When I started at Dyn, we had nearly all home-brewed systems: CRM, billing, wiki/collaboration/project, dashboarding….you name it. I’ve heard it a million times and I’ve seen the movie before: good engineers can build anything and can always build it better than a SaaS solution could ever be. Right? Right? Who’s with me?
Have you heard these quotes before? (Earmuffs Dyn Dev and Ops teams!)
“It’s custom for our business.”
“Their code sucks.”
“We need to be careful of circular dependencies.” (Thanks @jadelisle)
“We need to pay by user. Their model blows.”
“It needs to integrate with other systems.”
“I don’t want our data outsourced in the cloud.”
“These systems are too critical to put them in someone else’s hands.”
“Our hosting environment is more stable.”
To me, it comes down to one simple statement: if you can’t sell it, then you shouldn’t build it.
I used to sell websites and data management solutions to private schools in my last gig at DynECT Managed DNS client WhippleHill. When I started there in 2002, I sold to IT departments and every single time, they were the final decision makers. When I left there in late 2008, I sold to admissions, marketing communications and development offices.
Technology evolves and with it, previously unchangeable mindsets do as well. Outsourcing to SaaS had become more accepted and IT leadership was able to focus on the core of their school’s technology. Tech leadership started to let go. It happened slowly, but importantly, it was happening. However, it wasn’t an overnight thing.
I then arrived at Dyn, ready to rock the Internet Infrastructure world by storm. I made a strong case for strategically aligning and partnering with third party vendors for needs not core to our business. If we couldn’t sell it, we shouldn’t build it. There was far more value to us in relationships with clients like Salesforce.com, Zendesk, Tableau, Atlassian, WordPress and more. With those kick-SaaS companies, why would we be trying to top something that was their core competency?
How could we possibly sell on the story of outsourcing to us when we didn’t even believe and live our own pitch?
We got ahead in the DNS space by fully embracing this logic, focusing on our area of expertise for our clients and have been screaming about it ever since. A year ago, we got into the email delivery business and it’s time to beat the drum louder on outsourcing to us.
If your app relies on transactional and automated email sends (i.e. alerts, confirmations, password resets, shopping cart abandonment, promotional emails), then give DynECT Email Delivery a look and dump those SMTP servers and miserable IP reputations in favor of the people who focus on it.