Monday, December 15, 2008

Management vendors with money on their minds - Network World

If you're involved with running a data center, a CIO, operations manager, etc. you should take a look at this - IT process automation will help you do more with less in this troubling economic time and it looks like NetIQ is leading the pack with an incredible offer.

read more | digg story

Thursday, August 7, 2008

SC Magazine Policy Management Product Best Buy

2008 SC Magazine group review of Policy Management selects NetIQ Secure Configuration Manager 5.7 as Best Buy.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Help Put the PCI-DSS Record Straight

Bloggers pulled apart a recent PCI DSS vendor survey (see link in Blog) - "Always satisfying, and no-one really has much sympathy for vendors". Help put the record straight...

read more | digg story

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Merchants call credit card industry's bluff on compliance

The Register reports that '88% of European firms have failed to achieve compliance with a credit card industry standard for processing ecommerce transactions'

read more | digg story

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Five tips for successful VoIP deployment

Determining the network's readiness is the first step to migrating to IP telephony. There are five areas to consider when planning a VoIP deployment:

read more | digg story

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tips for Making Most of Longhorn's Top 5 Security Features

Deploying Windows Server 2008 - To quote gtkwatkins "Brilliant article. I would like to see more stuff written by this guy. He really knows his stuff."

read more | digg story

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Community Sites and the Buying Cycle

The latest Marketing Sherpa weekly chart tracks five different types of information buyers seek over the course of the buying cycle, from awareness through purchase.
They focused on one easy-to-digest point that I tend to agree with: Our ‘About Us’ pages are more important than you might think. I was also very interested in how a corporate community site with blog, forum, hints and tips etc. can help address the customer service and competitive comparison needs.

Company information is where Marketing Sherpa focused. It is of less importance than the other information but gains in significance at the negotiation phase. It is at this point that prospective buyers start looking at a company as a whole, after short listing. They move beyond the features and functions of the products and services and want to know if the company is stable, trustworthy, reputable, easy to do business with - it is the values that can not be put on a purchase order.

A good community site offers prospects who are looking at the company in more depth a gamut of useful references. Customers who post comments, questions and are featured in blogs, vlogs, tips and tricks, and the special interest groups by product, industry or geography help indicate to prospects who we are working with today and establishes the peer group or groups where they feel comfortable. A prospective purchaser can garner advice and even ask direct questions of existing customers - What is it like working with NetIQ?.

Which leads nicely into customer service. As you move product forums into the open environment of a community site your online customer service and interaction is on show for all to see. And yes, they can see your dirty laundry. If there is something wrong with a product or service it will be raised by customers within a community. Glitches happen and a prospect knows this, part of their evaluation is how those are addressed. Honesty and a positive resolution focus that is communicated clearly helps reassure that the primary focus is on the customers satisfaction and assert if the level of service is better than competitor 'X'.

A community site is not however in my opinion the best medium for providing direct comparisons to competitive products or services, but it can make it easier for a prospect to find the information they need. The question will be asked and as with all questions should be addressed with honesty: Yes, 'X' offers a valid solution for this area of functionality, this independent magazine ran an evaluation piece recently that I think you will find very interesting and Gartner, Forester or A.N.Other analyst company offers this review. We also have this independent lab evaluation which compares our product against 'X'.

Most importantly if you have customers who used to use that product and have posted comments, provide links to those pieces and let the prospect query the customer via the forum as to why they switched and how it compares.

Community blogs also help convey the company position of thought leadership and give insight into the way its people think and interact with their audience. All in all a company or products community, supported or independent, is a valuable tool in any organisations arsenal.