Subject: Re: selling SCM solutions
From: Tom Lord <lord@regexps.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 14:08:52 -0700 (PDT)



Thanks for the input.

I think there's multiple levels of concerns here.  On the one hand,
there's small companies, who (much as you describe) have to focus on
their most immediate concerns.

On the other hand, there's big-ass stable companies with a longer term
view, on who's coat tails (ideally), start-ups can ride.

Are you reporting your experience buying for a huge multi-national
whose top level books involve figures in the 10^8+ range?  or something
smaller?

Some of the people who gave me money for arch were (indirectly) brand
new start-ups.  I *almost* feel guilty about accepting that -- other
than that I trust them to not screw themselves and their $200 or so
*really* helped (alas, I still have overdue bills and, btw, the paypal
links at regexps.com still work :-).


	In my experience, about 90% percent of the cost of implementing a
	source control solution is training your people to use the tool and
	changing your business processes around the tool.

Yup.  That (plus *finishing* the infrastructure) is the cost.  What's
the payoff (for the provider?).  I think there's ample evidence
scattered about that the payoff is VAST compared to the cost, for
those who can afford the cost.


	the underlying technology is all but irrelevant.

Only if your perspective is ridiculously short-term.  If you have a
small company, odds are (as near as I can tell) you have investors who
have an interest in you and other companies, including your
competitors.  Aside from the big IT and telecom++ depts, it's those
VCs who should be shopping for infrastructure technology.

-t



   From: chrismaeda@attbi.com
   Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 20:26:04 +0000
   X-UIDL: n+%#!WV8"!,[$#!ZDF!!

   So I've spent the past several years of my
   career in executive management roles in commercial 
   software dev organizations and I've purchased
   and implemented 2-3 different source control
   solutions during this time.  Brian Fox is spot
   on about what the issues are.  The customer has
   money and a problem and wants a solution, not a
   discussion of technology.  In my experience,
   about 90% percent of the cost of implementing a
   source control solution is training your people to 
   use the tool and changing your business processes
   around the tool.  Except for its impact on ease-of-use,
   the underlying technology is all but irrelevant.
   > Maybe your potential customers don't want to buy something called
   > technology.  Try selling them an application that satisfies a need
   > that they already percieve that they have.  This seems to be an opaque
   > concept for you -- I've said it about 20 times in the last 6 months,
   > and yet you consistently explain that your technology is winning.
   > 
   > The people with the money apparently don't care how winning your
   > technology is -- at least, not in the way that you talk about it.