Our portfolio is partnerships, relationships, and successes.

Our portfolio of work isn’t just words on this website.  We are honored to work with each and every client to move their company forward.  But don’t just take our word for it.  Feel free to visit the websites of our clients, and reach out to learn how our work together has benefited their business. And, stop back often to see a new portfolio of work as we continue to highlight businesses. You may also learn about additional partnerships on our Insights & Blog page.

We make it a point to keep our Portfolio fresh by rotating clients on our website. Keep coming back to learn more about our work and the great companies we cherish working with at Black Ice Strategies.

Paulette Duderstadt, Principal

Portfolio Client: pathVu

pathVu is an assistive technology provider that has commercialized IP from a local university in order to enable independent mobility by improving the accessibility, walkability, and safety of all pedestrians – of any ability. To-date, pathVu has grown organically, closing and executing on municipal and federal government contracts, augmented with SBIR funding.  Their customers are dispersed geographically, from Pittsburgh to Louisville, KY, to Boston, MA, and other locations on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

pathVu has proven the utility of its technology and established that customers are willing to pay for data collected about the sidewalks and curb ramps, and the associated analytics.  The analytics results in actionable information that enables sidewalk owners to prioritize repairs.  

Assessment

During the assessment process,  It became very clear that over time, operating as a professional services company (that is, data collection) would require both an expanded direct, internal sales function, and growing technician headcount in order to deliver on the work.  

Once the viability of its technology was proven, pathVu engaged Black Ice to develop strategies and executions to accomplish two overarching imperatives – identify and implement a business model that would result in the sustainable expansion of the business and a higher valuation, and develop channel strategies that would enable the company to scale its revenue generation capabilities.

Working together:

  • pathVu began focusing on the analytics side of the business and its app-based crowdsourcing capabilities, from both product development and sales effort perspectives 
  • There was no reason to forgo that cash generated from data collection.  Rather, a strategy was developed that shifted that effort from pathVu to its new channel, engineering firms
  • Repositioning and executing as a data- and subscription-based business would positively valuation of pathVu  and removing the drag caused by the business model combination of professional services and data analytics
  • Through customer surveys performed by Black Ice, service quality, budgeting consideration and pricing dynamics were obtained and implemented based on customer/market needs
  • A full multi-year financial model was developed to operate against and measure progress, or course correct
  • A marketing execution plan was implemented to support the new channel strategy; that is using engineering firms to include the pathVu offering in their existing services portfolio, and expand the pathVu customer reach to a one-to-many, and subscribe to the analytics service.

The first engineering firms have agreed to subscribe to the new business model, and pathVu now has a marketing plan to reach additional customers, and the means to measure financial progress.

Portfolio Client: fivestar* development

fivestar* is a custom software development firm providing solutions to a range of companies nationwide for nearly 25 years. Customer sectors include financial services, higher education, manufacturing, and retail. And, practice areas include custom software workforce development, RPA, and complex workflow improvements.

fivestar* desired to complement its existing sales efforts, which traditionally relied solely on direct sales and referrals, and requested assistance in developing a  channel strategy. An executable strategy was developed, and MSP firms emerged as the optimal channel on which build an additional layer of revenue. The focus then shifted to guiding the execution of the channel strategy. Working collaboratively with the fivestar* leadership and marketing team:

  • In 60 days, a new practice area– robotics process automation was constructed that strongly appealed to MSPs
  • This channel strategy fully leveraged fivestar*’s demonstrated capabilities in the areas of workflow integration and custom application development
  • Developed a marketing execution calendar targeting the new channel partner targets
  • Developed KPIs and other measurements that can be used to validate both the effectiveness of these executions and identify sales and marketing efforts that require correction
  • Developed a sales funnel and provided guidance to the internal team with messaging, awareness efforts and resource allocation targeting companies in the sales funnel

To learn more about fivestar* please see their website or take the RPA Readiness Quiz today.