The puppy analogy

Christmas morning. Jimmy and Susie rush down the stairs in their pj’s and shriek with delight. Santa has finally yielded to their incessant requests: A sweet, wriggling puppy is waiting for them beneath the tree, adorable in his big red bow. It’s love at first sight. The puppy slurps the kids’ faces then curls up on their laps. The children beam. The camcorder rolls.”
Jon Katz
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Surprise! A new puppy!

Surprise! The puppy needs attention, feeding (even when you’re away), walking (even in inclement weather), grooming, visits to the vet for years after purchase.

Can you see where this is going? If you’ve ever worked on an OSS implementation where the customer makes little to no commitment (or assign resources) to maintain their OSS after handover, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

As the adage goes, “You get back what you put in,” when it comes to an OSS. They require a lot of attention and input to provide an adequate return on an investment of money, time and resources.

If you’re a customer thinking about implementing a new OSS, be under no illusion that your OSS can feed, walk and groom itself. Your post-handover team will need to be bolstered with new skill-sets (lots of training), support (to overcome the teething problems) and will often need additional staff, sometimes with special skills (eg Database experts) that you’ve never needed before.

In situations where the customer underestimates the after-sale care required of their puppy / OSS, they often blame the vendor and / or the vendor’s products. Whilst this may be true sometimes, the customer often needs to look closer to home for the reason for their disappointment. The vendor doesn’t always deserve to be kicked. 🙂

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