Those famous words from one Rowan Atkinson from the Blackadder series (if you don’t know Blackadder, please go to youtube) have been front of mind in recent days.  The reason?  Well, as we compete for your business there are inevitably requests to compare our products to those of our competition.  Whether it’s Splunk vs Log & Event Manager or InfoBlox vs IPAM, or VMware vCenter Ops vs Virtualization Manager you as IT consumers always want to know what’s the best choice for your situation.


Of course as marketers ( AKA ministers of truth J), we are always looking for the angle that communicates why we believe our product to be the best for you, but sometimes we forget that we should let the products do the talking.  One thing that I love about the way we market and sell at SolarWinds is that ultimately the products actually do “speak” for themselves.  It’s a model we’ve all gotten used to over here, but for those of you who buy IT products I forget that the model is still somewhat unique. How often do you get to take a product you’re evaluating, put it in your business – or your home for that matter – and keep it there for 30 days, to decide if it works for you?  Of course in those 30 days we will ask you to buy it because we hope you like it, but if you wanted the full 30 days to think about it, the time is yours to use.


Some folks call what we do freemium (since we have free tools), but it’s not really.  Our free tools are completely separate and disconnected products from those we sell.  There are companies that use the freemium model, like Splunk, who give you a product free up to a point and then charge you for it.  But our belief is that free is free, and if you have a paid product then we’re going to let you try it, but ask you to pay for the value you receive after you’ve tried it and like it.


So, it’s back to my competitive plotting, but there you have my cunning plan – it’s not so cunning after all – see a product, try a product, and then buy a product – that is how I like to win.