The next time you have to sort through a stack of similar products, ask their sales staff if they have a community that supports their products. Then ask if the vendor’s employees actually monitor a community somewhere. Next, throw in the myITforum.com card, and ask if their products are supported by a community as large and as knowledgeable as the myITforum.com crowd.
I’m sure they’ll sputter for a bit. If they know of us (and, if they are System Center competitor – they do) they may point you to their own communities, embedded deep into their own web site somewhere, managed by their own webmasters. But, take some time. Join their community before you decided to buy. I’m pretty sure you’ll realize right away the value that myITforum.com provides the System Center products.
At myITforum.com you can get support 24×7, and have your questions answered in minutes, and sometimes from folks at Microsoft themselves.
I’m surprised that Microsoft (and Microsoft partners) doesn’t pull out a nice marketing slick during sales calls, brandishing the myITforum.com logo as a value added service for System Center products. It does happen – to a smaller, less dramatic extent – in some cases.
I hear from time-to-time of companies planning and architecting their own community web presence, sitting on their own servers. What folks don’t seem to understand is that community congregates. You can’t force them one way or another. You can’t build a community for your products and then expect everyone to show up. The “build it, they will come” doesn’t work in this day and age.
Vendors – to which wagon are you hitching your product’s and service’s future on? Get past the “we have to own it” mentality. This is the Internet. Instead of building something, spending money and resources on it, and hoping that it will all work out in the end, work with established community leaders to participate (not try to control) in community. When your customers see that, it makes them all warm and fuzzy inside. And, it saves you a lot of money in a stiff economic landscape.
Let the community experts take care of you, so you can concentrate on your business.