Archive for March, 2007

Another final week of the quarter

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

We are here again – the final week of our quarter, which makes for very little sleep for many of our team. For some (including myself) this is caused by us negotiating and agreeing purchases with many customers that choose to wait until now to place their order. For others (the sales reps that are trying to make their number) this is caused by sleepless nights worrying about whether they have done everything possible to ensure that customers can purchase before the end of quarter hits on Friday.

We are again having a great quarter and a great last month. So far in March, we have concluded 45 separate transactions with customers and are signing many new customers on to the NimBUS platform.

I met with a potential customer last week in San Francisco who asked us the differences between Nimsoft and a competitor. Rather than focus on feature/function I instead talked about a couple of key areas:

1. Nimsoft and its team “eats, sleeps and breathes” enterprise management. Unlike some others who jump into the market in order to make a quick buck, our engineering team has been developing these tools for over 15 years and we know the common pitfalls that face these platforms. On the surface it’s easy right? Read data from published APIs, put it into a database and write a nice, sexy GUI to display it. Well….the issues come in when the conversation turns to security models, how to support heterogeous environments, firewalls, NATed IP addresses, scalability, fault tolerance etc etc. Then, a seemingly simple problem becomes an extremely difficult problem. Many of the new entrants into this market simply “don’t know what they don’t know” and ultimately their customers will suffer as they hit the wall.

2. Our support for customers is unparalleled. Our marketing team asked me to describe this the other day, and I used the “No customer left behind” phrase. All companies have difficult customers, all companies have to deal with that 1 or 2% of customers that have previously unknown requirements that they need met. Quite often these individual customers become unprofitable in their own right. But…we have NEVER walked away from a customer. I shouldn’t say that too loud because maybe our financial guys might suggest that we should in fact walk away if a customer becomes unprofitable for us. But, it is not in our genes I’m afraid. We build this business on customer satisfaction and we hold good to our promise – no exceptions.

At the start of April we have our ww sales team together for 4 days for sales training (yep, they get on a plane on Saturday and training starts Sunday morning). This gives me a slight problem because we need to present the plaque to our sales rep of the quarter on Monday morning, and yet we will not know until Friday night who that person is. The engraver needs 3 days lead time. So…yes, we are going to produce multiple plaques and the ones that don’t make it will never be used. Don’t tell the sales team my secret – I think they believe that I am very clever in predicting who is going to be the #1 rep.

Second week of April, our entire technical team (apart from some customer support staff of course) head to Oslo for a week with our developers for in-depth technical training. This will be an amazing experience for many of them (hands up who has ever been to Oslo?)

These events cost Nimsoft quite a lot, but it is all part of investing in our people and ultimately our customer satisfaction.

Oracle partnership announcement

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Today we announced a partnership with Oracle. Rather than me repeat what is in the press release, maybe I can explain a little further the background to this announcement.

Oracle has a product – Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g (OEM). This product, from my perspective has traditionally been used by Oracle customers to better manage their Oracle database environment. It does not compete with NimBUS but quite often it is already being used by the DBAs in our customers. However, Oracle feels that this product can handle much more than just the Oracle database ennvironment and instead this can be a complete applications management solution.

They already have (or are announcing) support for their own suite of applications such as the Oracle Apps, Siebel, Peoplesoft etc.

But…there are also 35,000-40,000 customers that are running SAP R/3 with Oracle. Customers that are running OEM in this environment, naturally want it to be able to monitor the SAP R/3 information as well as the database.

So, Oracle approached Nimsoft about taking our SAP R/3 solution and making it a “plug-in” to OEM.

The work to do this is actually pretty easy because of the openness of NimBUS and the full set of APIs that we provide. We are working with the Oracle engineers to develop this integration and work is well underway.

What are the implications of this announcement?

For Nimsoft, we are being recognized by one of the leading software companies in the world and clearly this is great validation of our product and what we are doing, plus we get Oracle sales staff and partners starting to recommend NimBUS.

For Oracle and Oracle customers, they get an immediate SAP R/3 monitoring capability.

In the future, we would hope to expand this relationship to cover all of the NimBUS probes for other application/database/network/server environments that OEM does not currently cover.

But…we need to walk before we can run.

Exciting times. CRN leaked a little of the news early on their blog

Major partnership to be announced

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

We are now once again into the last month of the quarter. For anyone that doesn’t work at a software company, you should know that we pretty much do not allow any vacation/holiday in the last month of any quarter as it gets extremely busy. Our revenue numbers so far in Q1 are looking great and we’ve had many new customer wins yet again.

Next week we are announcing a partnership with one of the leading software companies in the world. They have selected Nimsoft to deliver the management/monitoring of SAP R/3. It’s a very exciting time for us – being recognized as a technology leader by one of the largest software companies in the world.

On a different note, I talked to one of our customers this week who had, about a year ago, selected NimBUS instead of HP Openview which was his company’s previous standard. I asked him “What was the hardest part of the decision making process?”

His response…

“The technical decision was easy, your product is not even comparable to OpenView – we pretty much knew we wanted NimBUS right away. The economic decision was also easy – your total project price was less than the consultancy price we were offered from HP. The support that you showed was also superior. But…the hard part was convincing my peers and managers that we should purchase from a smaller company as opposed to a very large organization like HP.”

I asked him “1 year on” what the feeling was and he told me that he had been promoted partially as a result of his “bold” decision and the success of the project.

I will add to this thought process soon because it truly amazes me how many companies are willing to allow their business to suffer because of their vendors. Tail wagging the dog.

But, right now it is Saturday afternoon and I have to get my son’s hair cut, buy a present for my daughter to take to a birthday party this evening and I also promised some Pokemon cards to my little angels.