|The only publication dedicated to OSS Volume 1, Issue 4 - August 2004|
Pipeline Q&A: NetCracker (cont'd)
Pipeline: How does your personal sense of integrity guide the way in which NetCracker conducts business with its customers? How do you insure the entire company – particularly your sales force - buys into your philosophy?
Feinberg: Fundamentally, I believe our customers are our best references and our best sales people. To build a meaningful, long term relationship with service providers and earn credibility and respect requires an enormous amount of hard work and integrity. We are fully committed to our customers and what we sell to them.
Our answer for insuring that success was to create our own delivery organization and put our money where our mouth is. We don't want to be blamed by others or blame others for our delivery. We want to make sure we deliver everything we commit to, if not more. Our people are on board with that philosophy. Everyone in our sales force has operational experience, decades with Tier 1 operators around the world, and having been in the buyer's shoes, they understand how problems need to be solved. We also have a very simple lever to make sure everyone is committed to this: none of us truly get paid until our customers are 100% successful, and that goes from technical and sales folks all the way up to the executives, including myself.
Pipeline: How do you respond to critics who suggest that NetCracker's products are mostly development tools, and though they look good in demonstration, they may not pack the punch under the hood that competing products claim?
Feinberg: A lot of this goes back to my earlier answer about our solution. Most of our perceived competitors have engineering tools and databases that have a certain place under the sun. NetCracker has a broader solution, and must be more flexible as a result. We need to have a lot more inherent flexibility to accommodate complex business processes. To truly connect the organization and add value, you need to have a lot of configurability in the application.
We have powerful out of the box products, but to meet our customers' demands we have to bring a degree of flexibility. Anyone who compares us with one of those engineering tools is not making an accurate comparison. Once we demonstrate that to our customers, we win the business. We certainly hear those criticisms on a daily basis. But I go back to our customer list around the globe and their need for flexibility. NetCracker's flexibility turns out to be a significant advantage and deal winner for us once the customer takes the time to understand their needs and how we can help them.
Finally, imitation is the best form of flattery and, if you look at how our competitors have changed their product architecture, it reflects an effort to develop similar software power to what we bring.
Pipeline: In your opinion, how much does the lack of consistency in the industry regarding how value is ascribed to OSS hold the entire sector back from reaching its true potential?
Feinberg: I don't necessarily agree that the lack of consistency is directly related to the value of OSS . I believe OSS is strategic to carriers, and that at the top executive ranks there is a strong awareness of the need for OSS solutions. Where we've had a lack of consistency has been in delivery of applications. In most cases a lot of executives feel very disenchanted with what they've paid for and what they've ultimately received.
All of it goes back to a Telco's ability to deliver new services effectively and there is an understanding that OSS is at the core of it. The question for service providers, then, is who they can trust to deliver that OSS capability? I think the OSS sector has a damaged reputation and it's our job to fix that reputation and deliver on our commitments.
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