Monday, 6 October 2008

how to sell RIA

I was just discussing with my colleague Vince the merits of discussing technology as part of a sales pitch. For instance, if you're selling your services as an RIA consultancy you don't want to be describing Ajax or even GWT. It's just confusing and irrelevant. "Can you do the job or not and will your platform fit in to our infrastructure?"

Talking abot technology is just too low level for that first business pre-sales pitch... but as Vince pointed out, and I have to agree, this is not the case with Flex.

Somehow Flex has a "coolness" about it that can sell itself. So while pitching yourself as RIA specialists, if you used Flex you would most likely mention it and mention Adobe and the majority of customers would probably feel pretty good about your pitch as a result.

This is pretty funny, because the Adobe marketing machine is pretty agressive, but apart from a few minor features I am yet to see something done in Flex that couldn't be done in GWT (or some other Ajax/RIA framework).

This raises question, "why am I using Flex?". The one thing it does have, which the other frameworks don't seem to, is modularity. I've mentioned this before, it gives Flex developers the ability to put big lumps of code in to different SWF files which are loaded as needed. We take advantage of that (and OSGi on the server) in Solstice to create our modular RIA platform.

Can't do that with GWT, it's an all or nothing approach. Want to add a new feature? Recompile you're whole application.

I just wish Adobe would see the value of OSGi and get on board. BlazeDS would be an awesome OSGi bundle.

1 comment:

jockielugs said...

"Talking about technology is just too low level for that first business pre-sales pitch... but as Vince pointed out, and I have to agree, this is not the case with Flex."

I'd like some corroborative evidence of this. What customers do you know (of) who have made a purchase decision on the strength of merely seeing a Flex application and then being told how Flex works? I often hear (and never really believe) that business people have been "blown away" by seeing a Flex app. Are you saying that you can then dive into the ensuing vortex and start talking technology? Why not leave them in the blown-away state? Who are these people to whom you would be talking? Maybe I am, at last, just an old codger who poorly understands the world around me.