back to article BOFH: Hearken! The Shiny Button software speaks of Strategic Realignment

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns The Boss has taken a meeting with a bunch of support contractors, apparently to talk about issues we might be having. As we're not having any issues, there's an undercurrent of betrayal in his words. "I like to keep an open mind," the Boss says in response to my sigh of doubt – once more …


  1. theOtherJT Silver badge

    Shiny button software...

    ...As a service.

    Missed a trick there. All shiny button software is a service these days. By paying a low monthly fee of $7 per user you can generate metrics that will allow you to waste at least 30 people's time at a rate of $50 an hour, for an hour per month while the compulsory meeting to discuss the metrics that no one has read takes place. The outcome of which will be a reduction in over-all spend by the equivalent of at most $1 per month per month, per user, by making everything slightly more annoying.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Shiny button software...

      If it's going to cut jobs the per user pricing is going to need looking at. Best make it a fixed rate based on initial number of users otherwise it will end up cutting its own income.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Shiny button software...

        Oh, no, you should keep using a per user charge because everyone who buys it will think they're getting a great deal. We pay for 200 users this month, then next month we only have to pay for 180. Then they realize that the software doesn't actually let them cut staffing as they thought and they still end up paying for 200 users.

        1. Snowy Silver badge

          Re: Shiny button software...

          Also only allow a seat reduction once a year (or more with a discount if you lock in for longer). Any increase would take place straight away and reset the reduction period.

      2. Montreal Sean

        Re: Shiny button software...

        Ah, but the $7/user pricing requires a certain number of employees. It's a volume discount.

        If user levels drop below a certain threshold the price per user will increase dramatically.

        1. TheWeetabix

          Re: Shiny button software...

          I sure don’t miss Oracle….

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shiny button software...

      $7 per month is so passé - the new fad is runtime-credits-per-hour pricing :-)

      1. handle handle

        Re: Shiny button software...

        Can't do that. It'll be immediately apparent no one is looking at the numbers when no runtime credits are consumed.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Shiny button software...

          No no, the runtime credits are for the data collection.

          Viewing the data is free*!

          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: Shiny button software...

            ...and for the processing cost, storage, and network access at $0.01 per kilobyte (1000 bytes, not 1024)

  2. b0llchit Silver badge

    Shiny Buttocks Software

    (FTFY) A must-have for your IT vitality checks from server to client.

    1. Anonymous Anti-ANC South African Coward

      I see your Shiny Buttocks Software and raise you a Shiny Bollocks Software

      1. Montreal Sean

        If you think you're shining my buttocks, or my bollocks, you'd better buy me dinner first!

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Don't forget Cover Your Arse™. This package will ensure that, whatever happens, someone else gets the blame.

      1. SuperGeek

        Cover your arse...

        After checking your poo? I hear smooth and banana shaped is ideal!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah. The Enterprise Bullshit Pro Licence.

    64 bit.

    1. CountCadaver Silver badge

      Tack on turbopromaxultraextreme2 and we might well have a winner there

      1. MrDamage Silver badge

        Tack AI onto the end, and it;s a definite winner.

        1. TeeCee Gold badge

          Or at the very least a new paradigm.

          1. TheWeetabix

            A shifty one, even.

            1. bemusedHorseman

              Better hope that paradigm isn't trying to shift without a clutch... or else -->

          2. Scott 26


            (forgetting that quantum levels are very very small)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "A quantum leap in savings!"

        2. 43300 Silver badge

          And X9 or some other random combination of letters and numbers to indicate that it's a subscription service.

          For most of the functionality you actually want, you will also need the doubleplusgoodbonus addon, plus further add-ons for some of the functions to actually work.

    2. ariels-again

      We cannot buy unless it's compatible with our Enterprise Blockchain Solution Framework!

      (True Enterprise lag is one hype cycle)

  4. Kevin Johnston

    Resource re-alignment?

    It always confuses me when managers are so keen to get onboard with this. They will not see a bonus from the savings as that is well above their paygrade but there may be questions about the need for their role once the staff numbers reduce as we are seeing from the WFH movement over the last 4 years. So many staff are happier and working more efficiently without the hourly interruptions from a manager that needs to be seen to be 'in the loop' that entire layers of management are now desperate for people to be back in the office before the axeman comes to encourage them to spend more time with their family.

    Some companies appear to be looking at this is a good way and are downsizing their office space and making savings that way but there are a number of big enterprises out there who are too invested in their offices, especially since it is now a buyer's market for office space so selling a 'quantum experience in flexible ergonomic working spaces featuring ambient music and meditation pods' is not a quick process.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Resource re-alignment?

      "entire layers of management are now desperate for people to be back in the office"

      The smarter managers will be attributing such an increased productivity to their success at managing a remote working staff.

      Of course the smarter managers wouldn't have been interrupting their staff on an hourly basis in the first place so they'll have less of an increase in productivity anyway.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Resource re-alignment?

      It's the gravy for ambitious but no so talented managers. People who haven't worked in the service industry shouldn't want to be managers, but they do. Management done right provides a service to the employees; done wrong, try to treat employees like servants.

      Realignments are inevitable when it becomes clear that the last set of consultant-based reorganisation didn't work and now even fewer people who need to work together are working together. Instead everything has been streamlined and nobody knows what they should be doing. So, time for a realignment and cue the next lot of consultants arriving with whiteboards, charts and games to break the nose ice. Add some creative accounting and, while productivity goes down, it's bonuses all round as profits are juiced by selling assets and leasing them back. Then there's a round of musical office chairs as the most motivated middle managers are whittled down for allowing the most talented employees to leave.

      Mine's the one with The Mythical Man Month in the pocket.

      1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

        Re: Resource re-alignment?

        You've just given me a bad case of Deja Vu!

        ---------> Mine's the one I'll need soon, cos it's happening again!

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Resource re-alignment?

        "Then there's a round of musical office chairs as the most motivated middle managers are whittled down for allowing the most talented employees to leave."

        If senior management even recognised who was the most talented of their employees it would only be because they were the most expensive - assuming they were paid more than the rest wich isn't likely.

      3. Dimmer Bronze badge

        Charlie Sorry it registered as a down vote

        Management done right provides a service to the employees; done wrong, try to treat employees like servants.

        Thumbs up!

    3. Sam not the Viking Silver badge

      Re: Resource re-alignment?

      A good manager is one who understands what you are doing and ensures that the processes and equipment are there to help you function efficiently. I am fortunate in having worked for several competent managers. But not every time.

      As an engineer, I would get pissed off by managers, based on their complete incomprehension of the task, who told me what I needed to do. These people who have a cursory understanding, uttering relevant buzzwords-of-the-moment and in so doing have weaselled their way into 'management', are very dangerous.

      I was confident in my position but this just serves to infuriate. Amusing for me but it affected others earlier their career path.

  5. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Thumb Up

    "I was thinking more of murder suicide,"

    Apart from a certain microbiome, and blood in the water, there is the distinct smell of database normalization warnings in the air.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    once more confusing the words "open" and "empty."

    The other one which keeps getting confused with "empty" is "clear" as in "A clear desk is the sign of a clear mind".

    1. steelpillow Silver badge

      once more confusing the words "open" and "empty."

      This is a riopste I am going to steal openly (sic) and frequently in all walks of life where weasels play.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: once more confusing the words "open" and "empty."

        Stealing is unnecessary, please feel free to use it. And if the victims complain about you being negative you can also use my one about it being the grit in the oyster that produces the pearl.

    2. A____B

      Years ago I worked in a place where the senior manager was fixated upon appearance and "order".

      There are numerous stories about edicts being issued about things being stored on shelves in general view, level of venetian blinds... projects were running late and staff churn was high, but it wasn't poor management to blame - no it was a pile of binders on top of a filing cabinet!!

      One particular time he was having a go about general tidiness and voiced the opinion that "A messy, cluttered desk is the sign of a messy, cluttered mind".

      Unfortunately, at the time I had a very young family and a mortgage to consider; even so, I still regret to this day not asking what an empty desk signified -- his room always had a completely clear desk.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "This is not messy clutter. It's a carefully curated collection of working papers. It's on this desk because this is a desk where work is done so working papers are needed. I'm surprised and disappointed that a discerning manager didn't recognise that."

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          And the follow-on point that in the obsession with sleek-looking offices, they've failed to provide enough storage space so things get piled up on desks...

        2. ske1fr

          What do you mean, your desk?

          In my last post we had 'hot desking', so no one had a designated desk, in the morning you collected your stuff from your designated locker, then played Find A Desk, plus points if it was near your team, then in the afternoon you did it all in reverse. It was a serious time waster/ efficient use of office space, depending on your grade/ attitude. As you can imagine, going from a hot desked office with dual monitor arms singly populated, to home working with a fully integrated workstation (by me) made The Covid Years far more productive...

          1. MGJ

            Re: What do you mean, your desk?

            Personal lockers, bloody luxury. Post covid attempts to coax us back in to the office have involved 'day lockers' and the removal of personal desks and storage, and they wonder why the offices remain stubbornly empty. Its almost like they are trying to have an excuse to get rid of our large listed buildings that cant ever be made energy efficient and would be much better as hotels or yet more student accomodation.

  7. Howard Sway Silver badge

    "Oh, it's ah ... Neo ... um, Enterprise ... uh ... Executive ... uhm ..."

    Let me guess : the next word would have been "Dashboard".

    It was the easiest way to sell any useless, everybody knows this stuff anyway, metric visualising Fisher Price My First Management Tool software to the aspirational middle manager. "Cockpit" would have been an even more impressive sounding name for such crap, allowing the exec to feel that they were a pilot at the controls of a huge complex airliner, but for some reason that never caught on.

    1. Lyndon Hills 1

      Re: "Oh, it's ah ... Neo ... um, Enterprise ... uh ... Executive ... uhm ..."

      The 'cockpit' idea was suggested where I worked around 17/18 years ago.....

    2. steelpillow Silver badge

      Re: "Oh, it's ah ... Neo ... um, Enterprise ... uh ... Executive ... uhm ..."

      I can't help wondering whether Word's spellcheck auto-correct dealt with mistyping "cockpit" in all too many interesting ways.

    3. Dizzy Dwarf

      Re: "Oh, it's ah ... Neo ... um, Enterprise ... uh ... Executive ... uhm ..."

      Er, Pebble-dashboard?

      With a mostly brown, but also a slightly worrying yellow/green, colour scheme.

      <link rel=stylesheet type="text/css" href="/css/onion_bhaji.css">

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "Oh, it's ah ... Neo ... um, Enterprise ... uh ... Executive ... uhm ..."

        Back to the intestinal biome again.

    4. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: "Oh, it's ah ... Neo ... um, Enterprise ... uh ... Executive ... uhm ..."

      One of my clients got a consultant to make them a dashboard. They asked me to export some production data.

      I gave them a big CSV where each row was a production batch, with start and end timestamps and quantity.

      They said that they needed the total hours and quantity by day.

      I pointed out to the customer that they have the start/end timestamps and quantity per operation. Turning that into totals by day was just arithmetics. Some tricky bits if an operation is active at midnight, okay, but still nothing that doesn't get routinely taught to teens.

      I could change the exporter in the production software, of course, but surely the dashboard software, whose entire reason of being is to visualize data, would already be set up to do something like that?

      Some time passed, and then they confirmed that they wanted me to export total quantities per day.

      So I did that, and the CSV now had a row per day, with the total.

      Some time passed, and then they asked me to add a column with the quantity-per-hour.

      I pointed out that this is literally just a division.

      I'll do it, of course, for free even, but a question comes to mind. This dashboard software. It's just a thing that makes a time series plot out of a CSV, isn't it? Like, literally three mouse clicks on Excel? How much are you paying for it?

      Still have to get an answer.

      1. steelpillow Silver badge

        Re: "Oh, it's ah ... Neo ... um, Enterprise ... uh ... Executive ... uhm ..."

        Down at the local golf club:

        "My dashboard cost more than your dashboard. Yah!"

        "You're not counting the cost of the blockchain data archive mine creates. Boo!"

        "I pay that every month for my cloud DaaS. That's dashboard-as-as-service, dear boy. Sucks!"

        "Who's that toff in the Veyron?"

        "Said his name was Boff-with-an-h or something. No breeding."

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: "Oh, it's ah ... Neo ... um, Enterprise ... uh ... Executive ... uhm ..."

          Serious ommission in that lot - you've failed to include any mention of AI!

          1. steelpillow Silver badge

            Re: "Oh, it's ah ... Neo ... um, Enterprise ... uh ... Executive ... uhm ..."

            Hark! Is that the sound of a Veyron reversing back into its parking space?

            Checkout the number plate: AI 1


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