Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Chicken, The Ostrich and the Wiseman; A Holiday Tale of Caution and Opportunity

(Authors note: I have Cloud Computing on the brain. My client, Nimsoft, is changing the landscape of IT Monitoring with their recent Unified Monitoring Launch. I penned this little parable in honor of the Nimsoft customers who have the courage to challenge the status quo...For my non-tech friends, well, the puns will probably be lost on you, sorry...)

Once upon a time, not so long ago, in a not so faraway land called eSPee land, there lived 3 great friends, the Chicken, the Ostrich and the Wiseman. Not only were they great friends, but they were also fierce business rivals. For many years, they had competed with each other and had all built strong and thriving enterprises.

While it was their custom to avoid business conversations almost entirely, once a year, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, they would meet for breakfast to talk turkey (though that term somewhat offended 2 of them!). At one rather ominous meeting, the conversation went something like this…

The Chicken said, “My friends, though business is good, I fear the worst. Clouds have been gathering over eSPee land and I am quite scared. The waters of the mighty Amazon , EverChanging 2day, threaten to flood us all out of business. I am paralyzed and fear that all the work we have done is doomed.”

The Wiseman nodded, and showed great empathy to the Chicken’s concerns, then turned to the Ostrich.

The Ostrich stretched out his neck and said, “ Mr Chicken, as always you worry too much. These Clouds are yet another passing fancy. My customers are a bit confused, but my key vendors, Harold & Penny and Ida’s Big Machines assure me that they are ready. I’ll stick to them and keep focused on my customers, you can’t lose when you work with the best”

The Wiseman smiled, and as he was in the habit of doing, thought before he spoke. He sipped his coffee, rubbed his beard and said, “My dear friends, I share many of your concerns. Mr. Chicken, I believe you are right to see the clouds as a threat to what we have built, yet does this mean we are doomed? Mr Ostrich, I agree we must focus on our customers, but really, you’ve been with those old vendors for decades, are they really ready?”

With that the Chicken balked and left in a hurry, still panicked, and the Ostrich called his rep who sent the call to a reseller, who finally called the Ostrich back in a few weeks and told him everything would be OK.

A few years later, the three friends met for a farewell dinner for the Chicken and the Ostrich, who were both retiring. The Wiseman rose to give a speech;

“My dear friends, it is with mixed emotions that I bid you both farewell. Mr Chicken, I was sad to see your business close. I wish you well in your retirement in Miami. I warned you not to panic at the Clouds and to invest, but you were too scared to act. Mr. Ostrich, your customers did love you, but those old vendors loved you more, in fact, they loved you to death. I warned you to change, but, well, I hate to state the obvious, but you just had your head in the sand. I am glad we were able to buy your remaining business, and I wish I could have paid more, but many of your customers had already came my way. Had you just listened to me and followed my moves to the new vendors, those who were built for the Cloud and the sun, you might have survived. I am thrilled that you will be enjoying your retirement too.”

The Wiseman really meant what he had said. He had adjusted and invested, without losing sight of his customers needs. He had aligned with new vendors, those who had both vision and execution, but were not tied to the past. He realized that he lived in a Cloudy place (think Seattle!) but knew that this never stopped Bill Gates, so why should it stop him. He business thrived in this new Cloudy world, though he truly did miss his friends…

The End

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