Watching this Dennis Howlett interview with Ray Wang, it occurred to me how the industry still talks about 3PM as a taboo topic:
a) Enterprise software vendors still pretend they have no defections, even though Rimini Street, for one has over 600 customers
b) Over a beer, enterprise software executives will agree they should move to offering tiers of maintenance (“one size does not fit all‘), but inspite of all the heartache involved they would rather wrestle their own long-term customers to some level of discount, one at a time
c) 3PM vendors will sheepishly agree they are just a bargaining chip in thousands of wrestling matches each year described in b)
d) SaaS vendors will only grudgingly agree when a customer moves to 3PM they may have missed (or at least postponed) an opportunity to convert a customer not happy with the incumbent vendor
e) Analysts don’t seem to realize our industry has a long history of third party alternatives – remember Amdahl 470 plug compatibles in the 70s which would allow customers to literally move from an IBM 360 over a weekend?
f) Many pieces of software over 20 years old have customers either maintaining themselves or having an outsourcer support it for them. Or the current vendor owner is similarly letting a partner maintain it or handle the entire customer relationship for them.
3PM is another choice for enterprise customers. Not quite like another brand in the cereal section in a grocery store, but something to rationally discuss not whisper about in hushed tones.
It’s not right for everyone – but everyone would be wrong to not discuss it periodically.
(Cross-posted @ DealArchitect Full)