Oracle vs. SAP: Stand By Your Vendor: Page 2

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Standing Up for SAP

If you currently have SAP as a vendor and you want to keep it that way, they could use your help and it is in your own best interest to give it. There are a number of things you can do.

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First, if there are things you really like about SAP, become a vocal supporter of those things and look for opportunities to sing SAP’s praises. Often we only talk about a vendor when things aren’t working and few go out of their way to praise a vendor for things they do right. Right now, helping SAP find other customers is in your own best interest because a strengthening SAP can better fight against Oracle.

Second, call your SAP contact, particularly if they are supporting your PeopleSoft implementation, and offer your support. Chances are they won’t be able to use you but the offer of support will be appreciated and you might just be able to help them in their plight.

And remember, they got into this mess at least partially to help you out, so a little help back will be deeply appreciated. This kind of thing can change a loose partnership into a close friendship where, whenever you have a problem, you get a top executive who will take that problem as a personal priority. This can make all of the difference in the world when it works out.

Third, if you have Oracle, you might want to take a moment to express your dissatisfaction with their behavior. If you are letting a bid out, don’t let them bid. This is a good time to put forth your position, along with others, that their success at your expense is not an option you want a vendor who is working for you to consider, let alone act on.

Oracle is going down an ugly path when it comes to IT and this is a good time to remind them that this path has consequences that both of you would like to avoid.

Praising and Pounding

I’m a firm believer in pounding on a vendor when they do something bad and praising them when they do something good.

This is because I’ve seen what the alternatives of praising or pounding on everything can do. I particularly believe that if you like working with someone or some company you should take the trouble to support them as you would like to be supported because, often, the opportunity will come around where they can, and will, return the favor. But, selfishly, I know what a huge pain in the butt it is to change vendors and I don’t think any other vendor should force that on anyone, particularly me.

In the end, if you take care of the folks who take care of you, you’ll get better service. Whether that is from a waiter or SAP, the rule of ‘treat others as you want to be treated’ applies. Please take it to heart.

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