Would You Build a Car from Parts, or Choose a Tesla?

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Written by: James Riley

Maybe it’s a silly question, but who wouldn’t choose a shiny new Tesla over building a car from scratch in your garage? Other than a skilled mechanic with a lot of time on his hands, that is.

One way traditional CIS vendors and integrators promote their systems over a modern cloud platform is by claiming cloud solutions are rigid and one-size-fits-all. They also imply that, because you can’t customize a cloud CIS solution exactly the way you want, such implementations are inherently riskier.

But those arguments don’t hold much fuel. Just like building or buying a car, the amount of risk involved in a cloud CIS implementation comes down to whether the builder uses a well-defined template, a cookie-cutter approach, or no template at all.

Let’s look at our analogy to see how a cloud CIS built on a well-defined template is, in fact, less risky than a traditional implementation and you still get to have it your way.

Build-it-yourself is a risky proposition

Want a car that’s customized exactly the way you want it? One way is to build it yourself.

Think of just some of the parts you will need to have delivered to your garage - wheels, brakes, suspension, engine, exhaust, transmission, steering, bodywork, windows, electronics and so on. You’ll have to know the type of car you want to end up with as you choose each part, but also check to make sure every part is compatible with the others you have chosen. 

Even for a super-mechanic, it’s going to take a lot longer to get that new car if you start from scratch. It’s also going to take a lot more effort as it’s unlikely you have access to an automated assembly line like the automakers do. And much as you might rate your ability to negotiate a good deal, without the much buying power that car is going to be more expensive too.

Your build-it-yourself project is also going to be far riskier than ordering from a local or online showroom. It’s likely the first time you’ve ever put a whole car together, finishing the project at all is a huge risk. Even if you do finish, you probably don’t have a quality control program, there is no overall warranty, and other than your diligence no guarantee that the car is safe.

As with a car, you can build a CIS yourself, so it is exactly the way you want it. But what percentage will be truly different from other utilities, and is it worth the risk?

The Tesla way: starting with a well-defined template

Instead of building a car—or technology solution—yourself, start with a well-defined template.

You can order a Tesla online in minutes, without ever talking to a salesman. Even accounting for their popularity, you’ll receive your finished car much faster. With direct delivery, and no further assembly required, the experience of getting your new car is effortless. And because Tesla leverages its considerable buying power and advanced automated manufacturing processes, the cost will be way lower.

The risks are lower too. Tesla knows what it’s doing. Building innovative cars, that consistently receive the highest safety ratings in the industry, is what it does day in and day out. Your new car will have passed through rigorous quality and safety checks before it’s allowed to leave the factory. And of course, every new Tesla comes with a comprehensive warranty, giving you peace of mind for years to come.

Of course, you can still personalize your Tesla by choosing:

  • engine power
  • rear or all-wheel drive
  • paint and interior colors
  • wheels
  • self-driving capability
  • enhanced suspension
  • weather packages
  • fidelity sound
  • rear-facing seats
  • high amperage charger upgrade
  • and so many other options a do-it-yourself won’t offer.

So instead of having to spend all that time choosing every part for your new car, you can spend more time carefully choosing the options you really want and that of course that first epic road trip.

It’s the same when implementing a cloud CIS like VertexOne. Like Tesla, VertexOne starts with a well-defined template, freeing up your time and resources to focus on the 30 percent of requirements unique to your individual utility and customers.

After your CIS leaves the showroom…

Just as a car owner’s experience doesn’t end after leaving the dealership, nor does your experience—or that of your customers—after the CIS go-live date.

With a do-it-yourself car, you’re pretty much on your own. The Tesla, on the other hand, has vehicle diagnostics running 24/7 to ensure the vehicle is performing optimally. If not, it can alert Tesla of a potential problem, which they’ll resolve under the extensive warranty program. Plus, you can opt to include all vehicle maintenance, so you’ll know exactly what it will cost to buy and operate the vehicle into the future.

The same is true of VertexOne Cloud CIS. Fully hosted and managed, it offers guaranteed services levels at a predictable cost. Best of all – just like Tesla can add new features and functions with firmware updates delivered over the air – we update VertexOne automatically for you making sure you always stay current and benefit from the new features and functions.

Still driving a built-from-scratch CIS, or one built on a rigid, inflexible template? Watch TMG’s recent webinar to see why the inflexibility of cloud solutions is yet another myth that’s been debunked.

James Riley is a former employee of VertexOne, a SaaS provider of customer technology solutions purpose built for utilities.

Cloud CIS

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