• Subject: Re: IBM Spin Doctors - couldn't resist responding :-)
  • From: "James W. Kilgore" <qappdsn@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 07 Nov 1997 08:52:13 +0000
  • Organization: Progressive Data Systems, Inc.

Chris Rehm wrote:

> <<snip>>
> Case in point, a company hires a sales manager away from the competition.
> Sales manager has a technique of tracking sales in an Approach data base
> and printing out graphs as an incentive for the sales crew.
> Now, manager has only green screen. Manager wants to spend a couple grand
> on a PC an a copy of Approach. Is it better to point out that there are
> spreadsheets for the AS/400? Better to point out that a system can be set
> up to track sales directly from the AS/400 so that there will not be any
> double entry? Often, it _is_ the better solution to just buy the manager a
> PC and let them key their own data in. It may be discomforting to know
> that you have implemented a solution that does not get backed up, doesn't
> use normalized data, isn't audited, etc. etc., but if the manager can make
> the company more money this way, plug it in.

Good example..MIS is but a single cog in the 'company machine' and it's the 
company as a
whole that needs growth and support.  This is a perfect example of how us 
propeller heads
can look over a skilled sales managers shoulder, see what type of data they are 
and develop a way for them to automatically receive that information from the 
AS/400 to
produce those graphs.  With this phased approach, the manager gets what they 
need right
away (as the new kid on the block they want to show results very quickly..don't 
slow them
down)  Then later, MIS can build an application extraction and down load which 
adds value
to the AS/400..MIS looks good.  Then by saving the sales manager from keying 
data, the MIS
cog improves the sales cog so the company is better off.  And should this hot 
shot manager
move on to greener pastures, the company has retained his/her tools for the 
sales staff....and MIS has a starting point that can be built upon for the 
data requests.

One of the difficulties of development is getting the user to really state what 
it is that
they want....one could spend untold number of man hours in analysis, mockup, 
review, etc.
when sometimes it is just plain easier to let someone like the sales manager do 
it their
way so they can "draw you a picture" instead of trying to explain it.  And 
chances are
pretty high that there already was a PC on the sales managers desk talking to 
the AS/400
when they first walked in the door, so the cost investment would be pretty low.

Now, back to advertising, as in this threads discussion, the manager came to 
MIS with an
ad for an application solution that they wanted to use.  IMHO, applications are 
the true
driving force in hardware sales....but then again, I'm a software developer not 
advertising guru.

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