* Posts by TheVoiceofReason

20 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Sep 2013

Win Server 2003 custom support: That's NOT going to be fun


Technology Refresh

12 years is a reasonable amount of time for any organisation to plan for a technology refresh. Any organisation that doesn't have this included and budgeted for in its IT strategy should be looking internally rather than howling at the moon in outrage. This is hardly breaking news.

HP emails personal data of 1,000 CDS workers to 3rd party


Tip of the Iceberg

HP were never the greatest in terms of process or reliable technical interaction. However, of late they appear to be in complete meltdown. Systems are a shambles. They've just allocated dedicated account managers for 2 men and a dog SMBs trying to compete with their channel partners. Had some HP chap begging me last week to let him bid for two desktops in one of my accounts. Basically copying their nemesis channel rip-off strategy.

Agree that the ICO is completely toothless. HP will wave their "look at how many people we employ in the UK" knickers at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and they'll tell them what fine / warning will be acceptable to them.

Microsoft tells resellers to use Office 365 as loss leader


Silver Bullet for Killing Office 365

There is a silver bullet for killing any businesses interest in Office 365. Microsoft actually provide the silver bullet themselves. I keep a print out of the damning words from Microsoft and present them to any customer that gets sucked in by the marketing. It instantly kills the interest. A good relationship with your customer, combined with Microsoft hoisting themselves on their own petard will certainly protect your customer from the Microsoft's dodgy marketing machine.

To the Ratner Veep at Microsoft - Partners aren't always concerned about P&Ls, we are interested in delivering the best solution for our customers. Office 365 is unsupportable with its current model. The TCO is disastrous for the customer and for the MSP. We aren't recommending your product because of the lack of margin - there's no margin on any Microsoft products! Office 365 is not being sold because it is not good for customers and it is not good for MSPs. Give us a product that works, give us a support system that works and we'll sell it just as we sell on-premise solutions. We do actually sell Cloud-based Exchange but not Office 365 Exchange. Why - simple - the solution is well supported, it is triple DC-hosted in the UK, we have a great working relationship with the cloud vendor. All the things that Microsoft refuse to deliver to its partners.

Brit giant Daisy Group extends deadline for buyers to make a mark


Toscafund Delaying Because the Referndum Vote They Helped Create

ToscaFund is Sir George Mathewson. The fervent nationalist that is behind Alex Salmond's SNP and the current referendum shambles. Toscafund where also key players is the disastrous RBS / ABN AMRO shambles that the UK is still paying dearly for.

Quite ironic that Toscafund are delaying this deal until after the referendum vote.

Look out: The Far Eastern white-box boys are coming for EVERYONE


IT Procurers That Can't Spec a System

Some very odd comments above regarding solutions being wrongly specified. Specifying hardware is about as difficult as deciding what spec of car you should buy. Anyone that procures a system either directly from the channel or from the manufacturer direct and ends up with an underspecified system is usually the type of buyer that is trying to get the best possible price. If you press the supplier on price guess what - at least one supplier will underspecify your system to win the business. Not morally great behaviour - however buyers often create this problem for themselves. If you don't know how to specify a solution then you shouldn't be buying it.

Nadella: Yes I can put 2 THINGS FIRST. I will say them at the same time – CLOUDOBILE


Identity Crisis

I don't know why Microsoft wastes so much time and effort trying to be liked. They were much more successful when they took great price in their arrogance. All this trying to reach out to customers is having an impact on their credibility. People want the old Microsoft. Confident, arrogant and delivering products that everyone assumed that they had to have. It is like watching a tedious Hollywood role reversal movie as Apple and Microsoft swap corporate personalities.

Unionised workers vote to become thorn in HP's side


Disruptive and Unhelpful

Hardly a change of strategy for HP staff - they've taken great delight and pride in being unhelpful, arrogant and crap for well over a decade. With Dell also downsizing, banks still cutting jobs and the public sector still binning their own flavour of unhelpful arrogant wage thieves the outlook must be bleak for HP staff. :-)

Anonymous plans hacktivism against World Cup sponsors


In England we have the Reebok Stadium, The Emirates and a few other sponsored stadiums. There is no Coca Cola Hospital for Sick Children as far as I am aware.

How great would it be if someone like Amazon, Starbucks, etc came out and declared its disgust at its tax avoidance behaviour and declared it would be sponsoring the rebuild of a hospital or even just a school.

I would rather see the picture of a child saved by corporate sponsor's intervention on a pepsi can than the picture of a million pound a week football player.

The Big Society has failed to see any positive response from the corporates other than lip service to corporate social responsibility.

HP: Customers, partners are fleeing IBM x86 since Lenovo System x bid


Indian Summer for HP

Almost all the channel partners are planning their transition to Lenovo for their server provision. That includes key HP and Dell partners. A genuine 100% channel model is very attractive to the channel - doesn't take a genius to work it out. Perhaps Dell and HP will wake up to it at some point in the not too distant future. They keep saying it and never deliver it.

Cisco COO: 'I actually thank God that we had a crisis'...


To be fair to Cisco the crisis has been a humbling process for them. They have lost a lot of their arrogance towards their customers and partners. Sadly it looks like the people running the show have still got a lot to learn. All the major vendors are suffering from institutionalised insanity. The 90s and noughties left them in a deluded state. They want to continue to behave like the divas of the business world despite their saggy bottoms and bingo wings. Time the for idiots driving these train wrecks to have a reality check.

Unions mull appetite for HP strike action over 16k job cull


Strikes Require Public Sympathy and Support, and Wider Social Impact

Can't see any strike action being successful. The first element a strike requires is public sympathy / support. I can't see there being much sympathy for HP staff in the IT community. In the channel we've all been ripped off by some quarter chasing HP "account manager" - a practise that appears to be getting worse as revenues and profits get squeezed. Then there's the poor end user. A quick visit to Spiceworks and you will see the utter contempt that HP has for its customers. So the IT community are unlikely to support the strike as they would nurses or firemen. HP don't put out fires or fix things for us - they run in the opposite direction at the first sign of their mistake or anything that will cost them money.

Social impact - the transport strikes in London are a great example of this. When the underground stops working London feels the pain at all levels. The social impact is significant. Will HP going on strike have any significant impact on the wider community? Not in the same sense as the removal of transport services to a dependent conurbation. HP contrary to the belief of its CEO and the attitude of its staff do not have a monopoly.

HP appears to be in self destruct mode. We have seen decision after decision taken towards isolationism. Relationships with other vendors destroyed in a bizarre attempt to make HP self-dependent. HP is a company without friends. The industrial dispute is nothing more than a fart in talcum powder.

Dell charges £5 to switch on power-saving for new PCs (it takes 5 clicks)


Never EVER Buy Dell Direct!!

Dell's system configs are full of gotchas that will soon see the cost of your equipment increase unnecessarily if you are not live to them. Dealing with Dell Direct has further pitfalls - dealing directly with any of the major vendors if a huge business error. If something goes wrong you'll either have to pucker up and take the hit, vent your rage on social media or waste your valuable time battling with contact centre staff who are paid to frustrate and befuddle you.

Dell kit is actually pretty good and has come on strongly over the last few years. Buy via a partner. It will be cheaper and if they are any good they will sort out any issues for you.

Office of Fair Trading: UK.gov IT deals lack effective competition


What do you guys call an angry drunk

Nigel Farage

UK.gov back-office battle may see British Justice offshored


MoJ Has Form

I remember a few years ago when the "new" criminal justice system project was failing the audit office got involved. They forced the MoJ to go out tender again. From recollection, they awarded it to the same supplier who bid at a higher cost. Not an unusual practise in public sector procurement as I have unfortunately found out over the years. When something doesn't work the answer is always "we need more budget!" The service never improves, but the cost always goes up.

Dell disputes 15k layoff figure: Only a few staffers accepted 'voluntary separations'


Hopefully the 15K of dumped staff are all from the EMEA as they are useless

I find the guys in Dell Inc pretty switched on, market aware, business alert and excellent communicators. Dell EMEA by contrast behave more like the UK's public sector. They are essentially lazy and stupid, and couldn't recognise an opportunity if it ran up to them naked with the words "opportunity" written across its breasts - let alone offer a solution even if you present the solution to them spelt out in large capital letters with a mime artist acting out the solution for them just in case they can't be bothered reading that day.

Any opportunity, issue requires the involvement on a cast of thousands at Dell, none of whom are actually capable of doing anything. What you actually have is a inverted flock of seagulls / pigeons all scrapping internally over already won business looking only internally at their own career / survival rather than being able to think about the company, its partner channel and ultimately its customers.

There are positive signs from the USA that Dell is making some good decisions. The issue they have is the thousands of incompetents currently entrusted to transform a box-shifting retirement home for poor business people into a leading software business.

The 15K clearout might not be enough judging by the current ratio of talent vs incompetents.

Dell staffers react to news of 1-in-3 axe dangling overhead


Wheat from the Chaff

I actually see this as a positive sign from Dell. As from the comments above there is a fair amount of chaff that Michael Dell needs to split out from the wheat. The comments above in terms of customer / partner experience will be commonplace. The merry-go-round of account management is down to management not managing their staff properly and being entirely focussed on sales / margin at any cost. This leads to relationship breaking service disasters. Miss-sold solutions, inadequate solutions, wrong skill set account managers trying to sell complex solutions and putting businesses in jeopardy.

At a strategic level Dell are getting a lot of things right. The tight relationship with Microsoft is bang on the money. The Quest Software acquisition is far more sane than HP's utter shambles with EDS. There's a lot to like about Dell at the moment. If they get rid of some of the clownshoes responsible for all the general snash we all have to deal with all the better. Some of the nonsense about having to learn too much just about sums up some of the wastrels at Dell. Partners manage to configure complex solutions without the backing of billions of dollars of support and training. Shape up or ship out!!!

BlackBerry CEO: Reports of firm's death 'greatly exaggerated'


"In a move oddly reminiscent of a Monty Python sketch" - brilliant!!

The target: 25% of UK gov IT from small biz... The reality: Not even close


Lack of Stability in Team Responsible

I've been selling into the public sector for a number of years - mainly with SMEs. There is a catch 22. If you do not have an established product in the public sector space then you really need to identify some highly ambitious KDMs in order to get a foothold.

Central Government have been trying to politically manage the enormous embarrassments they have had repeatedly for as long as I have been in the sales channel. They have gone through various incarnations of SME support strategies. The biggest issue is that the personnel involved never stick around long enough to achieve anything. The last effort to convince SME suppliers sounded encouraging. There was going to be an anonymous process for complaints regarding tendering processes / decisions, which should be a small step in the right direction.

However, the key players in that team have already moved on - either out of Government altogether - or up the food chain in Govt. You end up with the same silly advice from Govt. If you are small form consortiums for your bids. In reality that means hook up with a top tier supplier who will add around 20% margin onto the value of your solution. Looking at that through a cynics eyes it is nothing more than an indirect bribe.

Gov IT write-off: Universal Credit system flushes £34m down toilet


Re: Peanuts

I suspect it was a cunning ploy to stop the new £1,000,000,000.00 cash grab that has just been made available for NHS Trusts to have a go at the single patient record. Isn't it time that Govt learnt that announcing a big number to score political brownie points, prior to business cases being written to support the viability of the projects is a very silly way to invest public money. Then again, when the CIO of UK Government was previously teaching IT at Eton it is hardly surprising IT procurement continues be a shambles.