* Posts by CujoDeSoque

54 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Mar 2017


Oracle at Europe's largest council didn't foresee bankruptcy


Re: re: I haven't seen any evidence

“Just remember that you can’t have scope creep if you have no scope.” - Project Management Handbook

Laid-off 60-year-old Kyndryl exec says he was told IT giant wanted 'new blood'


You're overlooking one of the drivers.

These guys are no different from IBM, everything is geared for the quarter numbers and stock options. It's all about making the number for this quarter and maybe the next one. I'm not convinced Kyndryl is a technical organization as they've tried to claim. From what I see they are still a sales organization. The only engineering I'm seeing is financial.

Source: IBM disguised Watson Health layoffs as a 'redeployment initiative'


Bait and switch

Having had a few people I’ve worked with accept the relocation gambit, I can’t report any were kept very long.

This is another tactic to buy time.

Most importantly when dealing with a sales organization is the first rule: never sign anything they want you to sign without getting a very good labor lawyer looking it over. Second is never let them pressure you in any way.

They want you to sign away your rights. Screw them.

IBM ordered to pay $1.6b to BMC


Looks like someone pissed off a judge.

"IBM’s business practices – including the routine eschewal of rules – merit a proportional punitive damages award. … Finally, IBM’s conduct vis-à-vis BMC offends the sense of justice and propriety that the public expects from American businesses." - That's a pretty damning statement from a judge.

Machine learning the hard way: IBM Watson's fatal misdiagnosis


Re: Why should a sales organization (IBM)

IBM never had a chance to get this right given that everything is geared to the stock price and making each quarter’s estimates.

But it’s highly unlikely any of the executives are getting jail time like Liz will.


Why should a sales organization (IBM)

Be running artificial intelligence for medical purposes? I still can’t imagine why they thought they would make money on this given their track record.

Amazon says it's all social media's fault for letting fake review schemes thrive


My Amazon Experience: I'd gotten reviews refused and pulled on a book!

And so did everyone else who posted a negative review.

But the 10 positive reviews, some of which are the author under a different name stay up. At one point I wrote a "positive" review that any sane person would see was clearly scathingly sarcastic and it stayed up for months. Go figure. Here's some of the reviews he had Spamazon censor. If you're leery of clicking on a link, you'll miss some fine yet accurate humor. But that's your choice.


The book really does have 12 indexes and also a 13th index which is all the indexes combined.

It's followed up by some of the claims in the book, equally humorous but it's clear the author is delusional and Amazon still took their side.

The reviews that remain up...I'll let you judge for yourself.

I'll just note he bragged about winning second place in his category at some local book event. There were only two entries in the category.

State of Maine orders review of $54.6m Workday project as it alleges delivery failure and threatens cancellation


Re: Legacy Nightmare People

The amount of incorrect or corrupt data seems to expand at the perceived importance of it.

It somehow seems to follow the same algorithm as Moore's Law. Funny that.


BTDT - God help them

About 15 years ago I worked on much the same project, get a HR/Payroll system for a large Gubmint organization off a 24/7/365 mainframe system to a shiny new ERP based system. I was brought in because the original consultants for the project were dumping more and more verticals from HR into the mix despite having little or no experience with the software. This isn't the end of the world but you should note that while a couple of buckshot pellets may not bring down a duck, it will wound them seriously enough to not withstand the next volley of pellets. Did I mention it took almost 3 years? It did.

Their real problem was with the architecture and the "experienced" consulting company they brought in. First off, they insisted on a 32-bit architecture in Windows and an older version of the underlying database. Next off, considerable structural modifications were made to "proprietary" internal structures of the vendors software. The consulting company itself had little taste for doing anything other than managing the project and hiring their own contractors to perform actual tasks like coding, training or troubleshooting. (That's why a Big 4 (US) isn't always a great choice)

At this point I was brought in to keep them honest and provide for a differing viewpoint. As soon as they figured that out I was excluded from meetings. This is when I first suspected that the client was powerless for reasons that extended past the contract negotiations. As the client kept rearranging the deck chairs, their ability to dictate events became even less. Another point, Gubmint IT is hopelessly outclassed when negotiating contracts with large companies. I don't know how many surcharges for work not specifically in the contract were billed but they were considerable.


One of their most egregious system mistakes was a global search system in 32 bit windows. This despite every expert other than the consultants telling them it will be impossible to maintain and keep running. What happens is the indexes used for search have only a 2GB filesize. You have to allocate files before it grows to the limit otherwise you have to rebuild the search DB from scratch which takes a few days. Of course this is exactly what happened over and over again. I believe this was a big reason for the later upgrades.

So after 68 million for the system they were left with a crippled system that was only online for users for 12 hours a day during the week. A far cry from the 168 hours a week with the mainframe.

At this point I was deemed too expensive and in truth had already had a job offer to start in a month. They later tried to bring me back but I was engaged and the pay offered was about 30% less than what I'd want to go back. Finally I'd quoted them at 150% of my last rate as a starting per hour rate and hoped that would have them go away. They did.

Did I mention the project took almost 3 years and the version they were on was no longer supported at the end? They brought in the software vendor to perform the upgrade and it cost another 15 million to upgrade and fix all the modifications done to their proprietary structures. I think they allow users on during the weekends now. So that additional 24 hours was probably worth the 15 million.

You can forget your fancy ERP customisations because that's not how it works in the cloud, SAP's Oliver Betz tells users


Re: It's all a big circle.

Silly me! I just recalled the buzzword.

They called it BPR - Business Process Re-engineering. That got the C-level to shell out bucks on the very expensive consultants and encourage the underpaid and over-talented people in the company to leave.

HR where I worked at the time (1995) came out and said they wouldn't make salaries competitive since the SAP "boom" would only last a few years. Predictably they lost at least 75% of the best talent in the next two years. My department had a 200% turnover in that two years.


It's all a big circle.

Many years back (early to mid 90s) SAP was telling new customers that the brand spanking new R/3 product required businesses to mold their processes to the software. There were a bunch of self-serving statements about how SAP has the best consultants and therefore the best processes. That quickly went away. (I'm not going to look it up but feel free to do so if you doubt me.) To me it was a wonderful proclamation. A pity they didn't stick to it. Instead they did pretty much a complete 180-degree turnabout on that that was ABSOLUTELY-NOT-DRIVEN-BY-CONSULTING-FEES-DAMMIT.

Will this policy go away as well? I have my doubts. But there's already a sunk cost in existing customizations. R/3 is no longer a "simple" ERP system. That base system has all sorts of systems dangling from it such as Solution Damager, GRC, APO, CRM and the like. There's also the third party software that SAP hasn't already bought out.

It's also a bit short sighted to claim this is going to allow their compulsory upgrades. I'll just leave a simple example of this, there are many others.

What happens if you're using a third party software that would require upgrade as well and it's not ready or certified?

I'm sure SAP has a team of very expensive consultants it can supply or subcontract to you. And then we're back to a "bring your own business processes" model again.


She was praised by the CEO and promoted. After her brother and mom died, she returned from compassionate leave. IBM laid her off


Re: What the Hell Has Happened to IBM?

Licensing. One of the things I did with the current shop I'm at was to review all their DB2 LUW licensing. A bit difficult as management doesn't want to disclose their negotiations but that's common. I did get them to disclose the terms and a few random invoices so it's a nice chunk of change. Multiply that by X number of shops. That still only one product and there's normally more than just DB2 in a shop.

After an upgrade to a new version, this shop never cleans up their old binaries. (They do now!) Those directories contains licenses for each version that IBM uses to determine the amount they bill for. Strictly speaking, they're in the "tivready" directory but you realistically should clean out the old binaries by optionally renaming the directories for a burn in period and then removing them.

So I'm not allowed to disclose how much I saved but given over 65 instances of DB2 production systems with multiple licenses for each version, much of them the Enterprise licensing, and 38K employees using the systems, I'm sure you get an idea. There's also about 150 test systems and that's another can of worms.

Suffice to say IBM isn't giving any of that money back. Nor did I get much recognition as this cost was swept under the rug as "renegotiations". SSDD. I'm cleaning up Oracle licenses not but that's fish from a different ocean.

Life as a consultant goes on. Kill me now.

Intel couldn't shrink to 7nm on time – but it was able to reduce one thing: Its chief engineer's employment


SSDD and I don't mean disks

Titanic. Deck chairs. Iceberg.

Needs better Feng Shui!

What could go wrong?

SAP to list Qualtrics, less than two years after convincing it not to list


So after spending 26 billion - what have they to show for it?

Looks to me like they're trying to get some value. Can't blame them but it smells of desperation.

Barclays Bank appeared to be using the Wayback Machine as a 'CDN' for some Javascript


Data not at risk?

How the fsck would he know?

Where does he bank again?

I'll need his account numbers, PIN and a sample of his signature to verify it.

From off-prem to just off: IBM Cloud goes down planet-wide so hard even the status page didn't work


I prefer to say that anyone paying for IBM services isn't a customer but a captive. Funny how it's just as true in a cloud.

Brit MP demands answers from Fujitsu about Horizon IT system after Post Office staff jailed over accounting errors


True story. I once wrote something that had no bugs at all. But due to my assumption that it must have bugs, it took me much longer to verify it worked than if it had bugs.

The real point to all this is that I expected bugs but had I found one or two, I would have declared it a success when in reality it may have had more than that.

I'm not sure if I should always assume it's perfect or that it will never be perfect.

Sorry to go all Zen on y'all but I thought it a unique learning experience.


Re: Just don't allow bugs!

I worked for a vendor in the late 90s that did much the same thing only they fired the person in charge of QA as well. The speculation at the time had to do with upper damagement getting quarterly bonuses based on the software shipping. About 3 months later the vendor upper damagement was investigated and they were later successfully prosecuted for stock fraud.

Draw your own conclusions.


DB2 migration problems caused IBM to resurrect Netezza, according to analyst


Re: Customers like their old systems ???

The biggest problem with IBM products like DB2 is that they are owned by IBM.

There's a damned good reason the term "bluewashed" exists. It's even sadder when it's their own home grown product that's used as the standard for the term.

Before IBM started axing staff, it told them Q3 2020 would be super-busy with post-lockdown catch-up jobs


You were already doing the work of three, so let's do the good news/bad news bit!

I'll tell you the bad news first: Now you're going to be super busy! You're now doing the work of five.

Now for the good news! I'm getting my bonuses this year.

Micros~1? ClippyZilla? BSOD Bob? There can be only one winner. Or maybe two


BSOD Bob for the win(dows)!

Says it all.

Hana-hana-hana: No it's not your dad trying to start a motorboat... It's Northern Gas, renewing its SAP software


Re: Slightly silly

I know a little bit about the technical part of payroll with SAP. The payroll cycle business processes may have changed with $/4, I haven't worked on an $/4 payroll system as yet and cannot do a practical comparison.

In the past the payroll data model wasn't quite the best performing part of the system. Not having seen how they have changed it for the $/4 release, I would venture that they have replaced the clustered tables used in the payroll model with a new $/4 data model and also a columnstore technology (HANA).

Now that you can cache most, if not all the data in memory, throw a ridiculous amount of hardware and resources that you would never have done for a Unix/Windows system with a "normal" database and set it loose, I don't think it's all that it's quite surprising. You're essentially comparing a cheetah with a snail in hardware terms.

For example, SAP has redone the $/4 Financials tables with all new structures and the performance when the code takes advantage of the HANA architecture and the new structures is even more dramatic. It's a fair guess that it did the same with payroll.

Another point is that the code on one of the sites for payroll I worked on had a great deal of custom extensions (known as "enhancements" and "user exits" in SAP parlance) and they were horrid in terms of performance. That may also be the case here. So the improved payroll cycle is entirely believable. It just may not be completely true.

PS: $/4 isn't a typo. It's bloody expensive.

Three years ago, IBM ordered staff to work in central hubs. Now its new CEO ponders mid-pandemic: Is there a better way of doing things?


Working from home? Like they have a choice.

Their idea of making people work in the office, and the subsequent closing down and centralization of offices, was a ploy to cut expensive headcount and offshore jobs. When the older workers quit or were fired when they couldn't move, the job were offshored or opened to newbies making much less. Many of the offices were ill equipped to handle the influx of people and the facilities weren't kept up to date in some cases.

The reality was that someone with roots moving a long distance for a job that may not last anyway isn't all that appealing. They knew this.

The big selling point of working at IBM for many at one time was the ability to work from home. But it's not surprising that employees were betrayed, they only had to look at their paychecks for the first clue.

Totally Subcontracted Business: TSB to outsource entire IT estate to IBM for a cool $1bn after 2019 meltdown


Here ya go!



Re: So the old...

"So the old bosses fuck up and now the IT team are forced to either move to IBM or be made redundant."

Should they join IBM, they're going to be made redundant once IBM ships everything overseas. So it's just a matter of time.

We've found it... the last shred of human decency in an IT director – all for a poxy Unix engineer


Re: Shock tactic

I used to have weekly meeting with many members of a certain consulting company that basically was an excuse for billing the customer for a free breakfast while trying to get the newest customer member to volunteer for things that nobody else wanted to do.

My director sent me with an express order to not volunteer for anything and to ask for anything in writing. I stopped being invited rather quickly. The food was delicious and not a scrap was ever left. Meetings lasted just long enough to polish off the fare.


A simple "create table as select"[1] is all you need to do first. At that point truncate or drop doesn't matter unless you're in an HA/DR or replication setting. If you don't want the backup table in your database, you can use datapump to export it to a file.

Truncate is helpful is the case of a table that you don't care if you recover and is very large or allocates a lot of space. In some cases the space claimed by a table is many empty extents while the actual space used is minimal. "Drop table including contents" will allow you to recover. "Delete from table" will not reclaim the space.

All of this presupposes the table had no constraints.

You've got (Ginni's) mail! Judge orders IBM to cough up CEO, execs' internal memos in age-discrim legal battle


Same as it ever was.

It all depends on how you define "final". I saw that and understood it meant they'll continue to drag this out until every person fired is dead.

Mike drop, DXC-ya later! Lawrie immediately ejects as CEO from IT outsourcing giant


Re: Accenture was not tied to Enron

How I recall this was that Accenture was spun off from Andersen Consulting, not Andersen.


Legend has it that a lot of partnerships opened up right before Andersen folded. Based on the story below, it sure seems possible.


"Former Andersen partners lost the money they had put up for their partnership -- anywhere from $50,000 to more than $1 million. Many, including Bloom, had taken out loans to cover their partnership costs. Some borrowed enough to cover their partnership contribution for future years, never guessing Andersen's future would be in doubt."

I'd heard rumors before but it's the first I thought to look it up.

As many as 100,000 IBM staff axed in recent years as Big Blue battles to reinvent itself from IT's 'old fuddy duddy'


So they have to be counting the people they're replacing with cheaper labor as training.


"As a result, around 50 per cent of its new hires have been hired in the past five years, and now half of its total workforce are millennials, according to Big Blue’s CEO Ginni Rometty."

That's fairly confusing. If I were hired five years ago, I somehow don't think I'd be a new hire. They must have outsourced the quotes and it lost a bit in the translation.

But the real elephant in the room is where they are hiring and where they are firing. So they fired 100K people making an average of 80K and hire the same number making 20k in Malaysia, India, Costa Rica etc.

I'm sure that should the verdict go against IBM they will keep keep appealing or come to a confidential settlement.

DXC: We've told UK government that up to 2,150 heads could roll in latest job cuts


The US teams are working a free day a week?

"Outside of the UK the only other country with a large non-digital service base is the US and there engineers are working a day free to save their jobs and agreeing terms and conditions reductions," Unite added."

That's hilarious, like they think any of that will save their jobs? Unemployment is very low in the US so they're either worthless to other employers or waiting for a buyout. Given that it's the US, they'll likely offer the minimum severance, a month or less.

No idea why anyone would work for them, IBM or any of the other sweat shops from overseas.

You know the drill: SAP has asked Joe Public to name Munich arena so go forth and be very silly


Sit And Pay Arena

Stupid And Pretentious Stadium

Sad And Pathetic Field

Now, hold on. This may shock you... Oracle allegedly juices its cloud sales with threats and shoddy on-prem support


Re: I wish I could feel sorry for all those companies that bought the Big Red Story

"I would caution anyone about the Oracle DB due to some nuances of it and the company supplying it."

I'm not sure what you're saying in the first part but the second part is a valid point. Let's stick with the first point. What nuances? The major ones I've run into are because some vendor or designer has not taken the time to understand that Oracle does a number of things very well and instead undertake to reinvent a rather shoddy wheel on their end. Case in point, a vendor decided to write their own concurrency model in the application with horrid results. Much of this is either due to porting from other DB platforms or simply not having Oracle expertise but expertise in some other platform that requires such gymnastics. There's another product that insists on their own implementation of a standby database for their commercial scheduling product, that's another horror story.

"Because once you deploy it you're going to struggle to extract yourself from it. Oracle know this and they will exploit it."

A number of vendors offer migration from Oracle. Microsoft has something called SSMA which handles this fairly nicely, DB2 offers Oracle compatibility and SAP has numerous tools to switch database platforms. There are others. Those tools wouldn't be there if there were no demand.

My current client has a dwindling number of Oracle databases, most left are forced to stay on Oracle because of the underlying application requirements, some are legal requirements for already phased out systems and a few are simply legacy uses being phased out.

But struggling to extract themselves from a vendor is exactly what cloud is about. Vendor lock in extends to that service as well. This goes a long way to explain why people don't want to get involved with Oracle, IBM, CA or others like them. Any organization that does not take into account backing out from a cloud agreement from a technical perspective is signing their life away.


Re: Oracle vs AWS in Pentagon contract?

"..ban Larry and his Minions from Feral contracts."

I have no joke here, I just like saying "Feral contracts". I'd almost swear that was on purpose.


Re: I wish I could feel sorry for all those companies that bought the Big Red Story

"Like many other big iron and big software sellers, the product doesn't meet the hype. "

I thought the discussion was their cloud product but it seems to have gone off to their flagship database....Let's start there and circle back.

The Oracle database? As hideously expensive as it is, it's still a good product. As with any database software, it depends on applications written for it.

I suspect Oracle hasn't really been selling many new licenses for the database product for the last few years. So it's down to getting as much from licensing and offering applications to sell or host.

Sun hasn't quite panned out as envisioned, so getting a market share of cloud is quite important for the future survival of the company in the long term. The problem is that, like IBM, it's not offering a compelling product. Amazon, Microsoft and Google are eating their lunch and there's foreign competitors gearing up for big pushes globally.

I've also found that like IBM, Oracle left a bad taste in the mouths of their customers. When you run a business to make Wall St. happy every quarter, it may not be all that attractive for a discerning business to want to enter any long term agreements with them.


This accusation is nothing new.

This same tactic was allegedly used in Australia and I dropped this on the leadership at my client to warn them of this.


"But there's a dark side to how Oracle is achieving some of those cloud revenues, a consultant tells Business Insider. It involves pressuring some of its customers to add cloud to their contracts that they neither want nor plan to use by using a tactic insiders call "the nuclear option."


The above link has much to do with VMWare but you get the idea. I'm sure there's a few more stories out there.

Screwed SAP salesman scores $660,000 jury award


Damn, I thought IBM had the title of the worst company ever.

That's some really wild logic. Would I want to buy software developed with that kind of logic? Probably not.

Wipro hands $75m to National Grid US after botched SAP upgrade


Why SAP?

They do have a software module (IS-Utilities) aimed specifically at the market and the HANA marketing pitch does sound great. There's a fair amount of utility companies already using SAP, so this isn't as much of a reach as you would imagine. I'm sure SAP could scrape together a fair amount of references. (Texas Utilities/TXU or whatever they're called these days), a utility company in Tacoma, WA and the NY Power Authority are three that come to mind off the top of my head.


As a SAP Consultant that worked on SAP Utilities software....

This is a specialized field. Only a handful of firms did this, including one I worked for in the US (Axon Global now sucked up by ATOS in the US). I also worked at Wipro on a very large account so I know a bit about both.

Wipro is a cheap alternative but you get what you pay for. They do have some good staff but they don't pay very well and as it's an overseas firm, not too many US workers, at least by comparison with the more expensive consultancies. That leads to a fair bit of turnover among the US workers especially when it's discovered that raises don't exist for the most part and greener pastures beckon. Much like IBM, really...

Much of my knowledge is of Wipro/Tata/et alios ad nauseam being brought in after either a budget cut by the client or as maintenance partners after implementation, so it's not quite fair to castigate them when IBM/PW and others (Accenture!) have has massive lawsuits due to much the same claims.

I did notice that Wipro tended to try to work with clients more flexibly than the US Big 4, it seems half the reason for some of the low estimates was to bill out fully on anything not explicitly named. (change Orders = Big Bux, dammit!) But I'm having a hard time seeing how the client allowed this stuff without testing. From the sound of it, some of these should have been caught in QA. So it's far more likely that some of this goes back to the client.

Amazon, ditch us? But they can't do without us – Oracle


Same as it ever was.

Databases are a commodity. Get used to it.

Oracle, like IBM, had the idea that they had great products that stood apart from others and couldn't be replaced.

Oracle pissed off SAP. They created a new database (HANA). Amazon has their own database products. when it's cheaper to move on from Oracle, people do.

IBM to GTS: We want you to 'rotate' clients every two years


They haven't trained people with anything but internal "classes" for 20 years.

Now they want people to transfer every two years? With what foundation of training on the new accounts?

Always keep in mind that IBM is basically a sales organization, this has the stench of getting higher salaried people to quit and replacing them with "new collar" workers. Technical people are simply replaceable cogs to a sales organization like IBM, they've been doing this for well over a decade, this is just another way to transfer the jobs overseas.

IBM's Watson Health wing left looking poorly after 'massive' layoffs


Same as it ever was.

I've never understood why anyone would trust IBM, look what they do to their employees/

IBM turnover shrinks $28bn in 6 years but execs laugh all the way to the bank


Funny, Cringely claimed this some time ago...

"The analyst described Big Blue's growth in its SIs as "very strong" but also noted criticism from investors that the "disposition and composition" of those tech areas was "discretionary and opaque, and executives have conceded in that part of the growth in SI has been a shift in revenues from 'old IBM'."

So basically the "Strategic Imperatives" are being propped up by other departments. Why would anyone trust a company who cannot honestly describe how they make money? This is how Enron worked.

IBM thinks Notes and Domino can rise again


We still use Notes for internal databases that are essentially places to put documentation and attach files. I'd first run into LN at my first company. My first impression was that it's fine middleware for databases like the above but a horrible mail client. My current company finally dumped LN email altogether and went to Google Mail about a year ago.

LN mail at my current site would silently and without warning wipe out blocks of mail. An entire week would disappear and never to return. It also had weird problems with cut and paste and could hang for minutes with no warning.

Vendor support? They would blame our site after a few weeks of being glad handed and repeated running through the same help desk scripts over and over again. IBM tried to convince damagement that they were developing a new version and that prolonged the agony by a few years.

I actually loved Lotus 1-2-3 but the current damagement always went for Excel. The one good product Lotus had that I swore by was Lotus Organizer. That never got improved past 2001 and eventually got replaced by WinOrganizer which is now free and no longer supported. But it works better than Lotus Organizer ever did. I suppose once WinOrganizer/Golden Sections stops working on Windows platforms, I'll have to go to something else like CherryTree. But as of now, WinOrganizer is still my database of choice for secure notes and documentation on an individual level.

IBM, like CA and likely HCL is a place where decent software goes to die.

If you don't like what IBM is pitching, blame Watson: It's generating sales 'solutions' now


Why hasn't it actually fixed IBM? I'd want to see that first before letting it loose on my company.

IBM: About those agreed voluntary redundancies ... we were just kidding


Re: cloud, analytics, security, and social and mobile technologies

Don't be silly, they don't want people with a track record of being able to adapt and learn new technologies, that's expensive. They want "new collar" people who are cheap, replaceable and will spare them the trouble by leaving as soon as "IBM" is on their resumes. That way they can hire Elbonians to replace them.


Another loser?

CSC is at least as bad as IBM.

IBM lifts its 22-quarter shrinking sales curse: Finally, a whole 1% uptick


I'm constantly amazed how Incredibly Bad Manglement engineers their financial statements. Did they stop rolling the mainframe revenue into their "Strategic Imperatives" buckets this quarter? Their cloud offering keeps coming back under new names so it's hard to tell.

IBM kills Global Technology and Global Business Services: It's all ‘IBM Services’ now


Just remember this and never forget it!

They are trying to fix the stock price, not the company.