I promised myself it would never come to this and I’m writing this against my better judgement. However, when my independence, professionalism and credibility are called into question I feel that it warrants a response. The root of this seems to stem from some tweets I sent last night as can be seen here:
In particular the “I think you’ll find it’s more one sided (as usual)” comment hit a nerve or two. I awoke this morning and nearly spat my coffee everywhere after reading this Direct Message (identity purposely removed):
I would not normally air this in public but I could not send a DM response back as they chose to “unfollow” me after sending the message. Therefore, I can only make this public response.
To set the record straight, I’m not on anyone’s side. Virtual Engine as a company do not sell licenses of any product. We deliver consultancy and implementation services of various products. We’re here to ensure that our customers get the right solution for their requirements and do recommend AppSense, Liquidware Labs, RES or any other product that fits. Each product suite has its strengths and weaknesses. Period.
Believe me, I am highly critical of the RES suite of products (just ask anyone attending one of my training courses or a member of Product Management!). The simple fact that they OEM’d some of the technology for HyperDrive and lead everyone to believe differently doesn’t sit well. I don’t understand the reasoning and surely they knew that this was going to be uncovered at some point? That is what the above tweets say (just not in so many words!).
What my “one sided” comment was referring to is the seemingly non-stop “bashing” of the competition from the boys in green. This “one-upmanship” and playground antics is tiresome.
I don’t understand what the purpose of this is and if anyone can enlighten me, I’ll gladly listen.
I can only perceive that it’s for one of two reasons; 1) increasing sales or 2) attempting to throw so much mud that it sticks and forces the company out of business. Now, I hope that it’s not the second option as competition is good for everyone; the end users and the vendors. It will probably never work and even if it did, I wouldn’t want that on my conscience.
If the purpose is to increase sales then I think this approach is ultimately flawed too. Constantly being negative will eventually turn the customers and the channel off. Sure keep a very close eye on your competitors. However, don’t constantly criticise their approach or their ill-informed decisions. Use these perceived misadventures to your advantage and outmanoeuvre them with a better solution! That’s what successful businesses are all about.
So How Can AppSense Fix This?
In my opinion it’s very simple; people would like to know why they should be buying AppSense’s products. What are the differentiators between their offerings and the competition? Some might call this good old fashioned marketing?! For example, to the majority it doesn’t matter that a product has OEM’d components/technologies or is written in native code etc. What people want is a product that works and does what they need to do.
Now I will go on the record and state again that the AppSense suite of products are great and they have some fantastic technology. There are new technologies coming down the line that our existing and potential customers can leverage so please do bang the drum (and very loudly too) about how great DataNow and the other products are. Do tell us why we should be buying them! Just please, please, for the Love of God, focus on the marketing of products and not spreading FUD.
Rant over! If you feel offended, then it’s not my intention and I’m happy to discuss any of this with anyone if you feel it’s off the mark or factually incorrect. You can contact me via the usual channels or leave a comment. Now lets start afresh and move on.. Iain