+ year experience in handling media inquiries.  

STRATEGY

Determine who gets the exclusive: Since we had the opportunity to set up pre-briefings before the show, we needed to determine who got the exclusive first look at the nGenius management system.  M/ST choose eWeek and senior editor Paula Musich.  We saw this as a great opportunity to build a strong relationship with a senior editor at one of our top trade publications as well as generate the kind of full feature coverage nGenius deserved.  Additionally, M/ST did not want the news to get lost in the shuffle and felt through an exclusive under NDA prior to the show we could give the product the attention it deserved.

EXECUTION/TACTICS

Aggressive Media Relations Campaign: Media calls were placed to the appropriate outlets informing them of the news, offering prebriefs two weeks before the show and in person briefings with a NetScout spokesperson.

  • Prepare detailed media list containing trade, business/tech and online news targets.
  • Develop Q&A for NetScout executives for use in media briefings.
  • Arranged prebriefings for the week prior to the N+I tradeshow.
  • Pitched by phone/email all targeted media.
  • Continuously tracked for coverage of news in print and online media.
  • Updated NetScout regularly on progress and coverage.
  • Distribute press release announcing the product at the N+I tradeshow

OBSTACLES

Avoiding the clutter at a major tradeshow

On of the major concerns that arose in the planning stages of the announcement was avoiding being lost in the hype and hoopla of a major tradeshow.  M/ST determined the best tactic to avoiding getting lost in the rest of the noise was to offer an exclusive to one of our top tier publications and then to offer prebriefings two week before the show.  This allowed for breaking news the week before the day before the show began (Monday) and also helped drive traffic to the booth.

EVALUATION

NetScout Systems, Inc. and Miller/Shandwick Technologies launch of the nGenius Performance Management System was a definitive success determined not only due to the coverage received but more importantly by the strengthen relationships which also resulted from the launch.  The launch solidified M/ST’s relationship with some of the network management industries top tier trade editors, which was certainly one of the goals.  Additionally, the launch was a success as it further strengthened M/ST’s relationship with the client through solid counsel, strategic planning and tactical execution. 

We are currently approaching our one-year anniversary and the NetScout account is considered to be one of the strongest relationships in the agency.

MEASUREMENT OF SUCCESS
More than a dozen feature media placements in major weekly trade publications, weekly/monthly business/tech publications, and online news outlets, including InformationWeek, eWeek, Network World, Internet Week, CIO, CNET.com, ZDNet.com and TechWeb.com.

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