It may feel like my posts today were a bit harsh about IBM's process for ordering software, but I wanted to highlight three ways in which the process reflected well on IBM. 1) Contact information for chat or e-mail readily available
Almost every page which has anything to do with software includes a frame on the right side that looks like this:
While I may have wanted to do all my ordering on-line, which is useful for buying an individual consumer item, it was reassuring to to note that I could always start a chat with a real live person, or initiate a contact through e-mail. Microsoft, by comparison, does not provide any obvious way to talk or chat with a "real person". If I were a SMB with fifty people looking to buy a server or two and a bundle of Notes/Domino, I'd be far more interested in this contact information and a live assistant than with a completely on-line focused ordering system.2) A pop up asks if you need assistance if you wander about too much
I don't know the exact trigger, but each time I would start to wander from page to page trying to find the right information, a box would pop up asking if I'd like help. You could tell it to go away, but like a store that actually tries to serve you, the feeling was left that you wouldn't have to just wander lost forever.3) IBM gives you the option of dealing with a business partner instead of directly with IBM
If you are General Motors, you may want to deal directly with IBM, but I appreciate that IBM even suggests an IBM partner before suggesting their own sale's rep. It is a small thing, but important. Microsoft certainly doesn't mention how you can buy through a partner.
So, while I think IBM has some work to do with both ordering and searching, it has already taken some very important steps in making the process of ordering more useful and accessible.
Copyright © 2009 Genii Software Ltd.
Tags: Lotus Notes