A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, if an organization wanted to streamline its sales pipeline or manage its collective company Rolodex, it purchased a traditional piece of customer relationship management (CRM) software. This software came with an aggressive salesperson, was shipped in a box, installed on a server, and managed by someone whose career it was to keep that server and the software cool, safe, updated, and bug-free -- at least until the next CTO arrived, at which point you repeated the process. This is what we nerds call software as a product or SaaP.
We see it all the time. Companies say they possess a competitive advantage because of (fill in the blank). If it were only that easy, I could just read through a handful of annual reports, plunk down my money, and call it a day. Alas, it's not so simple. Much like waking my daughters up for school in the morning, sussing out a real competitive advantage will require some work, some finesse, and most of all, some time.