Eating Your Own Dog Food

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Dog breed Jack Russell Terrier and foods are on the table in the kitchen

My first “real” job was in food and beverage. I worked in fairly expensive restaurants at a major European tourism destination for a number of years. One of the things that I learnt while there was that if you wanted to effectively sell food or wine you had to actually like it yourself. Sure, some people can probably “fake it”, but if you genuinely like eating that steak or think that wine pairing works well, because it’s the one you’ve tried, then you’ll probably be a lot more convincing and successful.

Fast forward several years (*cough*) and I still believe that it’s easier to sell a product or service that you’ve experienced yourself. I don’t use every single product or service we sell, but I’ve done my best to try as many of them as possible.

Internally we try to encourage our staff to “play” with the technology and services we’re selling to the public. It makes it a lot easier to talk about a technology that you’ve tried yourself.

Mail is a great example of this.

For the last 10 (?) years I’ve run my own mail server(s) to manage the email for several of my personal projects. Years ago that made sense (sort of) and dabbling with email server logs in the evening was fun, in a way..

A few months ago I switched the email on this domain name over to another service we offer Office 365.

Why?

Because I wanted to see what it was like and at the time I wasn’t using the email attached to this domain name for anything special. Put another way, if my mail exploded or the experience was bad nothing important was going to be impacted. If it worked out well then I’d have a live 365 account to play with new features.

As things turned out my Office 365 account has become my main mailbox for my personal email and I’ve been switching several of my personal domains’ email over to it as well.

Why?

It just works and I’d prefer to spend my time doing stuff I need to do or simply enjoying myself rather than trying to debug Postfix (an open source mail server) logs.

Internally we’ve always tried to use the services we offered that fit with our business needs. When we started offering Hosted Exchange a few years ago we moved our internal email to Exchange. More recently we’ve been using Acronis to backup our own desktops, while we’ve been using Spam Experts in front of our company email for ages.

Now we’re in the process of moving the entire team over to Office 365, as it makes sense for us to do it. The integrations with 3rd party applications will help me and the rest of the team work more intelligently, or at least that’s what I’m hoping!

Admittedly, however, we are using email internally less and less. A lot of the emails have been replaced almost completely by Slack and when that doesn’t work you can always actually walk over to someone’s desk and you know, talk to them!

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