Managed Hosting and the DevOps movement – Part III - Sales Process
Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Originally Published Feb 2015
As I mentioned in Part II, understanding, let alone implementing DevOps extends into the sales process as well as in the operations world.
Identifying whether there is a good mutual fit is critical for long term success - this should be part of ANY sales process. With the levels of intimacy required for a successful DevOps relationship, the mutual fit is even more critical.
The following are some thoughts around key parts of a successful pre-sales engagement.
1 - The obvious thing is to come out and ask about the potential customers development processes.
Does your company understand DevOps, and if so is it a practice that you have implemented ?
Is your company using Agile Software development processes, or something similar ?
How often do you release a new version of your product ? (Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly)
2 - Next - automation
What tools do you use in your environment to implement change ? (Puppet / Chef / Open Stack)
Which aspects of your environment are not managed by tools ? (Network / Servers / Applications)
3 - Process - Types and Frequency of changes
What's the frequency and scope of change in your environment ? (Lots of small changes on a daily basis, or few large changes on a weekly or bi weekly schedule?)
How are those changes tracked and managed ?
Who manages your release coordination ?
The answers to these questions have direct impacts on how an MHP's operations organization can deliver and also an impact on product & service management. If the answers to the questions above are yes then it would behoove the sales team to engage the operations team as soon as possible and allow the SME's on both sides to dig into the real scope, for example.
The release coordination across the organizations, particularly in an environment that is not well automated, will have a big impact on project management resources at the MHP.
Rate of Change / Automation of Change
This has direct impacts on support tier's 1&2 and the folks that provide remote hands and feet.
Operations must then take this information, work with Product and make sure that the pricing reflects the appropriate levels of effort. Remember, DevOps is Effective - NOT Efficient - the costs for that level of intimacy will have to be higher.
Observation II - There is a trade off between the advantages of automation, and the "effective inefficiency" in those areas that are not automated. Those need to be understood, scoped and priced.
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash