That product is really for experienced traders, though. For newcomers, OptionMonster is working with partners to build educational services that in turn provide revenue for the company, Sahoo says.
When organizations such as the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) offer classes and workshops, they often use a co-branded version of OptionMonster's PaperTrade platform. By getting the class participants comfortable with online trading, "people tend to move on to us and open full accounts," Sahoo says. This last year, the relationship with CBOE generated 30 to 35% of the new-account leads that OptionMonster converts to full accounts.
Solving the Big Problems
At Quintiles Transnational, CIO Richard Thomas and his staff are almost becoming old hands at commercializing IT. Quintiles helps its customers, biopharmaceutical companies, make the process of developing and bringing drugs to market faster, easier and more cost-efficient. So it wasn't much of a stretch to take the systems Thomas' group created for internal use and sell them to Quintiles' customers.
The Infosario suite that resulted includes cloud-based services and software for all the processes involved in developing and bringing a drug to market, including big data analytics and software for drug marketing. In the last year, Infosario directly netted over $40 million in new business, Thomas says.
"For my industry, data is the underlying currency," he says.
It wasn't easy to get to this point. As High points out, the daily efforts to keep your own company running can consume a lot of an IT organization's time. When Thomas came to Quintiles in 2005, he brought in new leadership to change the culture from the top and shift his people into also thinking about the problems the company is trying to solve for its customers.
"That work [on the infrastructure] can fill the day, and unless your focus is on the big problems, how can you know that you're making a difference?" he says.
As the shift has taken hold, Thomas and his people have formed close relationships with the marketing and sales groups within Quintiles, since that is where the real expertise in turning services into product lives. He has also emphasized to his staff the importance of listening to external customers as well as the leaders within the company.