Monday, January 05, 2015

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
        -- Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr,  Les Guêpes, January 1849 volume

Translation:  the more things change, the more they stay the same.


It's been an interesting first year with Io Consulting...uh, I mean Sierra Cedar, Inc.  I've had the opportunity to dig deep into the unique Higher Education marketplace, and to help spread the message about Oracle's Cloud Application Services within that marketplace.

For me personally, it's been a great learning experience as I've tuned in to the typical conversation patterns.  Conversation patterns?  Let me play out a few scenarios to explain what I mean.

Scenario 1

Higher Education Institution:  we need to eliminate the ever-growing drain on money, equipment and people required just to maintain our back office applications.

Me:  could we spend a few minutes talking about Oracle Cloud?

Scenario 2

Higher Education Institution:  we need to keep control over certain business processes, but we'd like to lessen the maintenance load on everything else.

Me:  could we spend a few minutes talking about hybrid cloud opportunities with Oracle Cloud?

Scenario 3

Higher Education Institution:  my current applications vendor has been acquired.  The new owner has put our key applications into a mode of maintenance development only.  We need to switch vendors in order to keep up with student, faculty, and administrative expectations.

Me:  could we spend a few minutes talking about user experience in Oracle Cloud?

Scenario 4

Higher Education Institution:  we already use Oracle products:  Peoplesoft HR and Campus Solutions.  Why switch to a cloud?

Me:  could we spend a few minutes talking about how to advance your institution's mission by leveraging Oracle Cloud while protecting your current investment in Oracle products?

There are a few more typical patterns, but this is enough for you to get the idea.  The interesting part of all this?  These are essentially the same conversations I had and continue to have with organizations that exist outside the domain of Higher Education.  Different use cases, same patterns.

So, what's this long-winded blog post all about?  I've picked up a pearl of wisdom over the past year...the concerns of customers and potential customers remain the same.  Those concerns cross the boundaries of vertical market divisions.  It boils down to this:  help me do what I do better, faster, or less expensively.  The trick is in recognizing the patterns to apply to specific use cases and communicating those patterns clearly.  

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

No comments: