Funny story brought to you by one of PEI’s clients. First let me start off by saying that I am NOT a drug dealer. I have one career already and it consumes enough of my time that I can’t take on another career. Plus the whole thought of jail/prison and being away from my family is completely unappealing. On to the story.
Couple years ago PEI was called in for a pre-sales engagement with a potential client. The client wanted some work done on their existing Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express system. We were sitting in the client’s office and he was explaining to me what he wanted done with the system. Items such as upgrades, caller-id, caller-name, basic voicemail features and an auto-attendant (day/night), all very basic items in the grand scheme of things. As I was attentively listening to the client I noticed that he had 4 monitors sitting on his desk. Each monitor was 23+ inches. Two of the monitors had normal day-to-day business applications on them such as Outlook and Excel. The other two monitors I saw were stock quotes and tickers. When the client was done explaining and I assured him we, PEI, could handle everything on his list plus more, I began to explain the “plus more”. I mentioned to him that we could utilize the Cisco 7975 phones and display his stock tickers, weather information, flight schedules and times and mostly anything else that could make their lives easier. He said he didn’t think it would be beneficial in their environment since everyone has 4 monitors on their desks. I told him that I understood but would like to enable it on his phone and maybe 1 or 2 of the other phones around the office to see what the user’s reactions were to this. He agreed.
The client ended up hiring PEI to perform the work. I went onsite and did everything the client wanted done to their system. I tested, verified and documented the work that had been performed. I also enabled the tickers and other XML applications on the phones and enabled a few of the phones for this. The client’s initial thoughts were “Looks cool, but I don’t know how much it will be used”. I told him that if it becomes a nuisance to call me and I will be happy to remove the feature.
A week later the client requested another onsite meeting to discuss the project. When I arrived the client looked at me and said “You know that you’re like a drug dealer, right?” I must have had a very puzzled look on my face because all I remember thinking was “What? How am I like a drug dealer?” Then I began to think “I DON’T WANT TO GO TO JAIL! I DON’T WANT TO GO TO JAIL!” The client continued, “You gave us the first taste of this new feature. You told us to try it at no charge. You must have known that we would like it, love it and get addicted to it. You got us hooked and now we want more! You are exactly like a drug dealer!” We both had a good laugh. I then got to work and enabled the rest of the phones and updated documentation to include instructions on modifying and removing the features.
Well – it was never my intent to get anyone “hooked” or “addicted” to technology and how it can simplify their lives. If I am to be likened to this then all I have to say is “I’ve got something new and exciting and you’re going to love it. You want to try it?”