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Have you ever heard the term, "Eat your own dog food?" It's more or less about consuming what you already have available, or for this post's context, it's an action where you would make use of existing or internal resources or tools, rather than consuming or procuring an outside asset. As someone who works for a software company, it can be common to leverage products and applications either written in house or obtained via acquisition but how can you use these products while also showcasing their abilities to a larger audience? In this post, I'll review an example or use case of that scenario that goes beyond beta dogfooding and extends into marketing.

 

Working in Software

If you worked for Microsoft, I'm going to assume that you'd be using Office 365. That you would be taking notes in OneNote, sharing content with your peers and customers with One Drive, and collaborating in Yammer (or better yet, MS Teams) as well as leveraging other Microsoft applications. Perhaps you would also be testing new Office 365 features and provide feedback to the product management team. While leveraging these applications, you will likely be sharing and displaying some of your created content with peers or customers who know that it's Office 365 delivering the capability.The same thing can be done for nearly any other software company. If you can't use your own solutions? How is your customer supposed to be using it? If we all sit back and wait for our amazing sales folks to get deals signed, how is that helping the company to win in the marketplace? We are in fact all in sales, whether we like it or not. You might be thinking, wait, I work for a software vendor but we create brain-games for IOS and Android. How can I eat my own dog food while also marketing for my customer? Play the games! Share them with friends, family, people you meet at the airport, at a restaurant, write a blog about it, capture in-game video, etc. All someone has to do is see how much fun you are having (or frustration) and they may take an interest.

 

“Eating your own dogfood,” or “dogfooding,” as it’s more commonly phrased, means using the software you make, often in beta form, to work out the kinks. The first recorded usage was in 1988, when Microsoft executive Paul Maritz was desperate for customers to try a new product and e-mailed a colleague, “We are going to have to eat our own dogfood and test the product ourselves.” They created an internal server called “\\dogfood” and sent it out to staff.
- Nora Caplan-Bricker (Dogfooding: Tech slang for working out the glitches | New Republic )

 

Wait - I'm Not Customer Facing

Throughout my career I've had roles that sometimes put me on the front-lines with customers. At this exact moment, I'm not as customer facing as I used to be but that doesn't mean I don't have 'customers' and opportunities to share outside of my normal connections. Sure, there are times when I am directly exposed to customers who have purchased software or services but aren't all of my peers and colleagues my customers as well? Of course they are! Don't get hung up on collaborating, sharing, and informing, if you are not always working directly with customers. Your internal peers may also benefit greatly from your contributions and they then may have opportunities to inform or showcase said 'dogfood' to their customers (aka your customers).

 

The Dogfood

Getting to our use case, I'm going to briefly examine an application, part of the CA Accelerator, that thousands (and I mean THOUSANDS) of people could benefit from. It's a tool called Instant Agenda and if you host either internal meetings OR customer facing meetings, this tool may help organize your agenda, notes, actions items, and keep you on task like you couldn't imagine before. We've all been on calls where the agenda is set but the time bleeds into one topic to the next. In my case it's when people get too chatty on a specific topic... With Instant Agenda you can closely manage the meeting time and help keep people on task. Need to assign an action item to an attendee? It's fast and they receive an email with the action item information so they can set it as a task on their end. There are many features and benefits to this service. See how it works in the video below:
(right-click the video link and open in a new tab)  -- Instant Agenda - How it Works on Vimeo 

 

 

Run highly Productive Meetings: Download the Instant Agenda Reference Card

 

The Opportunity

If you leverage Instant Agenda as a CA resource, not only are you utilizing a fantastic productivity tool to help stay on task during meetings, assign actions items, and obtain feedback in an orderly fashion, but you may also be demonstrating directly to customers how you are using this application to make your life better. And if they like what they see? They may look into buying it as well. That's it. Marketing via eating your own dog food. And this is only one app as part of the CA Accelerator. There are likely others you can leverage in the future to support sales, product management, and to benefit from yourself depending on your role or needs. Perhaps I could have said it using fewer words but I enjoyed writing this post regardless. So what do you say CA fam? Let's do a better job of eating our own dog food by starting with Instant Agenda. I know this post is readable to non-CA employees and that's ok - if that's you, you really owe it to yourself to check out Instant Agenda and signup for the free trial. Especially if you host routine meetings. 

 

Enjoy!

 


 

One final note. Want to begin blogging or sharing your ideas or thoughts? You don't have to make everything perfect and you'll get better at it as you go. You just have to start and share in an attempt to add value to others.

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Now, stop reading and go signup for the Instant Agenda trial!

 

Looking for more helpful videos on how to use Instant Agenda, goto the Vimeo channel.

Please note, I co-wrote a blog post on customer service that you can find on the CA Technologies blog: How B2B Customer Service Is Changing

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"Companies are going outside their normal processes to build relationships with customers, provide near-instant response times and give a level of services unachievable in the past.

In the B2C arena, Microsoft’s Xbox Twitter support team and Amazon’s Mayday service have upped the ante in customer service via personal support.

Microsoft Xbox uses a Twitter account for event management and monitoring. Microsoft’s McKenzie Eakin says, “Our ability to identify and fix emerging issues is so much faster with our ears to the street.” Xbox support holds the Guinness world record as the most responsive brand on Twitter.

Amazon's Mayday button connects anyone with a problem directly to a customer service rep via one-way video chat 24/7/365. Average response time: 15 seconds!"

B2B customers want personal interaction, too!

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Please click the link above to see the full article!

WWZtyjNote, this blog entry was originally posted in 2012 on CA's previous blog platform - some information may now be inaccurate.

 

Technology leaders face the same trials and tribulations, including the expectation of doing more with less. Your IT organization needs to understand its true cost of operation and measure whether it can accelerate delivery and support of services efficiently. In many cases, it’s the expenses inside your four walls that negatively impact your budget and keep you from providing users and customers the service they deserve.

 

It’s been common practice for organizations to purchase a software or service, install it in-house, train or hire resources, employ consultants and purchase hardware, databases and whatever additional services and personnel are necessary to run, monitor, maintain and upgrade the application. Cloud offerings and managed services have changed the traditional thinking, providing IT leaders with choices well beyond which software or product to use: Now they ask themselves, “Which product, which features, which delivery method, and whose culture do we want to employ?”

 

Employing a managed or hosted service beyond your four walls can be a cost-effective option to ensure you're using the latest technology without worrying about up-front capital expenses associated with deploying new software. By clearly understanding your business requirements, how you plan to expand or grow, and knowing your short- and long-term objectives with the service, your hosting or managed service provider can optimize your IT environment and deliver a flexible package at a predictable cost.

 

Nathan Eddy of eWeek.com wrote about a worldwide survey that found businesses that value IT as an enabler of better productivity and effectiveness and that use hosted services, perform better fiscally than those that do not. Eddy discusses the benefits of employing a hosted solution and/or managed services, which have steadily grown in popularity as they continue to demonstrate value. In fact, in some organizations, they are becoming standard business practice. 

How do you decide if a hosted solution or managed service offering is right for you? Based on your specific needs and scenario, analyze the following factors to determine the delivery method best for you. Use cases provide a guideline as to how to employ the solution, but your unique requirements will determine the path that suits your needs.

- Do you have the resources to build, maintain and administer the solution?
- Is there already in-house expertise or will formal training be required?
- How is time to market affected if you do the project and installation on your own?
- How much capital do you have available and what is the total cost of ownership in each scenario?
- What would ongoing environment maintenance and disaster recovery cost?
- Will you require third-party integrations where the right expertise is critical to success?

There are many important factors to consider when it comes to consumption models.  Some additional benefits may include:
- Full administrative and development access to your environments
- Global data center availability and selection
- Support staff with in-depth knowledge of customer environments
- Solution-specific expertise
- Dedicated project management
- Negotiable length of contract
- Flexibility to bring the solution on premise
- PCI certified, SAS 70 Type II-compliant data centers
- ITIL service management processes and procedures
- 24×7 monitoring

Other questions to ask yourself include:
- What did your last upgrade project cost?
- How many months did it take and how many resources were involved?

No matter how you answer these questions, it makes sense to think beyond your four walls and consider the benefits of a managed or hosted service when preparing to deploy new software solutions. There’s no better time to invest strategically to win in your market, and a managed or hosted service just may help get you there.

Originally blogged in 2013

When organizations research application services with the possibility of upgrading or migrating their current IT service, I’d like to think that they ask at least one universal question: Do we go with an On Demand or SaaS offering, Hosted Solution, or On Premise deployment model?

CA PPM is one solution that can be consumed and configured in whatever way best suits your organization’s needs. Previously, I wrote a blog post that discussed CA’s Managed Service offering, now called Application Management Services (AMS). The article talked about why it may suit some organizations to look to the cloud or to some other means outside their data center for an application service and the advantage in doing so.  As a continuation to that post, I felt it was time to explore hosting as a service and how it compares to other well-known deployment models.

The easiest way to describe hosting is to say it is nearly identical to an on premise service except that a third party handles all of the hardware, networking, monitoring, disaster recovery, and other infrastructure assets that are required to deliver the service. Hosting is very configurable to customizations and integrations, and puts the customer in control of their environment, similar to how it would be if it were on premise. You control software patching, upgrades, and decision making. Service Level Agreements are used to manage expectations and planned outages are scheduled with the infrastructure provider when needed.

If you are currently consuming or planning to purchase a specific IT service, you should know all of the possibilities for how that service can be delivered and how those methods might suit your needs. Specifically, you should have a good idea as to the number of end users that will be required to access the service, if any integration will be required, and any value-add component or competency that your organization might need. In most cases, a sales or pre-sales consultant can help you in understanding and estimating your overall needs. In my experience, you are either one of two roles in your organization, a decision maker or an influencer.  Since every one of us has the opportunity to consistently make things better within our team and organization, the onus is on you to understand service delivery methods and their benefits before either making or influencing a decision.

The chart and comparison shown below, provides some insight into why you would select one deployment model over another and lists several attributes and how they compare in each scenario. Deployment models do indeed matter- so do your homework, know your organization’s needs and challenges, then consult with your sales professional about service delivery methods before making or influencing your next big decision.

deployment-models-2013.png

*Please note that this blog was originally posted in 2013 and the above chart may not be fully accurate today.