Being in the software business for 20+ years, I’ve both feared and admired open-source. On the one hand, we’ve benefited from it so thoroughly that it’s easy to overlook that we’re standing on ‘shoulders of giants’ every morning from the moment we boot up a Linux VM, to whatever PERL or Python module we’ll download or upgrade during the day. We’ve made modest contributions along the way, but we’ve never taken the plunge of actually open-sourcing our own wares -- even though, economically and technically, our own customers have benefited from indirectly from them. After all, building our apps around open source has - over the long-term - kept our own customer’s total cost of ownership down, and kept openness and reliability up. In this post, I’d like to explore an often-overlooked aspect of open-source: it’s ability to help you close more sales by including an ‘infrastructure call option’ for your prospects.
Remember the days when investigating a customer query meant your employees needed to carry out a checklist of manual steps? We do. And in spite of the digitization of the telecom environment, many providers still retain some of these steps as part of their process. It’s not unheard of for an employee to spend between 15 and 20 minutes investigating a single issue, such as whether a client's usage records are accurate or not. When doing so requires accessing one system, gathering the information, and then using it to access another system (or more), it can be a lengthy process. The solution is to automate as many tasks in your workflow as possible, and stitch all of the information together with a workflow manager.