Playing well with others: Amphora and Rescentris

For those of you paying attention (OK, I know there’s nothing on the Amphora web site yet – if we were that good at puff marketing I’d be writing this from the beach) we’ve successfully integrated our PatentSafe product with CERF from Rescentris.

From my perspective, there’s three interesting aspects to this:

  1. This is a good example of two companies focusing on their strengths and by cooperating delivering an excellent solution to the customer. Specifically, Amphora’s strength is in “Broad” systems, especially the long-term records and Patent Evidence Creation & Preservation parts of the problem. Rescentris are basically really good at making biologists happy. Together, we do more.
  2. The technical integration was pretty quick (they just do an http submit with a PDF to PatentSafe, we take the resulting document and do our thing, returning status codes to CERF. Total programmer time, a few hours at most – and all testing etc. done over the Internet. Such is the power of simple, lightweight tools.
  3. In this case, we actually worked together to deliver the solution to the customer. Specifically CERF is installed on an Amphora-provided server (we had one off the shelf, the customer only wanted one server not two), and we scheduled our installation visits to happen at the same time. In addition, we’re coordinating upgrades and ongoing support.

Overall, a good example of what can happen if you’ve got well-architected products and willing vendors. Customer gets “best of breed” solution at a low price. Fun project too!

Can’t help but contrast this to the somewhat mercenary approach we’ve seen with some vendors – they’ll promise/do anything to get whatever business there is available, regardless of their capability to do it. Then the customer ends up with a train wreck – sure there’s “one throat to choke” but the vendor’s sales guy just promised a bunch of stuff just to get the business, and then left their implementation team deep in trouble. The customer can choke all the throats they want, it isn’t going to help them get a solution – and they’ve got a vendor who can’t/won’t work with any of their other vendors.

Given the reality of ELN systems (where you always have to integrate with other systems) better to work with companies who acknowledge that partnering is a crucial part of the vendor value proposition, and are able to focus on delivering their part, and work with others to deliver the whole solution.

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