Solution Ram Rod

Today I want to share with you something that happened recently, that quite frankly has left me angered. It is a practice that my team coined the “Solution Ram Rod”. It is the practice many underhanded technology companies use when they want to sell their client on a specific solution, regardless of the viability for their needs.

To give you some background, last week I was contacted by a technology company, asking if I was available to help them with a short term eCommerce project. As you know, we often do work for other technology companies, so I set up a call to discuss their needs. They have a client here in Delaware that is looking at eCommerce solutions, and retained the services of this group to help them complete their business analysis, prepare solution reviews, make a solid recommendation based upon their needs, and help with the implementation.

Since my company has worked with numerous eCommerce solutions, this was a project that was right up our alley. After a lengthy discussion, they asked if they could schedule a call with their “evaluator” to make sure this would be a good fit for the project. So, later on that day, this lady calls me from India to conduct her “evaluation”. Well, after 10 minutes on the phone with her, and all of the questions she was asking with regards to Magento Enterprise, I stopped her and asked if she was going to discuss other solutions. Her response was “I understand there are other solutions, though we want to recommend Magento Enterprise for this client, and want to make sure you know enough about the platform to make it stand out.”

I was stunned. Here is a company with a new client that has not conducted business on the internet before, and they want to recommend a solution that will cost the client a minimum of $15,550 in licensing fees right out of the gate.

I got off the phone with her, immediately called the project manager, and asked him if he could disclose some information, just to make sure we were on the same page. He said it depended on the questions, so I told him the primary one was “How many products does the client have?” He said “I believe a few hundred, though we haven’t gotten that far in the analysis.” So next came the obvious question: “Then why are you pushing Magento Enterprise?” His response was “They have both client and business facing needs, and Magento is what our people know.” At this point I was a little dumbfounded, so I asked the question that stood out in my head “If you have a staff that knows the system, why do you need me?”

Readers, the answer he gave me is one that drove home what I have preached about with regards to working with a company half a world away. He said “To be blunt, they are hesitant to work with an India based company, so we wanted a local American face there to work with them, and set their mind at ease about buying the solution we want to offer them.”

I said thanks for the info and hung up. The realization burning in my mind that all they cared about was selling the client exactly what they wanted to sell them at any cost, and in the process take more jobs away from Americans. It made me sick thinking about it.

If your company is getting ready to become a victim of these type of ram rod practices, stop before it is to late. I have seen way to many companies get sucked into this type of situation, and in the end it winds up costing them more than they ever imagined or budgeted for.

If you need help making a decision on a solution that is right for your business, we here at Delaware 302 can help. We will offer you honest unbiased advice, and help you choose the right solution that will not only fit your needs now, but one that can grow with your business.

Let’s build the future together.



Forward Momentum

I was recently asked in a meeting with a fellow business owner: “What does it take to make a business grow?” The answer to that is not as cut and dry as many of the so called “experts” may want you to believe. There are so many factors that come into play when it comes to growing your business, with the first and primary one being the type of business you have.

Lets use two different types of businesses as an example. On one side you have a repair shop that specializes in foreign cars, and on the other a florist. While these businesses are both targeted to the consumers, and they offer products and services that are event related, the type of marketing, web site design, social media targeting, and target audiences are vastly different. You would not expect these businesses to do the exact same thing with their business solutions, and expect the same results.

Unfortunately this is what many of the solutions providers in the industry do. They bulk everyone under one umbrella and try to sell these businesses on a one size fits all package. Having been in the technology industry for almost 15 years, I have seen this time and time again, and ultimately it leaves the business unhappy, and in not all that much better of a position than when they started. The only difference, is that they have spent a small fortune to accomplish it.

Growing your business, and picking the solutions to help you do it, are as unique as your business itself. You can pick and choose the pieces that you put together to help you build that forward momentum, and move you closer to the end goal: Growth. You do not need to get tied into using an “off the shelf solution”, and hope that you have made the right choice.

Remember, no one knows your business better than you do.