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Free Like a Puppy is Free: Why Best-of-Breed Isn’t Just for Dog Shows


(Featured: Pepper the Pup, a Dyn dog. Courtesy of Dave Lemaire)

Recently we outsourced a survey project, asking the vendor to connect with our customers and get some answers to some basic questions like “What was keeping them up at night?” and “What were their plans for the upcoming year?”

Since Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company, the questions are going to be focused on IT related issues. I buy Sales software, not IT, but there is a common connection with buying either, the “free as a puppy” problem.

Anyone who has ever gotten a brand-new puppy, or had their kids talk them into it, knows there’s no such thing as a free puppy.  You need to feed it, walk it, train it, replace what it wrecks, clean up after it, and then wake up the next day and do it again.  A puppy may be free, but a lot of work goes into it.

Since we’re talking about puppies, let’s talk about “best-of-breed” for a moment. It’s not uncommon for software products to offer some sort of “free” feature.  For example, can help with sending and tracking emails.  The functionality came with our license — and in many ways, it was free.  But if we were to look to use as a marketing automation solution we would probably need to pay a consultant a pretty penny to build what we would actually need, and it wouldn’t be as complete a solution as Marketo – which is the solution we ended up selecting.

Similarly, Marketo is great for marketing automation, but we use Infer for predictive analytics. And also offers really good out-of-the-box reporting functionality, but in order to truly understand how Dyn’s sales funnel evolved over time we had to look to Insight Squared. Understanding how adjacent technologies help drive buying decisions which will impact our sales success is done either by looking at lines of code of each website, or by utilizing a best-of-breed tool such as Datanyze.

You’re probably starting to see a pattern here. Dyn’s business and my job dictates that we look to select best-of-breed solutions – much like our customers.  In turn, Dyn offers best-of-breed solutions to clients who need to control, monitor, and optimize their online infrastructure to deliver for an exceptional end-user experience.

Ultimately you can’t be afraid of keeping relationships with multiple vendors, you need the best solution available in order to grow your company and your success.  What keeps me up at night is the fear that there is a better way to do something and I might be missing out.

Our customers come to us because they understand that “free” functionality from vendors whose core expertise isn’t focused on Internet Performance doesn’t always translate into the best solution.  Like with a free puppy, you can find out that “free” actually will mean more work — and possibly more costs — for you in the long run.

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