Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Product acquisitions

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Source: stock.xchng

As with many good products, my SIEM vendor got acquired earlier this year. Unfortunately, as it happens all too often when good products get acquired, customer support has been declining, prices are increasing, and as of yesterday, I am locked out of my product altogether. My license expired and it was not renewed in time (despite several requests directed at the vendor to invoice me)! One day after the license lapsed, a critical service on the box died and, since I do not have a valid license, tech support refuses to even take my call or escalate it to a manager. My VAR has as of yet been unable to resolve the situation.

There are two major lessons in this. 

1. If one of your vendors is acquired, and the product that you purchased from them is more than non-essential, look for alternatives immediately. Start talking to their competition, get quotes, find peers who use similar techniques and learn from them what is good and what is bad, and draft a high-level migration plan to move away from your current supplier. If the acquisition turns out a good thing, you did not lose anything, but you have a better understanding of the vendor landscape. If the acquisition turns out to be a bad thing, you are ready to move and you have demonstrated proactive leadership.

2. As a good practice, you should always have a plan B, regardless of a (pending) acquisition. In my case, I had a fall-back plan and I have activated that. Consequently, there has not been a serious interruption, and business is continuing as normal, albeit severely less efficient.




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