I’ve been a fan of Octopus Deploy for a while. (Even when it was one of my direct competitors if I’m honest!) And now I’m proud to announce that DLM Consultants will become an official Octopus Deploy partner!
What I want from my partnerships
Now this has forced me to think a little more carefully about what I want from my partnerships with DLM Consultants. I now have two partnerships (Octopus Deploy and Redgate) so I’ve put a little bit of thought into my partnering strategy in general. I’ve written more about it on a new partners page on the website:
In short, as a consultant and trainer I can help people understand what Database DevOps is and how to apply it, but I have no interest in building and licencing my own software to clients. There seems little point in reinventing the wheel. In contrast, great tools providers often want to focus all their efforts on building awesome software. When their customers want some training or consultancy they want to have someone they trust to recommend.
By partnering with companies like Redgate and Octopus Deploy I’m not promising to always and only use/recommend their tools. What I am doing is saying that I have used their stuff and can vouch for it – and they have worked with me and will vouch for me. We know each others’ strengths and weaknesses.
For example, the folks at Octopus might recommend me if one of their customers wants some help with SQL Server releases, but they certainly wouldn’t recommend me if the customer was looking for help deploying SharePoint. In the same way if I was working at an organisation with a policy to only use open source tools where every other team in the organisation used Jenkins workflow it would probably make more sense to use the tools with which that the organisation is already confident and competent.
I will continue to recommend the tools that I honestly believe are the best fit. I just happen to believe, having used many different release management tools (and tried to build one myself, in direct competition with Octopus Deploy) that Octopus Deploy is often an excellent choice.
So in summary, by partnering I get an opportunity to learn more about the tool and the people who build it – which will hopefully help me to create better solutions with my clients.
What I don’t want from the partnership
As important as it is to be clear about what I do want to get from my partnerships – I also need to be clear about what I don’t want.
I’m not looking at my partnerships as a new revenue stream. While there certainly will be some joint marketing opportunities, I have absolutely no interest in taking any cut in any licence sales. I’ve done my time in software sales and last year I made a very clear decision to quit that job because I wanted the measure of my success to be how well I solve problems, not how many licences I can sell.
If I ever am offered a commission on a licence sale because I’ve recommended a product to a client I will pass on that saving to the client. I’ve not put much thought into that decision from a financial point of view but that really doesn’t matter to me. Taking a commission on a licence sale does not feel like it aligns with my mission so it would just feel wrong.
Our mission is that our clients’ databases will no longer be their bottleneck on delivering customer value.
And it’s that simple really. By partnering with companies like Octopus and Redgate I build relationships with the people who are building the tools. I sometimes have opportunities to give them feedback and/or learn about their road map. By building up a greater understanding of their tools I’m more easily able to understand when their tools are a good fit for a particular problem – and they are better able to understand when and why I might be the right person to help their clients.
Read more about how I chose my partners
Now I have a couple of partners should I think about creating more partnerships? Another question I’ve been thinking about.
To help me answer that question I created a set of criteria that I will use to help me choose future partners. You can read all about those criteria on the partners page on the DLM Consultants website. You’ll also find a bit of my history with Redgate and Octopus Deploy, including the two year period where I considered Octopus Deploy to be one of my competitors. How times change!
So what next?
Well, lots of Octopus Deploy customers struggle with database releases so I’m talking to the folks at Octopus about putting on a joint webinar all about deploying databases some time in March. I hope a bunch of my readers decide to register. Otherwise, with Octopus’ reach, my side of the aisle might look a little bare.
DLM Consultants also already offer Octopus Deploy training. The third workshop in our DLM Workshops series provides customers with the opportunity to build their own SQL Server release management pipeline using the Redgate and Octopus Deploy tools in a VM sandbox that we’ll host for you. You can head over to the website now and register today.