Jennifer Matt, one of my favorite industry bloggers, posted a thoughtful article in yesterday's WhatTheyThink that among other things, discusses peer recommendations. Although her opening anecdote is about MIS software, the advice in the article, titled "Industry Events, Peer Recommendations, and Print Software Solutions" is applicable to any sort of software buying decision.
The main point Jennifer makes is that the best resource - by far - when you are trying to choose a software solution for your business is to talk with a similar business that has successfully implemented what you're considering. Sales, even solution oriented sales, tend to be a bit generic and abstract.
All solutions have numerous capabilities - some of which are very cool, but which you might not need. A product might do everything you're looking for, at least theoretically. But if you don't have the ability to implement it and get it working, it's not going to do you much good. Although most salespeople, and certainly the Pageflex salespeople, are honest about their offerings and have their prospects' best interests in mind, the reality is that understand your business needs better than even the most insightful salesperson.
I have always found it interesting to see how print and marketing service providers network and cooperate with each other - even with potential competitors. Many industry events, such as Dscoop, the PODI AppForum, user conferences and regional peer groups foster this spirit of collaboration.
We are pleased to be part of this world and believe in the value of peer to peer communication. Our user group conference was a great example of how customers can learn from customers, and we'll be continuing the conversation with our upcoming webinars. Our active LinkedIn Group, Pageflex Professionals, allows customers to share tips and tidbits with other customers.
We are also participating as a bronze sponsor at the upcoming Dscoop conference, which is one of the premier industry events for networking and learning. This is the 10th Dscoop, so it's particularly exciting to realize that we have been at all of them.
Our customers have proven the value of peer recommendations, and we encourage all of you to join the conversation!