How to Sell an Embedded Solution

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First of all, we need to answer,

What is an "embedded solution"?

"Embedded" means that there is a microcontroller involved, a printed circuit board (PCB), a power supply, support chips required by the microcontroller, and so on.  The microcontroller might be as simple as an 8-bit 8051 mounted on a custom PCB, or as complex as an Intel® Core™ i5-3610ME Processor on a Mobile Intel® QM77 Express Chipset Development Kit. Whatever the microcontroller, it must have software to run. This software is of a style called "embedded software".  This style of software has features that distinguish it from other kinds of software, and is created by programmers who specialize in embedded software development.  Some embedded solutions require a Real Time Operating System or RTOS. Others do not.  Either way, the software will be customized to the solution being sold. In addition to the above, the embedded solution will have other features as required by the problem being solved: a display, lights, a network connection, buttons, sensors, an enclosure, etc. As you can tell, an embedded solution can be complicated to design, and even more complicated to sell.

Who are the stake holders?

The customer, of course, but there are many more.  Each major component of the solution is typically provided by a different vendor.  The microcontroller vendor will have a stake if the volumes are high enough.  They may have a reference board design, and may even have some reference software.  These items as provided by the microcontroller vendor are never ready to deploy in the solution.  In many cases the customer will have embedded hardware designers and embedded software developers in-house to make the required changes, but sometimes not.  So add contract hardware (PCB) and software developers to the list of stakeholders.  The enclosure is often custom-made to suit each solution.  Add an enclosure designer, and enclosure manufacturer to the stakeholder list. And on it goes.  You may need to add to the stakeholder list: graphics designers, power supply designers, test engineers, assembly house staff, critical component suppliers, and so on. So, how is it possible to keep all of these stakeholders informed, and up to date as choices are made and the customer needs are refined?  Every one of those stakeholders will want to influence the solution in their favor, especially the customer. One tool for keeping every stakeholder engaged and on the same page is  With control over confidentiality, and content ownership rights protection, with Non-Disclosure Agreement tools and email integration, with an invitation-only workspace and a Customer Needs Analysis section, is the only place where all the embedded solution stakeholders can meet and come to an agreement.

3 comments on “How to Sell an Embedded Solution
  1. Pivot It Inc.
    On October 28, 2013 at 6:17 AM Pivot It Inc. commented:

    How to Sell an Embedded Solution –

  2. DV Subramanyam
    On October 28, 2013 at 6:53 AM DV Subramanyam commented:

    How to Sell an Embedded Solution –

  3. Koen Rijken
    On October 28, 2013 at 7:01 AM Koen Rijken commented:

    How to Sell an Embedded Solution –


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