>-----Original Message-----
>From: Pat Barber
>NOBODY is "cold calling" small business in our area.

No only is nobody "cold calling" it's almost impossible to buy an Iseries
unless you know who or what to look for.  While IBM has a listing in the
Yellow Pages, a call to IBM will not turn up a solution or referral in most

I few years ago, we thought the county would take on a new business function
(Mental Health) that would require new software.  Just to see how hard it
would be for a new customer (without any iseries info) to end up with a
as/400 (or anything from IBM), I called the Yellow Pages listed number for
IBM.  Their reply was to call IBM Direct.  IBM Direct told me they only sold
hardware and sent me back to the IBM regional office.  Then they sent me
back to IBM Direct (this was starting to be a quest by now).  IBM Direct
told me they didn't sell software and couldn't help me, at which time I told
them "NO YOU ARE GOING TO HELP ME!"  They then asked (called) somewhere and
got me a few BP or ISV's names (not contact info, but names).  They didn't
know if these business were good, crooks, still in business, even if they
worked with as/400, mainframes, pc's, etc.

The question then is, if a new customer has to go through that many steps,
dead ends and finally, force someone to help them get a solution, how can
you possibly get new customers?

The whole government market in NC (which is quite large) doesn't have an IBM
marketing rep in the State.  OTOH, I can have anybody I want from M$ (and
I'm not their biggest fan, either) in my office at anytime (ditto, with many
PC and Unix vendors, as well). When we, as a group, got real loud about some
Microsoft problems, the top "Government Manager" in  Redmond came and
visited several of us.

I always hear BP's cry about IBM iseries advertisements (or the lack
thereof), but business owners, CEO's, etc will never ask for an iseries
because they saw an ad.  They will call IBM because they expect a solution
and they expect IBM to be able to help (or they saw a solution listed in a
trade ad).  Usually they're not even thinking platform. That means IBM has
to knock on doors, field calls intelligently, have Marketing Rep's and SE's
that can explain the various products and product lines, to customers.

IBM has to understand, that good, quality vendors selling solutions, sell
the iseries platform.  IBM then needs know about them, know how good they
are and refer the best ones.

Sorry about the long reply, but I think it's as least as important and
Enron, and Lou G. selling stock.

David Boling

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