Clip the coupon, Go on a cruise

So you still are not sure about broaching the SQL Cruises idea on the powers that be?  Let me offer one more way that you could try the big sell…

At my job we already have budget set aside for tools and licensing of Quest products, so for me the offer of free stuff was initially just a nice benefit.  Hey, maybe someone out there could use that to help him or her offset the costs of training I thought to myself (and wrote a blog about it.)

But then I had an idea.  I could still take advantage of this free licensing even though we already were going to purchase it.  I whipped out my fancy management calculator and crunched some number and confirmed it could be done.   Since both training and licensing are capitol purchases and come out of the same pool of money, why not move some around.  Bosses always like to see you move $ from one bucket to another if it saves on the bottom line and that is just what I did.

By leveraging the $8,000+ worth of software licensing being offered by Quest, I suggested that we move some capitol funds from the licensing bucket to the training bucket.  With an overall net savings, I was able to get another training under our belt this year, such as Immersion and SQL PASS since my SQL Cruise attendance already been approved.   Pretty awesome, eh?

So even if you already have budget for licensing, don’t take it for granted that it could not benefit you in other ways.  Always look for opportunities to bring something back from training to the company that sent you there.  It will help ensure the next time you ask for it, you are more likely to get it with less haggling.  Saving the company money is usually right up there with improving stability and performance as a priority.  The difference here is that you can show them real dollars upfront before they invest.

Quest has given you, and through you, the company that is paying for you, a coupon worth possibly more than $8,000.  Clip it, bring it, and use it.  Don’t turn the page, it is real money!


So you want to go to SQLCruise?

… but not sure how to get your boss’s approval on that?

If you go to the SQL Cruise site, you’ll find tons of reasons on how to smooth your manager over.   Brent Ozar (blog | twitter) has various posts talking about that and my husband, John, actually wrote a post from a manager’s point of view that you can share with your manager.   He was not sure about the whole training on the cruise ship concept when I made him carry my bags asked him to join me on the train-cation last summer and he wrote about his experience.

If those posts still get a no-no from your manager, you are in-luck because the announcement just out today from SQL Cruise that all cruisers will get FREE All SQL tools from Quest.   Yes.  Free.  All.   You read right.    It’s Litespeed, Spotlight, Foglight (which by the way, the most awesome tools for diagnosed your wait stats), Toad, Benchmark.   You name it.   Go to their site here, and check out their collection of SQL Tools.   That is what you are going to get, on top of the many uber-cool swag that is going to be announced soon.

So here’s what you need to do:

Download those awesome tools, RIGHT now (if you haven’t already).   Do an eval against your own environment and write down a summary of the benefit of these tools (you can’t just make this one up, you actually need to sit down and install, and evaluate a lot of things).   Just use a couple of tools to start with.  I suggest Spotlight and Foglight.   Heck, throw Litespeed in there too.    Those are the three tools that I know has helped my team tremendously do our job and be aware of potential problems before they become one.

When you are done, present that document to your manager during your 1-on-1 (if you don’t have 1-on-1, you should set recurring one today) and do your sales pitch on how these tools can help your company.  If you peek her/his interest, the next question should be the cost, which you should already have it ready.    Yes, you might see a frowny face, since those tools are not cheap (which they shouldn’t be since they are pretty awesome), and that’s your cue to have this conversation:

No worries, we can get these tools way cheaper

Really?   How?

By sending me to SQL Cruise!   See as an attendee – I will get all of these tools for free and that’s over $8000 on value, and if you send me to SQL Cruise – the training will cost only $895 for Alaska one, plus the cruise, which around $900 and travel to Seattle which will be around $400 (I’m just throwing the number here, you get the idea).   That’s like a quarter of the actual cost!  And we get all of these tools for free AND I get the knowledge to bring back and can share that to our entire development team, and don’t get me started with the networking benefit that WE (here’s the key, it’s the company and you, not just you) will gain from this event


Here’s the paperwork for it, you can just sign it right here for me to expense all of this cost

There ya go.   Now get going and do your homework and hopefully I will see you at SQL Cruise Alaska!

PS.  A big shout out to Quest for their awesome-ness.   Thank you for supporting SQL Community!