From the outset, our hallmark at Zystems has allways been simplicity. We’ve tried to make a complex issue (systems integration) seem simple, especially in terms of how to buy it and what you get. More and more companies are doing it; it’s called packaging. When we started out seven years ago, the middleware market was still pretty immature. Vendors, consultants and customers mostly grappled with technical issues. Yet our first project was sold and delivered as a packaged solution at a fixed price. I dare not think what would have happened had we failed that first one…Anyway, that first project and it’s success became the core of the story we started using when we approached customers with what became the Baseline Start-kit. The whole approch we had with new customers was simple: we started off with a tale most IT-professional could relate to: systems integration hurts, and we’re in a mess. We then moved on to offer the pain-killer: order and consistency (Baseline) using proved middleware from a well respected vendor (IBM). Then came the punchline: We’ll do all this in a couple of weeks at a fixed price. It was irresistable. We created so many new license deals in a short time for IBM in this tiny corner of the world that Swedish and international IBM big shots strated looking at the peak in their executive dashboard sales charts and quickly reined us in as a partner, a most fruitful relationship we’re still nursing and developing.
Today, the Baseline Start-kit is a set of services aimed at introducing and implementing an ESB in an organization in 2-3 weeks. It includes:
- Architecturing and installation of relevant IBM WebSphere products
- Training of the customer’s staff in using the WebSphere product (as well as Baseline Methodology and Software components)
- Completing a simple first integration project, using the Baseline methodology
- The Baseline deliverables themselves (Document Templates and Software Components)
This simple approach has landed us long and prosperous relationships with some of Sweden’s largest companies through the years, and, of late, companies throughout Europe and the US. So the old saying holds: Less is more.
In the next post…
…I’ll look at Baseline from an SOA perspective.