It is common knowledge that many products – software and otherwise – are designed without a clear understanding as to whether or not the product will ever be viable. The files at the U.S. Patent Office are testimony to that fact. While many software companies proclaim that their technology was developed to solve a business problem, Salient Corporation actually began as a project for a soft-drink bottler – and then developed into a software company.

Guy Amisano, founder and president of Salient Corporation, explains, "We started out as a project to solve a business problem – a problem which happens to be quite universal. Business is about measuring process and variables. Originally, we were trying to control the variability in our sales process, where our people would have to manage hundreds of products with overlapping promotional calendars against thousands of customers in different markets and channels. It was hard to tell how customers would price and present these promotions, how competition would react and how consumers would respond. All this wild variability could make profits very unpredictable. We were trying to understand how cycle-to-cycle changes in products, promotions and price points affected key business indicators of volume growth, revenue and margin."

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