Chapter 34. Ten Subject Areas to Cover with Product Vendors

In This Chapter

  • Finding out who works for a vendor (and whether they stay)

  • Asking about the vendor's customers

  • Figuring out the vendor's role in the marketplace

  • Looking at the vendor's future plans

  • Determining the vendor's integrity

This chapter presents ten subject areas that you should discuss with any data warehousing product vendor, no matter which product category (business intelligence tool, middleware tool, or RDBMS, for example) you're considering buying. I've also listed the specific question you might want to ask. All these questions are somewhat odd because they have little to do with product features and how they work; if you do a good job of hands-on evaluation of the products, you can figure out how the features work by yourself. The questions in this chapter are more along the lines of "I want to know your company's character." In my opinion, these questions are extremely important because it will provide an understanding of the vendor's openness with its customers as well as its position in the market at large.

Product's Chief Architect

Who's your product's chief architect, and what background does this person have?

Most companies have a single individual who's primarily responsible for crafting and setting a product's technical direction. This person isn't often the same as the "company visionary," who might be the CEO who has seen a market need and is now trying to fill it.

You're asking about the person whose imprint ...

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