Accidentally becoming the bad guys



  • We recently needed to integrate our product with another vendor's product for a manufacturing facility. While both systems could maintain the business data, the idea was to use their system as the master set of data (no changes to their system) and pull information into our system for processing. They agreed because by only giving us information about their SDK, they could add value to their own system by allowing integration into ours.

    Calls were made and I was put in touch with the developers to understand their SDK. I kind of grilled them to get as much info as possible so that I was not only equipped for the current integration, but also prepared for integrating at other sites (whose data-mapping and rules requirements could differ greatly).

    Work continued, testing and deployment was successful, everyone was happy and we received a number of requests to integrate at sites for other clients who also used the vendor's software.

    Soon after, one of the vendor's high-valued people left the company to work for ours. We didn't steal or entice him; it was his own choice. That didn't stop the vendor from sending us a legal letter and cutting me off from communicating with their developers. This didn't affected our integration at other sites though, because my earlier efforts gave me all the information I needed and their software (as long as its licensed) wouldn't prevent me from communicating with it.

    In addition, the clients at the original site decided that our product could maintain business data better than the other vendor's. They turned off the integration and decommissioned the other vendor's system in favor of ours.

    So while none of this was never our intention, the perspective from the other vendor is that we came in with promises of adding value to their product, took their information so we can integrate without their help, took their hi-valued person and got them kicked out of one of their sites.

    We never planned for any of this.
    I can feel the hate from way over here 😕



  • So the vendor got all precious because one of their people clearly preferred the idea of working for you and lost their business because they tried fighting you. All I see is that your company out-competed them, and they probably weren't a very nice place to work. You're not the bad guys, you're evolution incarnate. That makes you the good guys. The Great Darwin would smile upon you. Praise Darwin.




  • Except your customers think you're the good guys and the old guys are the bad guys. Sounds like the turncoat saw the writing on the wall before anyone else and decided to go with the winners.

    What I think is really interesting is that this all seemed to go much more smoothly than the typical project to replace a legacy system. You have to wonder if the customers had this idea all along.



  • @boomzilla said:


    What I think is really interesting is that this all seemed to go much more smoothly than the typical project to replace a legacy system. You have to wonder if the customers had this idea all along.



  • Not bad guys, just all part of the Circle of Life. 

    Some day, my job will probably be performed by a computer.  

    Until then, I'll automate as many other people's jobs as possible!



  •  A story with many sides.... This type of outcome is something that should be considered up front. Consider if future opportunities present themselves with other vendors... but they have heard of this situation and decide that you are the "bad guys" (though I see nothing wrong per-se).

     A few years ago a person I had worked with approached me about going our company. He had left a place we did business with, planning to go to another firm, and then decided it was a bad move (I agreed)... We did NOT hire him, specifically because of the possibility of negative perceptions [I did help him find a position that he really loves!]

     



  • @Shoreline said:

    So the vendor got all precious because one of their people clearly preferred the idea of working for you and lost their business because they tried fighting you. All I see is that your company out-competed them, and they probably weren't a very nice place to work. You're not the bad guys, you're evolution incarnate. That makes you the good guys. The Great Darwin would smile upon you. Praise Darwin.
     

    You do realize that the entire history of the progress of human civilization can be accurately descrbed as a struggle against the forces of natural selection, that we keep winning?



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

     A story with many sides.... This type of outcome is something that should be considered up front. Consider if future opportunities present themselves with other vendors... but they have heard of this situation and decide that you are the "bad guys" (though I see nothing wrong per-se).

     A few years ago a person I had worked with approached me about going our company. He had left a place we did business with, planning to go to another firm, and then decided it was a bad move (I agreed)... We did NOT hire him, specifically because of the possibility of negative perceptions [I did help him find a position that he really loves!]

     


    I work as a consultant at a very large manufacturing company. The company has very specific rules about enticing/hiring people from companies that do business with it; essentially it boils down to "don't ask anyone to work here; don't mention any job openings here; if someone you work with wants to join us, forward their name to HR and go back to work". Prevents all kinds of perceptions about conflicts of interest.



  • I thought non-compete clauses were standard, in my current position I signed something that says I cannot work for anyone in the same industry for two years.  It's vague to the point of unenforceability, but gives me the correct incentives with respect to fishing out job openings from people I directly contact and vice versa.



  • @leonardo said:

    I thought non-compete clauses were standard, in my current position I signed something that says I cannot work for anyone in the same industry for two years.  It's vague to the point of unenforceability, but gives me the correct incentives with respect to fishing out job openings from people I directly contact and vice versa.

    In most locations within the USA, and for most positions, "non-compete clauses" are actually irrelevant from a legal point of view. However, as I posted previously, the perception is often the most important part.



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    @leonardo said:

    I thought non-compete clauses were standard, in my current position I signed something that says I cannot work for anyone in the same industry for two years.  It's vague to the point of unenforceability, but gives me the correct incentives with respect to fishing out job openings from people I directly contact and vice versa.

    In most locations within the USA, and for most positions, "non-compete clauses" are actually irrelevant from a legal point of view. However, as I posted previously, the perception is often the most important part.

    This is correct. A while ago the DoJ even intervened to stop secret non-poaching agreements between big companies. Non-compete clauses are mostly for people who carry a very valuable clients list (like top sales people or lawyers) or have their value tied to their fame (like tv stars).



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    @Shoreline said:

    So the vendor got all precious because one of their people clearly preferred the idea of working for you and lost their business because they tried fighting you. All I see is that your company out-competed them, and they probably weren't a very nice place to work. You're not the bad guys, you're evolution incarnate. That makes you the good guys. The Great Darwin would smile upon you. Praise Darwin.
     

    You do realize that the entire history of the progress of human civilization can be accurately descrbed as a struggle against the forces of natural selection, that we keep winning?

     

    Shhh now, you're ruining the entire field of evolutionary psychology. Imagine if all of those people started doing work. "Maam, you cannot blame me for undercooking your burger, we never evolved to cook our meat, I am a simple human, not a god."; "Sir, I cannot do anything for your car, my hands have evolved for holding sticks and stones and picking my nose, they aren't suited to operating these confusingly complex tools."

     



  • We don't hire people from partners. We also do not hire competitors employees. It's just better that way for all involved.

    However, we have had competitors try to hire our people away.... and I did encourage one of those deals. The person was damaged goods and was a bigger help to us by going to work for them. -- no, that person didn't feed us any information. They were just that bad.



  • @clively said:

    We don't hire people from partners. We also do not hire competitors employees. It's just better that way for all involved.

    However, we have had competitors try to hire our people away.... and I did encourage one of those deals. The person was damaged goods and was a bigger help to us by going to work for them. -- no, that person didn't feed us any information. They were just that bad.

     

    Didn't the Geneva Convention outlaw biological warfare?



  • @clively said:

    We don't hire people from partners. We also do not hire competitors employees. It's just better that way for all involved.

    However, we have had competitors try to hire our people away.... and I did encourage one of those deals. The person was damaged goods and was a bigger help to us by going to work for them. -- no, that person didn't feed us any information. They were just that bad.

    We had one of those guys - it was a huge relief when he jumped ship and went to one of our customers. We, his peers, knew he was hopeless but the managers didn't do anything to get rid of him.



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    @clively said:
    We don't hire people from partners. We also do not hire competitors employees. It's just better that way for all involved.

    However, we have had competitors try to hire our people away.... and I did encourage one of those deals. The person was damaged goods and was a bigger help to us by going to work for them. -- no, that person didn't feed us any information. They were just that bad.

    We had one of those guys - it was a huge relief when he jumped ship and went to one of our customers. We, his peers, knew he was hopeless but the managers didn't do anything to get rid of him.

    I used to be a contractor in a big federal agency and most middle managers were always applauding and agreeing to pool resources when higher-ups would start YATF (yet another task force). From the outside it could look like people cared about the projects, but the truth is that for them it was a wonderful opportunity to get rid of some of their worst employees because firing people is very difficult in that organization. People were calling that "paying it forward", which I still find hilarious.

    There was one guy who was famous in the building. He had been caught stealing memory sticks in computers and one time he was even caught on tape cutting a long piece of copper pipe in the basement; he punched a receptionist because she would not validate his parking ticket; he pretend-sodomized a senior manager in the elevator; he would frequently snore while sleeping at his desk; etc. They could not fire him so he was always assigned to task forces, to the point where his self-proclaimed nickname was Mr T* (for "Mr Task Force").

    * he was black but looked more like Cleveland from Family Guy than Mr T


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