The following axioms, sayings and “rules of the road” are based on our experiences when working with different technology vendors around the world over the past 30+ years. The list is far from complete. If you have additional axioms, please click here so that we can share them with others.  Our company has served both as consumers of technology as well as creators and vendors of it.


The list of axioms does assume that you understand your:

  • business; and
  • motivation for potentially wanting to make changes to that business.

The list does not assume that you understand:

  • the motivations of the people that you are trying to work with; or that you
  • Understand technology or how you are trying to apply it in your business.

Unfortunately, technology is constantly changing… both for the better and for the worse.  What may be the best vendors and products today, may not even exist tomorrow…

Our axioms are divided into groups based on their applicability to the purchase, installation and usage of technology.

Basic Axioms

  • We live in a capitalistic society.
  • Money can create all sorts of abnormal behavior.
  • For every rule, there always seems to be an exception.

Purchasing Axioms

  • Make a detailed list of what you want your in system and what each component is expected to do. Never assume that the list is complete or accurately reflects what you really need. How do you know what you don’t know?
  • Remember that technology cannot do everything for you.
  • Vendors will typically tell you that technology can do everything for you.
  • Technology today only does what you tell it to do and it might not understand what you have told it.
  • Keep your environment simple.
  • Minimize the single points of failure. Either you start losing money or your service quality declines the minute something critical breaks.
  • Make sure that the slowest component(s) can support your performance requirements for the next 2+ years. Slow response in a contact center translates into longer call/response times, which translates directly into higher costs per calls and/or higher abandonment rates and/or declining service levels.
  • While your system will work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you will only use it a portion of the time. Once you turn your system on, keep it on. Turning technology on and off is one of the most stressful things that you can do to it.
  • Obtain and keep up to date diagrams that describe your system, its operation and its components. While you may not understand them, someone else will when you need help. The diagrams will enable others to provide you with the assistance that you need in a more timely fashion.
  • If you don’t understand something, keep asking until you do. Technology does not have to be complicated. Typically, people make it that way.
  • Obtain guarantees from your vendors that each component will provide you with your desired functionality. You will then get some satisfaction when something breaks or doesn’t work the way you thought it would.

New Technology Introduction

  • Provide a means of testing new components and capabilities without impacting your current production environment. If you have to shut your system down during production hours, you are losing money and lowering your customer satisfaction levels.
  • Always expect the unexpected.
  • Assume that you will continue to invest in your system, trying to make it better. Better translates into more revenue per minute and/or decreasing your operational costs per minute (note “minute“).
  • Technology is old the minute you install it. Companies always have new and better things in the lab.
  • Product life cycles are declining more rapidly than the adjustments to the product depreciation schedules.

Technology Needs People

  • Assign qualified personnel to be responsible for each component.
  • If you don’t have qualified personnel to support each component, retain and/or retrain them. Your personnel will prevent problems from happening through proactive maintenance. Your personnel will fix the problems when your vendors don’t show up in a timely fashion.
  • Don’t assume your vendors are always going to provide you with the support that you want and need when you want it, even if you have contracted for it.
  • Work with at least two (2) vendors to get the best price, functionality and service.
  • Don’t assume that a vendor knows anything about another vendor’s equipment. If he proclaims to, assume that he only knows what is beneficial to him, and not necessarily to you.
  • Don’t assume that a vendor knows everything about their equipment. Many vendors don’t use their equipment day in and day out as you intend to do.
  • Find other vendor customers that use the equipment in a similar fashion that you are intending to. Make sure you understand what that customer feels are the strengths and weaknesses of the equipment, service and vendor.
  • Don’t assume that a vendor is going to work the way you want. Until you control 10% or more (i.e., their approximate net profit margin) of their business, you will never have their undivided attention.
  • While you may get great service from a vendor prior to a sale, don’t assume that you will continue to get that same great service after the sale. What is their incentive? Also, a new set of vendor personnel will typically be working with you after the initial sale.

Whose Responsible?

  • Make a list of who you are going to talk to during each hour of operation if a problem arises.
  • Identify which components require daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annual and annual maintenance.
  • Everything will break sooner or later.
  • Plan for what you’re going to do when it doesn’t work (for an hour, half-day, day, week, month).
  • When it breaks, you, the customer, will suffer more than your vendor regardless of how you wrote your contract.

Tell us about your experiences and rules of the road so that we may add it to the above list.


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