Those cool guys from Finland

313i1EF24FAD4E90DC14by Mark Ford

HP's Product and R&D teams do a great job baking in a lot of cool features into their products with new items added in every version but there are also many product extensions created by various partner and other companies that enhance HP's products and services as well.


At each HP Software Universe conference I always make an effort to stop by as many sponsor and exhibitor booths as I can to see what's new in their world and admittedly to sign up for the free drawings.  This year the iPad was, of course, the hot item but no, I didn't win one.  Still it's very worthwhile to talk to these folks face-to-face to see what offerings they have that you might be able to take advantage of.  That's one of the great benefits of attending a conference such as this.  Sure, you can read .pdf brochures all day long but they sometimes have an "almost too good to be true" feel.  On the other hand, talking to a partner in person cuts through all the gloss and glam and allows you to get right down to business - saving you time and possibly introducing you to a product that you might have skipped over before.


For example, take the guys from Assure  or as I like to refer to them, "those cool guys from Finland".  Assure is an HP Software Gold Partner headquartered in Finland and they are some of the coolest guys you can meet.  They are passionate about creating software solutions with a simple goal in mind: "Make our customers even more successful with HP Quality Center."  I can readily relate to these guys because I too am enthusiastic when it comes to creating solutions to enhance the Quality Center product. 

In fact I have written a couple of my own solutions for the installation that I support.  Or perhaps I find them so interesting because of their connection to Finland - a place that seems exotic and exciting when all I've known is the U.S. Midwest.  At any rate it was great to visit with those guys to see what they have to offer and to share ideas.


It was fun hearing Olli speak excitedly about how he enjoys dreaming up new ways to make the lives of Quality Center users even better.  Assure's Admin Console is one example - a fine display of ingenuity that can save QC admins countless hours reducing common tasks to a bare minimum.  I enjoyed talking to Shir about the business value that products like Assure's TrashBin and Project Harmonizer can bring to the table.  It was great talking with Samuli (CEO of Assure) about their ideas to make reporting from Quality Center data less painful and more practical.  It felt great as a Quality Center customer to be heard and valued for my opinions.  Now obviously they are looking to make a sale, if possible, but I've always felt that these guys care as much about building relationships with their customers and potential customers as they do in completing a sale.  That's another great benefit from attending the conference in person.  I've always felt that you can build business relationships far stronger in a shorter amount of time when you can talk to people in person.


There are many great partner companies with a wide variety of products and solutions just waiting for you.  When you get a chance, please check out the websites of the sponsors and exhibitors from this year's summer conference.  You never know what you might learn.  I found out this year that not all of the Assure guys are from Finland - at least a few are from Israel.  Shows how little I know about world accents.  So getting to know those guys, and the many other sponsors, I know more about several new products that I could benefit from and I've also learned a thing or two about other parts of the world.  Either way you look at it, I've gained some very positive things from my experience.


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Labels: Mark Ford
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About the Author
Judy Redman has been writing about all areas of technology for more than 20 years.

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