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In a message dated 1/23/02 10:13:16 AM US Eastern Standard Time,
bolingde@co.rowan.nc.us writes:

> 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
> 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.

BRAVO, David.  You hit the nail on the head.  If Don hasn't already chimed in
(and he probably has, I'm only halfway through my e-mail at this point), I'm
sure that he would join us in being outraged at this.  You didn't say where
in NC you were, but I've been here for quite some time and been disappointed
in IBM's AS/400 performance for the duration.  I've worked for great business
partners, business partners that could have been great had IBM provided them
the promised support, and great agent firms that fell when IBM dissolved the
program.  In that time I've seen most of Eastern NC running underconfigured
boxes with an application written originally for a potato farm.  Gotta'
maintain those sales regions, even if the person handling the region is an
idiot >8(.

> 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.

Not sure about that "never buy an iSeries because they saw an ad" part, but
you _DO_ have to get intelligent referrals from IBM.  I've heard horror
stories about people calling up their local IBM rep on a lark and asking for
an "AS/400 Only" solution, only to be referred to the NetFinity sales force.
_SOMETHING_ has to be done.

> 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.

They had something called "Platinum Partner" some time ago, but I haven't
heard anything about it since we got the qualification notice at the agent
firm.  Don't know what happened to the program.

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

No, it's _MUCH_ more important than _THOSE_ topics...


Dean Asmussen
Enterprise Systems Consulting, Inc.
Fuquay-Varina, NC  USA
E-mail:  DAsmussen@aol.com

"The brain is a wonderful organ.  It starts when you get up and doesn't stop
until you get into the office." -- Robert Frost

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