Do you believe?

Advertising is legalized lying.”
H.G. Wells

My hat goes off for the persistence shown in securing an OSS implementation contract. The sales cycle tends to be lengthy (nine months plus plus).

During that time, many promises tend to be made that the implementation team will find difficult to deliver. Unfortunately this often sets unrealistic expectations within the CSP that need to be re-set by the implementers.

For example, the sales team might imply that the product works “out-of-the-box.” That is true… to an extent. In most cases, the products are out-of-the-box in the sense that addition coding is not required, but reams of reference data and/or configurations may need to be collected by the customer to make the solution workable.

Unfortunately a customer that expects that the supplier can implement in isolation will invariably be sadly mistaken.

Despite what H.G. Wells says, in my experience those who advertise and promote OSS products don’t lie but they can tend to leave the customer with the impression that setting up and using their OSS is as easy as a word processing tool.

The sales folk that do help their customers to understand the complexities of OSS roll-outs generally leave behind an environment of collaborative participation between teams and less likelihood of angst from the customer over unrealistic expectations.

If you’re the salesperson, go easy on your implementation team.
If you’re the customer, keep your eyes open to the level of resourcing that will be required to help the supplier to deliver a great solution for you, despite any messages of “it’s fast and easy” coming from the vendor.

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