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May 28, 2010

When Size Does Matter, for 3000 Owners

Yesterday we looked at the advantages of being big: When a 3000 user gets more from a company which sprawls with super size, in sales and scope of solutions. You get predictability, alliances and headroom from companies like HP (Number 1 in server revenues and units shipped in the most recent quarter.)

But the 3000 community member needs to understand that smaller is better -- not bigger -- when they need what the independent vendor lives upon. Small companies respond faster, polish relationships, and commit for life. Let's look at how a smaller partner delivers larger value. It's important to the 3000 user who's seeking new vendors to replace big ones who are leaving.

Faster response can mean software that is enhanced sooner, or answers that resolve problems more quickly -- because a smaller company has fewer layers for a customer to dive through. Relationship polishing is the personal attention to a company of any size: the kind of experience that HP 3000 managers, who may now be CIOs and CTOs, recall getting from a smaller HP.

As an example, the Support Group knows its customers on a first-name basis. The operations at this 3000 provider who's stepping in for HP this year include a hotsite datacenter located about 100 yards from the call stations. This integration of support and cloud services is natural, seamless, and won't require a special manager to coordinate.

You can get that kind of integration in an encounter from HP for a migration platform. Whether it makes it into the budgets of small to midsize companies is less certain. So much of the HP offerings don't come from Hewlett-Packard while engaging smaller customers. Independent partners deliver services in what HP considers a smaller marketplace.

Then there's that outside the product call that a 3000 user makes to a long-time supplier. This call is really about the 3000, not the product in the support contract. But that doesn't make a difference to a smaller company than HP. Adager answers calls like this from its customers all the time, according to CEO Rene Woc. For a large part of the 3000's history, Adager even answered this kind of call for a non-customer. Large IT vendors don't even have a coding category to let that call begin, let alone be resolved.

Finally there's the final chapter of a relationship between smaller customer and smaller provider. I call this "commit for life" because it represents the intention to maintain a relationship to the very end, not when a business strategy changes in a boardroom. Robelle tells the community it will support the 3000 until at least 2016. If there's still a customer around, STR Software will support them on the Fax/3000 solution. Commit for life means a smaller vendor's lifespan, most of the time, not the lifetime of its business plans.

We're closing our offices Monday in commemoration of the US Memorial Day. We'll be back with our blog reports on Tuesday, June 1. Have a safe and fun holiday over this weekend.

01:25 PM in Homesteading, Migration, News Outta HP | Permalink

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