Two Could Vendors and their Very Different Interaction Models or Feel

It is surprising how a vendor's internal culture or local management culture biases your opinion of that company.  I worked with two different cloud vendors for 5 years each over a 10-year period. Both were in it to make money but one was significantly easier and more productive to work with.


YouTube Video of Two Cloud Vendors A slightly edited YouTube AI-generated transcript of the video

I've worked with two different Cloud vendors while working for four different companies and two different Cloud vendors. Let me rephrase that.  I've worked at four different outfits working with two different Cloud vendors.

The two Cloud vendors had completely different operating models. I worked with Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure I've never worked with the Google team but they always weird me out because they cancel stuff. This is across 10 years of interactions, five years in Azure two different times and five years in AWS two different times four different teams.

The vendor services primary engagement model was as a cloud architect when we're building new system or engaging the post-sell team which would usually be Cloud Architects when we wanted to make a change to an existing system or we thought we had an issue. The other interactions were  inbound where the vendor introduced them to us when they announced a new set of services
and capabilities.  

Another way is that they engaged us when we had an issue that they knew about or that they had identified or they thought there was a problem. 

I will tell you first of all with Microsoft, every team interaction was complicated. They seemed like they always wanted to increase our spend.  I'm not an idiot, yep vendors always want to increase your
spend. But it was really freaking obvious and the Consulting always ended up being "who were the players that could spend more money". This actually happened twice in both times I worked in Azure.  They ended up eventually on our vendor "do not call",  "do not engage these people" lists.  This happened because we ended up in cases where they would go over our heads. We'd say something like "We have this issue. We're engaging you in this"  and they'd be like "who's your boss what are they doing? We're gonna call them and talk about this".  That made it hard for us to interact with them as a partner really in some situations. They were always looking for additional spend.  All vendors are but they were more obvious about it. They have a slightly different model for my personal engagements than Amazon. Now it could be that I wasn't engaged at the right level. That's always possible but I was engaged at the same level as Amazon and had a different feel working with them. 

With Microsoft,  I never got pushed to a change that would save real money.  And again it could be that you know
different bureaucracies took that differently. They never really said hey "we got this new service that's going to save you 50 because this other service wasn't optimized for what you're doing".
It seemed to me that much / most of the time it was products as a solution rather than a consultative approach.  "Hey we got this product

Now that's not to say Amazon didn't take a pure product approach.  They've got a million products and a million announcements so I'm not saying they it is purely consultive but I will tell you that every team I worked with from Amazon was great. As a matter of fact, across five years working with Amazon people I can't remember any person that didn't work well with us that lasted any length of time. It was cool because they also identified places for savings improved security, and new capabilities.  It was pretty much a pretty good experience all around mind-blowing really. 

There's only one other vendor, a Cloud data warehouse vendor that was up front that some Services didn't meet our operational needs and they would put it in the backlog.  They would tell us where in the backlog it was to get fixed and sometimes it wouldn't get fixed ears and they'd be like "You know what that shit's just not working I'm sorry that stuff's just not going to get fixed" uh they stayed within the scope of the questions. They worked with the people that were asking.  

I've never had a situation where they went above me or around other people I knew to try and get to a VP or somebody higher up to overrule a decision I'm sure they do that somewhere. We had some really balanced Security reviews from them that called out some problems that turned out to be real problems but they called out problems. They came back frustrated, in that situation, because we didn't make any changes and they came back a couple years later with even more identification things and we ended up having to implement the changes. I will tell you probably the thing I really liked was that I've never worked with another Cloud vendor that had regular meetings with different parts of our org.  Architecture or technical engineering seniors or whatever and just ongoing meetings.  Some were problem-solving for us where they had action items that they took care of. Others were just you know hey what's the future look like and they called this out.  

One thing that blew my mind was that on more than one occasion they called out some new service that would actually save us money. There were cases
where we knocked off 20-30 percent because of new service came out. If we migrated to that we saved
a bunch of money and you know their attitude generally, when I worked with them was "hey if we treat the customer right then we do well together" I'm sure I don't know what they said internally. But it came across "as if we treat you guys right you have a whole bunch of other workloads. You're  going to work with us so" 

That's pretty much where I'm at my general feel is.

To vendors, I'd say: "Don't let your friends act like a 90s database  vendor "

I'm sure if you're watching this and you've used either of these vendors you might have a different
impression and internally to those guys it may be a different impression but this is just me putting up a disclaimer.


Revision History

Created 2023 06


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