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Two More Questions with Stephen Forte

In my last blog entry (Two Questions with Stephen Forte), I introduced Stephen Forte, chief strategy officer at component maker Telerik and asked him two questions about what the industry looks like from the perspective of someone in the business. This blog looks at the other two questions I asked about how Telerik competes in the competitive .NET toolspace.

Peter Vogel: What's it like competing in the "Suites market"? What's critical to succeed in this market?
Stephen Forte: Developers today are being asked to do a tremendous amount in a rapidly changing environment. Writing software for developers is very challenging, since we have to be experts in new technology as soon as it's announced. In order to succeed, we have to first anticipate what developers need and then build a high quality product. Since technology is always changing and Microsoft adds more and more of the Telerik and its competitors innovations into its own products, we have to constantly keep innovating. It's very exciting and fast paced.

PV: How does Telerik differentiate itself from the other suite vendors? What's Telerik's competitive advantage?
SF: We differentiate ourselves by constantly innovating and expanding our suite. We pride ourselves in staying ahead of the competition; we are the only suite that that covers all aspects of application development: UI, data, coding, testing and optimization.

Our support is also a competitive advantage. We keep hearing about how great our support is. However, we don't have a dedicated support team: we have the developers of the products answer all the support questions. When developers do their own support, they have a unique perspective and customer engagement. This not only insures that the customer gets the best possible technical answer, but the person who wrote the code that caused the customer's bug is the one actually doing the support!

We get a ton of ideas for new features from our direct communication with the customers. It keeps us lean and innovative.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 05/24/2010

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