Jayashree was seated across the table from the customer representatives. Raj was standing, delivering a PowerPoint on the scalability of Alibi Software’s backend content management infrastructure. The customer referenced the competing system sold by Balamohan’s partners, stating how their portal seemed to provide more features. Raj was now five minutes deep into a tangential discussion on data-centric vs application-centric content management programming.
“I’ve looked closely at their portal and agree it is very slick. You can drag and drop just about everything. And I think that tuning translates into the sense of being able to generate content, but think about it really. It’s about the same level of control MySpace gives you in dressing up your web page. It feels like there are so many knobs to adjust and it can be fun for awhile. But how much data can you really retrieve? And their output formats are limited to popular applications like PDF and CSV. We give you web services APIs. The APIs might be a bit complex for a novice user but with a limited understanding of URIs you can query terabytes of data and feed the results into your company’s own knowledge systems. Admittedly we require about 30 days to develop new feeds for you. But those feeds are rock solid stored procedures with sub-second response times. The other guys give you maybe two pages of XML. That doesn’t meet enterprise needs. That’s little more than a toy for consumers.” Raj paused to let that sink in.
Jayashree noted the reactions from the audience. They laughed at Raj’s remarks and seemed to understand the difference between enterprise and consumer oriented products. This was going to be another win. The last year had been a whirlwind of success. The investors were in negotiations to sell Alibi to Google and she was poised to retire if that materialized since her C-level position paid out 5 multiples of her salary in the event the company was sold. That was Shankar’s idea. Not that she would retire. Jayashree was 27 years old and totally into programming. She knew she was clever and driven but considered herself to have fairly junior skills. She was a geek girl and planned to go back to school to get her PhD in software engineering after the Google deal closed.