Archive for September, 2005

How Customer Service Should Work

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

We were in Texas this week for a meeting, and I thought it’d be fun to wear suits. Little did I realize it was going to be 110 Fahrenheit, but we wore them anyway and the client got a big kick out of it. Phrases like “get a camera” and “I didn’t know HP was here to pitch OpenView” were spoken.

And when we got back to the hotel, someone asked us “Are you with FEMA?”

The point is that we are a small company, made up of techies, and we aren’t able to fly around promoting OpenNMS, giving out lots of cool gifts, etc. We rarely, rarely wear ties, much less suits.

But when folks do sign up for support, they get some nice shirts with the OpenNMS logo. It’s just our way of saying “Thanks for supporting us, and welcome to the family.” So it was great when a client in Switzerland posted this picture of their “welcome” care package: How Customer Service Should Work.

Thank $DEITY It’s Friday

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

Well, that was a hectic week. Luckily we are nothing but traditional here in OpenNMS land, and Friday means barbecue for lunch and beer before we go home.

We have three people confirmed for Dev-Jam 2005: Mike Huot, DJ Gregor and Bill Ayres will all be making the trip out, and Ben Reed says he’s coming if we go to his Halloween Party (I’ve only made one of his parties in the last 4 years or so). We’re hoping for more – perhaps some of the folks from Europe can make the trip considering the Euro is strong against the dollar.

We also have 1358 registered wiki members. w00t!

Our “Q Friday” lunches have become quite popular, and in the past five weeks we’ve had four “guest” lunches where folks have come out to Pittsboro to join us on our weekly trip to the Temple of ‘cue. It’s an open invitation – just drop me a note to let me know you’re coming.

Today’s guests were Mark Hinkel and Greg and Paul from Emu Software. Emu makes a commercial configuration management tool using Java, Tomcat and Postgresql, and with our pending move to AJAX (as part of Dev-Jam) we hope to integrate our applications together. It was a great lunch, and meeting people like these guys is one of the reasons I love my job.

Next week I’m in Texas for awhile (the lower, dryer part) and then it’s off to the UK for LinuxWorld Expo. Hope to see some of you there.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

I love my job. I have never been happier than I am working on OpenNMS, and I’m proud of the application as well as the community that supports it.

People often ask me about open-source and how it will succeed, and I like to point to the work of the economist John Nash (subject of the movie ”A Beautiful Mind”) on cooperation. Working together people can benefit more than working apart.

But there is always a “dark side” to open source. We’ve been unfortunate enough to be touched by it twice recently. Since I hadn’t updated the blog in awhile, I thought I’d talk about it today.

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