What REALLY bugs you about your network?
One of the things I have discovered in the short time I have been with Pure Networks is the amazing passion our customer base has for our product.
I should clarify. It isn’t all positive passion. It looks to me like only 95% of you love the product, use the product and want more!
It is that other 5% I want to pay close attention to.
As I mentioned in one of the comments in my first post, I spent a ton of time in the early and mid 90’s working to solve the enterprise networking problem. The primary issue was that the industry at that time was creating new technology far faster than we were creating the ability to deal with it. Anyone remember Token Ring? How about the 16Mb flavor? ATM? How about the days when SNMP was in its infancy? All of this lead to the creation of extremely fragile, poorly configured and undocumented enterprise networks built by teams of brand-new IT professionals that seemed to change jobs every few months.
In other words, instability and chaos.
The enterprise network quickly became mission critical, and over the course of about 5 years, the stability and chaos issues were solved. Enterprise networks rarely fail these days; they tend to be extremely well documented, well engineered and well maintained.
Roll forward to today and examine the home network. While we seem to have stabilized on TCP/IP and Ethernet, the home network is created out of whatever the consumer can drag home from Best Buy or Circuit City. The brightest box wins. Plug and Play, WAP/WEP/Pre-N MIMO Super-G biggest antenna ever!
Then you go home and plug it in. What we are finding, and in fact the very premise this company was founded over, is that the average consumer has a pretty small chance of actually getting this stuff to work right, if at all. This is complicated technology! The networking hardware manufacturers have worked hard to provide easy-to-use equipment, but at the heart of the matter is the fact that networking is not an easy science. If a network is not created and configured correctly, it tends to be pretty fragile. Consumer-level networking gear is the most returned product line the average retailer has to deal with, and most of the time there is nothing wrong with the equipment!
This makes you angry, wastes everyone’s time, and costs the retailer and manufacturer money. Nobody wins.
Pure Networks has taken on the task of making sense out of all this for you. While this sounds like marketing crud (at least to me), let’s think about that that really means.
For the most part, we seem to do a pretty good job in most cases. Hmm. Lots of wiggle words in that sentence. I have spent some time going through our customer feedback and customer support logs and talking to our support teams. There are network environments where we can almost do no wrong. We partner with D-Link, and when you purchase one of their newest routers, you get us in the box. These devices are well understood by us, and our success rate is extremely high. In fact, D-Link is probably the least-returned retail level networking product these days because of this relationship.
D-Link, however, does not have 100% of the market for home networking gear (although they are working on it…). In fact, I would suspect there are more than 500 different permutations of routers/wireless/DSL/Cable/Switch technologies, each with various different versions of firmware and each with their own configuration requirements available to the home consumer at any given point in time.
This is what we step into every time we are installed.
It is a tough job, and we accept the responsibility. Of course, we also tend to get the blame when it doesn’t all magically work.
As we progress as a company, and as our product line matures, we have taken on the task of taming this chaotic environment for you. Our goal is that we will help you install and configure your networking equipment on any home network, make it work reliably and allow you to share folders and printers with the simple push of a button. After we have accomplished that for you, we have a ton of very cool stuff to allow you to stay on top of your network, keep it running and use it to its fullest capacity.
We aren’t there yet.
My commitment to you, our customer base, and especially that 5% that are ‘passion-impaired’ regarding us, is that every release of Network Magic will get you closer to this goal of having a ‘pure’ network at home.
I want to hear from you. My first question is this: What is the most frustrating thing about your home network? If we were to solve ONE thing perfectly, what would it be?
I look forward to the conversation.
President & CEO
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