Surprising Praise

I happen to work in a particular corner of the software industry that isn’t exactly the most happenin’ party zone.  Compared to whatever is “hot” at any point in time, extracting data from documents seems dull to most.  I’m not deterred though – quite the contrary, being able to deliver products into contexts where we have a big positive impact on the well-being of our customers’ organizations makes for a level of satisfaction that (I suspect) outpaces the quick, fleeting high of popularity.

That said, one downside of this is that many of our customers realize so much benefit from working with us is that they often are very reluctant to allow us to discuss our relationships with them in public.  So, far more often than not, we can have the satisfaction of realizing that big impact on a customer’s organization, but are barred from talking about it.  Given that, we are doubly appreciative of those that have worked with us to develop case studies on how they use PDFTextStream.

But last week, I discovered that someone we’ve worked with in the past – Neil Gandhi, who was heavily involved with Zinio’s deployment of PDFTextStream— had added a recommendation to my LinkedIn profile.  Now, most recommendations are very pleasant to begin with, but Neil’s was so effusive and unsolicited that I thought I’d share it here (oddly, LinkedIn doesn’t show recommendations on the “public” profile pages, but if you log in and view my profile, you’ll see Neil’s comments):

I worked with Chas during my time at Zinio LLC, a digital publication company that specializes in online and offline delivery of digital magazines. At the time, we were implementing global search functionality but our PDF text extraction solution was really sub-par. We found Chas at Snowtide and worked with him and his team in implementing PDFTextStream; their PDF text extraction solution. We were also testing against a slew of other vendors and open-source solutions to find the best product based on accuracy and service. You can find the case-study here: http://snowtide.com/cs-zinio

Needless to say, PDFTextStream was by far the most accurate solution, but to my surprise, Chas and his team provided the best service a small company like Zinio could ask for. I never had to wait more than half a day for a response and the questions and requests were always answered with a can-do attitude. If something couldn’t be done, Chas always had the time to explain why and also suggested (many times, better) solutions. He could talk the talk as both a CEO and as a developer and could switch back and forth when talking to my Director of Engineering, VP of Technology, and me and was more than competent at all levels. In the end we ended up purchasing the solution for all of our extraction servers, and I made a connection to someone I can always turn to when I need anything PDF related.

Pretty cool.  We’ll obviously be publishing more case studies as the opportunities arise, but it’s hard to beat comments as personal and unsolicited as those.  Thanks, Neil.

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