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Reusable IP

By John | June 29, 2007

A few weeks ago I taught a class for IBM and had some interesting discussions in the class.  Actually two of my students in particular gave me food for thought and connected some missing dots for me.  The first was a woman who was a lead architect for one of the largest professional services organization in the world. For the sake of simplicity I will call her the architect.  The second was one an original employees that came out of a Silicon Valley startup that was purchased by IBM a few years ago. I will call him the entrepreneur.  As always I look for the angles, and I started to talk to the woman architect about me possibly doing some on demand teaching to other professionals in her organization.    She liked my ideas and gave me some contact names.  However, she also offered me some advice.  She said – if you are going to try and sell them on this training you might want to tell them how you can help them with a hot topic they were all using called reusable IP.  Hmmm! I have built a few professional services organizations and those two simple words kind of crystallized what I would call the holey grail of processional services.  

Later in the class I struck up a conversation with the entrepreneur.  We talked about what most ex-entrepreneurs always talk about – we made fun of VC’s.  Some where along the way I told him that when ever I spoke to VC’s it was as if I was speaking German and they were speaking Japanese.  There was no “Love-Connection”.  I told him about a visit I had with an OSS ESM Nagios based startup I had last year out in San Francisco.  I told him that the meeting went great at first.  The founder loved my ideas, the architects loved me and the visit was going great.  However, my last meeting was with the CEO (a VC plug-in).  Needless to say it didn’t go well.  When I told the entrepreneur who the company was he said – holy cow – the CEO of that company is my best friend.  At this point he was a little confused to what could have gone wrong.  He had been sitting in my class all week and he was convinced I knew my stuff and it didn’t make sense knowing his friend – the CEO.  Then he asked me if I minded telling him what the idea was that I proposed.  So I told him what I was selling was using their open source ESM product as a Trojan horse as entrée into the Big4.  We would go after low hanging fruit via service offerings and integration projects and work to get the software sales on the back-end once we were in the door.  This was all based on my long standing philosophy of the three R’s (references, revenue, repeatable-revenue).  I also told the CEO that this is a new world.  The old world of selling software is gone and the new world is one where its not clear the difference between services and software. —– stop right there the entrepreneur said.  That’s were you lost him because you offended the VC police.  No one within 100 miles of Silicon Valley is an allowed to use that word.  If any one in that valley is caught using the word “services” the VC’s will come and lock em up.  I tried to explain that the OSS (Nagios) ESM company I was meeting was currently selling services at a 3 to 1 ration (i.e., 15k per software deal with 30k add on services). Doesn’t matter they are in denial – he said. They just can’t stand that word.  Then I told the entrepreneur that I wasn’t talking about regular services, I was talking about repeatable services, in fact “Reusable IP”.  The entrepreneur then asked me – did you use those words during the meeting.  I said no… Then, there you go – he said – that is where you lost the battle.  Ok, lesson learned …

Yeah OSS ESM (Nagios, Zabbix, take your pick) with Reusable IP… That’s the ticket. 

Topics: general, nagios, zabbix | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Reusable IP”

  1. Services baby, Services! | John M Willis - ESM BLOG Says:
    August 31st, 2007 at 5:51 am

    [...] Reusable IP [...]

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