I’m looking through Amazon AWS services to possibly host testing environments, SQL Server integration, etc. This is also a part of my occasional research (Nebula R&D, get it?) to get a better idea of what companies are demanding these days.
The diversity and depth of these services, tiers, and pricing models are overwhelming, and need a good amount of dedicated time to understand. But as I look at each offering I can easily see opportunities for MV integration, and related business cases. I could create an entire library of nothing but AWS calls from BASIC – and another library of AWS extensions back into MV. But will I? Probably not.
There’s so much we can do, but so little demand. We’re in a world where people are doing great things with technology, but in an industry where people expect so little from their DBMS.
The thing is that there is nothing different about MV end-users. There isn’t a MV end-user culture or worldview. They have the same business requirements as every other business. It’s the MV developer community that limits how we use the platform and the offerings that get presented to end-users. That includes the DBMS providers themselves who don’t link end-users with modern solutions which aren’t directly offered by their channel.
The exception would be Rocket Software, acquiring products and customer lists, and then selling the products through those lists. It’s a good model but with the assumption that all they need to do is to bring together companies with their products and they’ll earn a profit from the match-up. It’s like Match.com for software and businesses. But they’re only presenting their own offerings through their mailing list. So if they don’t offer something then the people on their list are free to look elsewhere – and these end-users are strongly encouraged to migrate platforms for compatibility with “mainstream” offerings. And yet we have a channel of resources who may be able to provide what some of these end-users need – but the upline doesn’t perceive benefits from linking these end-users to anyone but their own Sales departments. The benefit to such extended matchmaking is that end-users with the MV DBMS platform will see more value, and thus keep paying support fees. They’ll stay on the address list to get solicited for other products. And the industry will be that much stronger perhaps to allure others into the same pattern.
It seems most people have no interest in a holistic model like that. If people need to go beyond the immediate cycle of posting an ad and making a direct sale, it’s just out of scope. They’re more focused on tactical initiatives than strategic. Strategy is driven by upper management who rarely ever read the kind of stuff I post in this blog or forums.
I get extremely frustrated. My ability to approach end-users with solutions is limited by the (lack of) vision of gatekeepers who hold the keys of access to end-users who want modern solutions. These end-users have proven that they’ll migrate away from MV and this pool of apathy to get what they need. And all this industry does is to look for other things to sell to make up for the loss.
How can we change this situation? The MV DBMS providers (Rocket, Zumasys, etc) can partner with their industry, not just with the subset of people who write business applications that run over their specific platform. These “value-add” resellers don’t care about the database. They’re not “value-add” in the sense that they’re adding value to the database. They’re using a platform with which they’re comfortable. They have either migrated to the platform because it served them to do so, or they can’t migrate away because it costs them too much. This isn’t a channel of partners, it’s more like a shotgun wedding where the inlaws tolerate one another. By extending partnerships to include bridging solutions between end-users and other solutions that they value, the DBMS providers can help to nurture their own industry. (For anyone who doesn’t get it, that means “mo money”.)
Of course vendors must have a respect for their channel resellers but I think we’ve seen over time that these relationships are always flippant. The DBMS providers will respect the channel to a point of losing all of the end-users under a VAR. Who does that help? If the DBMS providers can respectfully partner VARs and their end-users with a third-party channel of “Value-Add” providers, then we all benefit. The VARs get to keep their residual fees coming in and they will almost undoubtedly earn more. As I said in my last blog, isolation has simply not worked in the long run. We need to do more to bring people together, and in a proper and respectful way.
I’ve never heard an argument against these kinds of relationships, but I’ve never seen them embraced either. Why? Isn’t it time to try something different?