This conversation … its just so enjoyable … I must have it again … no … really …

Customer: We were told you make really fast tightly coupled storage and computing systems.

Me (in my best Dr. Galakowicz voice): Yes, yes we do. They are fast. Really fast. Did I mention, they are fast?

Customer: Thats great, ’cause we need fast! Fast is really important to us. Fast is good. Really fast. Fast. … er … but we have a problem.

Me: yes?

Customer: er … we can only buy from vendor X … they won’t let us buy anything else

Me: Even if you have a quantifiable business need, and your projects objectives wouldn’t be met by vendor X’s slow stuff, which represents an effective existential project risk?

Customer: er … uh … yes.

Me: [hits the mute button, and palm inelastically scatters from forehead)

I see lots of this. Customers need something, that they aren’t allowed to get, and their projects are at risk as a result of their not being able to get something. Somehow, accepting project failure is collateral damage for faux risk aversion.

OTOH, we see enlightend customers focus upon solving the problems, and selecting from the solutions to the problem. Its a question of how you manage risk … is the risk of failure of important projects greater or less than the risk of a “new” platform? The political price people have to pay to get what they need to accomplish their jobs is huge in some cases. When a cost center service organization has the power to completely dictate what the pointy end of the profit making organization may and may not do … thats the sign of an ossified organization unable to adapt to change, and not cognizant of how they are increasing their risk by not being able to adapt. When change comes to such organizations, it comes in fairly sizable shocks.

You sink or you swim. Swimmers adapt.

We’ve had customers ask us to take their brand X gear, and replace the innards with our bits. No, seriously.

When the label means that much, something ain’t entirely right.

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