CEO/President’s Corner – August 2010
As a Customer, do I need to look Under the Hood?
If you’re buying a toaster, I submit that most of us don’t care what’s inside as long as it toasts bread and doesn’t catch on fire. When buying flat panel TV’s, there’s so much complexity that it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the feature list, when perhaps all you care about is that you get the channels you want. However, some of us do buy based on resolution, on number of HDMI ports, on the contrast level and the speed of the refresh rate.
When it comes to the imaging technology that Snowbound provides, most of our customers want to be able to configure the product to suit their specialized needs. They’re not buying a toaster; they’re buying an imaging component or a sophisticated document viewer that will be integrated into their document repository. These customers do and should want to look under the hood. They typically understand why the product is important to them and why what we provide over other products matters.
So when a customer like that approaches Snowbound and tells us:
“I have a problem. I’d like to be able to quickly distribute key documents and information to our customers and partners. I think this would best be solved by delivering the information over the Web via a browser. I’d like a sophisticated Web client that will let my clients retrieve, view, manipulate and mark-up documents quickly, but a solution that doesn’t increase the burden on my IT staff. What do you have that does that?”
The key here is that the customer appreciates that their request isn’t simple and the solution isn’t obvious. They’ve come to us as experts to advise them on their choices. And for this scenario, truthfully we are the experts. We are one of the few companies in the world who can advise them on their choices – and provide them what they need.
If a customer has done their homework, they’ll realize that their preferences for document formats (TIFF, PNG, PDF, MS Office, etc.), for platforms (.NET, Java, UNIX) and client (thin, fat, HTML only) make their solution quite challenging. Some vendors might be able to satisfy only a few of their requirements. Others may have to put together a number of 3rd party components to get the job done. Some vendors might be able to customize, others might not have the expertise.
We enjoy working with customers that have tough requirements …and who appreciate the value they’re getting.