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RE: [xml-dev] Re: determining ID-ness in XML

We have different levels of change here. For example, there 
are bug fixes that get logged as Trouble Reports (TRs) 
and there are CRs (Change Requests) for new features 
not contracted for.   We have to find a middle ground 
between satisfying only one customer given limited resources, 
or trying to satisfy everyone and go out of business. 
TRs we fix once we can prove it is indeed, a replicable 
bug.  Every customer thinks they are the most important 
customer, and to them, they are.  This is why CRM 
systems are important:  communications needs support.

The customer does have an advocate in the form 
of a Project Manager.  

For CRs, we also have a CR$ 
(CR Dollar) system.  Each paying customer gets access 
to the CR list.  Each customer gets a certain number 
of these CR dollars based on a formula.  Periodically, 
they post these as a vote against the list.  They can 
spread them out over a lot of requests, or vote them 
all to one.  We count these from all customers and 
prioritize accordingly.  This works remarkably well 
and our customers are very pleased with it.

But we are not selling shrinkwrap.  My guess is, 
the rules change for that, but wouldn't it be interesting 
if a company such as MS posted such a list and allowed 
customers to vote their CR$.

Don't get me wrong.  We have problems with MS, but 
when we compare them to other problems such as 
sustainment costs of core technology, the relationship 
is more than beneficial to our business.  And I would 
not be surprised to see the operating system become 
an ever smaller and therefore "openable" part of the 
MS architecture.   They have surprised us before. 
I was once told by very knowledgeable parties that 
MS would do markup just after hell thawed from 
the last freezing.   They do have a pretty good 
learning curve.  Sit down and do the numbers on 
SQLServer costs vs its nearest competitors sometime. 
At least MS understands that it is to their 
benefit to keep us in business and not license 


-----Original Message-----
From: John Cowan [mailto:jcowan@reutershealth.com]
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2001 1:30 PM
To: Bullard, Claude L (Len)
Cc: Champion, Mike; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Re: determining ID-ness in XML

Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> Open source can and does work as you describe.  Good 
> point, John.   The rights I get out of a maintenance 
> contract depend on negotiation, money's offered, etc. 
> All software companies do not act exactly the same 
> way.

Granted.  I should have said "vendors of mass-market
software": the contracts-of-adhesion type.

> One can turn the open source 
> argument on its head though and say that if a 
> company has a sizable user base, that user base 
> can and does often act in concert or small groups 
> to get a BigCo to make changes

Been there, done that too.  It was just amazing, what
happened in the (Xerox) Star User's Group when I
announced the first (open-source, though I didn't
know the term then) software ever available for Star
other than from Xerox.  Before then, the user group's
mood had been basically "How the @#$* can we make
Xerox reprioritize our bug list?"  All of a sudden,
it was "Can you write some software to do what we
want?"  I never got more applause for a speech in
my life.....

> and that getting 
> someone to keep their promises is the same 
> problem regardless of the software source.

Not really.  In one case, there *are* promises
if you pay to arrange for them; in
the other, the only promise is "AS IS, NO WARRANTY,
BREAD" in insulting capital letters.  (Yes, I know
why caps have to be used.)