UnSQL Friday – Vendors Who Aren’t Just Tools

Jen McCown (Blog|Twitter) has declared today UnSQL Friday #003.  Since it’s already Friday night this will need to be a fast post.  Jen noted that there’s been a little bit of talk lately on companies doing things wrong.  So now it’s time to talk about the companies that are doing things right.

This sounds like a great idea, but first I will divert back to the doing-things-wrong side because it will segue into the doing-things-right discussion.  I’m not going to discuss names, and I’ll also mention that I’m employed by a firm, plus I’m part-owner of a firm that works with other firms.  So who know what firm is involved?  What I will say is that one of these firms had a costly incident with a vendor recently.  The vendor gets a sizable chunk of this firm’s annual budget.  Weeks later, there is still no word on the cause of the incident, if it could cascade and cause further problems, etc.  There also seems to be no intent on the part of this vendor to provide such information.  It’s a frustrating issue, but that’s not where I’m going.

Here’s the segue.  This vendor was also supposed to be providing monitoring, maintenance, etc.  In other words, we (again, I’m not saying who the “we” is, just that it’s a firm I’m involved with) were outsourcing such duties so that we could focus on the business.  So we are now in a situation of having to determine whether we need to take on those duties ourselves.  This means that I’m now looking at all those generous sponsors from the events I attend as possible solutions to our issue.  So what does this mean?  Perhaps that companies that do things right are the ones who treat everyone as a potential customer.

Or better yet, those who know how to create demand are really doing things right.  And for this I will give an example, and I will name names.

I was working as an independent consultant/contractor (so this has been a few years ago) and visited the Pragmatic Works booth at a tech event. The people at the booth asked about me (instead of starting off talking about their products) and what I did.  At the time I had some small clients and no projects related to business intelligence.  Still, the Pragmatic Works folks didn’t see me as a small fish.  Instead they began explaining the ways I could use their products to generate new opportunities for myself, and we talked for quite a while.  I was quite impressed!  It’s not a surprise to me that Pragmatic Works is growing and have so many impressive SQL Server community members in their employ.

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One Response to UnSQL Friday – Vendors Who Aren’t Just Tools

  1. Claire says:

    It is nice when a sales rep asks about you first, no? I understand there’s the pressure to meet quotas and all that, but if more reps bothered to do what Pragmatic did for you, there’d be more qualified sales and less returns.

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