What Every Enterprise Software Vendor Should Tell Their Customers: Page 2

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I’ll need your help here to. We often only find out about problems in SI implementations after the project has gone south and our products are being blamed. I’ll open up an ombudsman’s office to help manage these relationships, and I expect you to use that office to keep everyone honest and all of us informed of problems before they get out of hand.

Another promise I will make to you is to simplify the terms and conditions of my company’s engagement with you. I will make contracting and pricing more transparent, and will encourage you to work with independent contract negotiators to make sure that your needs are being met in the contracting process. Our contracts with you must be mutually beneficial, and free of gotchas and trick clauses that only a high-priced lawyer can understand or like.

In turn, I want you to be more forthcoming regarding your needs, and be better prepared to negotiate in good faith too. That means knowing what you need and want before you start the negotiating process, and then having the professional staff in place to make sure that your needs are being met in the process. And if you don’t have the staff to make the negotiation work, I’ll help you find an independent third party to do so.

Finally, I want to offer you a performance guarantee for every product or service you buy. The guarantees will be based on realistic service and performance levels, and calculated based on the ROI analysis we provide to you. That guarantee will include a further reduction in your maintenance costs if, due to some error or problem on our part, the software we sell you doesn’t meet a minimum standard ROI in your industry.

What I want for this guarantee is a willingness to dramatically shorten the approval process for my company’s products. One of my biggest costs is the time it takes to close a deal: If you will help me shorten that time, I’ll help you mitigate some of the risk by making sure the product meets your needs, or I’ll take a hit until it does.

My final pledge to you is that I will make this recession the one in which we change forever the nature of our relationship, moving from merely talking about partnership to actually living the concept. If you join me in this experiment I can guarantee that we’ll all survive, and hopefully, prosper, together. To do otherwise, in my opinion, is to lose an opportunity that may never come again. I hope you agree.


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Tags: video, software, IT, Enterprise


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