VMware Tanzu Labs (formerly Pivotal Labs) is a software development consultancy business within VMware. With over 30 years of experience helping clients build software solutions that improve customer experience, increase revenue and market share or reduce operating costs we have a wealth of experience from our global practice that can help organisations wherever they may be located. This article will focus on just 7 reasons why Tanzu Labs should be at the centre of your strategy to improve your product development capabilities.
The goal of organisations is to build, market and sell products that satisfy customer needs better than competitors.
Unfortunately that is easier said than done particularly when it comes to building digital products. Some common issues many organisations encounter when trying to build digital products are:
- Misinterpreting customer needs - quite often we think we have a great idea and it's going to work because it’s great technology. There are many examples of big tech firms that have got their analysis of the market wrong and these mistakes can be extremely costly into the $millions as their products are not adopted and removed from the market.
- Biting off more than we can chew - Attempting to tackle every customer need, every use case, every opportunity that we discover at the same time delays our teams from launching solutions into the market and recovering some return on investment. Numerous large initiatives spend years in development without ever releasing any value to customers resulting in the inevitable withdrawal of funding.
- Too slow to get to market and we miss the opportunity - There are numerous reasons why organisations struggle with speed of delivery, a common issue we have seen is that technology and in particular legacy systems hold back teams.
Every organisation struggles with a combination of the 3 problems highlighted above and there are a lot of consultancies that do some great work. Below are 7 reasons why VMware Tanzu Labs is best positioned to help address those challenges and help organisations become better at building software and more successful within their respective industries.
- We don’t just advise you, we actually build products - Tanzu Labs employs Software Engineers, Product Managers and Product Designers who are not only great hands-on practitioners but also experienced consultants. Unlike some consultancies that might leave you a powerpoint deck with recommendations, we help you build digital products and scale them along the way with you.
- We don’t just follow the requirements and wish list, we interact with your users and address their needs incrementally - To ensure customer needs are not misinterpreted and the wrong solutions built Tanzu Labs work to embed a hypothesis led approach using data, customer research and competitive analysis.
- We don’t claim to reduce cost by outsourcing and offshoring, we drive return on investment for your business through successful products and lean balanced teams. When working with Tanzu Labs you can be sure to be engaged in conversations about the expected value of pursuing particular initiatives and we even take that to a granular level with Product Managers, Designers and Engineers focusing on the value of individual user stories, ruthlessly prioritising what we build together. And most importantly communicating what we are not going to build for now perhaps as we haven’t been able to validate the value yet or identify an opportunity worth the investment. That laser focus on customer value, organisational value, and return on investment ensures our engagements have fast payback for our customers. Furthermore, we set ourselves up to release software early and often. That incremental delivery and release process helps to reduce product and technical risks.
- We create a lean operating model for your team that’s only possible with the upskilling of teams. We believe in helping teams and individuals grow into T shapers where they have a breadth of knowledge and skill in a range of areas related to their discipline and a depth in a particular area. This has numerous benefits in terms of speed of delivery and greater context for teams with less handover, in addition to a significant reduction in operating costs.
Many organisations have numerous roles performing a similar responsibility, with the appropriate upskilling through working with Tanzu Labs we have seen an operational cost saving of over $1m/team. With several cross functional teams working on digital products the savings in this lean operating model are into the several millions annually.
- We don’t just build products using lean - XP methodologies or teach your team, we enable your teams to learn these skills while pairing with us as we build products together - The best way to learn is by doing. We take that approach by pairing across all roles while we help organisations build software. In a physical office this takes the form of working off 1 machine with 2 displays. The pair take it in turns to drive and co-pilot collaborating together to find defects early and create that shared understanding. Where we have worked with customers who do not have teams to pair we have helped hire, form and grow teams.
- We don’t retain your IP and stay forever. We focus on making ourselves redundant at every step by ensuring your team picks up the skills - The foundation of our approach to make ourselves redundant is the pairing strategy. Through pairing we ensure there are no information silos and moreover we frequently rotate pairs to ensure developers in teams have a good understanding of all areas of the code base. This sets up our clients to continue to work on products when the Tanzu Labs team has left.
- We modernise legacy software in a safe and incremental manner focusing on ROI - Speed to market is critical for success and many organisations have legacy technology that holds them back. Some take the approach that the only way to address the legacy is to rewrite core systems. Quite often this can be costly, lengthy and very risky not being able to transition off to new systems until feature parity is achieved. At Tanzu Labs we have helped many organisations take a less risky approach. Modernisations of legacy systems in an incremental manner with new components built alongside the legacy systems. We take a balanced approach with areas to prioritise for modernisation looking at business, customer and technology challenges. Finding that sweet spot to focus our efforts help to drive quick returns on investment as opposed to a long drawn out rewrite.
Those are just 7 reasons why Tanzu Labs should be at the centre of your strategy to become better at building software. With our new hybrid model we have greater reach and can work across the globe. Reach out to your closest Lab for more details.
About the AuthorMore Content by Amjad Sidqi