[KLUG Advocacy] Short & Sweet

Robert G. Brown bob at whizdomsoft.com
Sun Feb 13 13:25:10 EST 2005

On Sun, 13 Feb 2005 09:31:56 -0500, Adam Tauno Williams <awilliam at whitemice.org>wrote:

>>>Found a nicely done and very short (4 pages) document on "Linux vs.
>>>Click the "Linux vs. Windows" link.
>>Interesting, and all too brief.
>>Good for top management to see. Suffers
>>perhaps from a bit too much of the "bandwagon" notion,
>Yes, but suits have very short attention spans.
Nah, they merely have a short attention span when it comes to things they 
don't know much about (and don't we all?). Technology is all too often 
near the top the that list.

I keep the attention of suits by learning what THEY are interested in talking
about, which is often more of a challenge than the work itself. My current 
assignment is in an organization whose leader would simply shut me out if I 
talked about servers, databases, networks, etc. I am required to learn HIS 
language, industry, etc... not perfectly, but enough to know how to provide
good examples of the problems we're trying to deal with, and enough to show
that I understand HIS problems (which are business process problems, NOT
technology problems) on his terms.

>...when dealing with people without sufficient understanding to make a
>meaningful determination about a topic it is really a game of casting the
>more effective glamour.

The other thing I'll say about this organization is that they don't give a 
damn WHAT OS or server software I'm using to solve the problem. To them,
that's my business, and my choice of tools is one of the reasons they brought
me in. They don't care what the business model is, or if the logo is a company
name, some bird, a little bit of fruit, etc. They barely care what they have 
to pay for it, as long as it doesn't seem excessive.

>>but if it is an effective tool, what of it?

On second thought, the "what of it" is that sometimes I wonder why and how
the choice of OS (or other software) became something that was of primary 
concern to enterprise mangement anyway. My contact with such folks is that
they don't go out looking for things to worry about; there has to be a 
reason why they are giving these things their attention.

I'll bet that if you went up to the CEO's of 100 really LARGE companies,
they would not know much about their corporate IT infrastructure. We might
want them to know more, but to a great degree this is as it ought to be.
I sense that it is the large vendors that have in effect escalated the
topic to the top office, since they have bloated up the pricing and made 
enough of the stuff proprietary so that it must go to that level before a
decision can me made. If all this stuff were commodified and interoperable,
going with one vendor over another would be a technical detail, not really
worthy of a high-level decision. Actually, things would be better that way,

>>I have (and perhaps suffer from) the notion that the "fact" that "everyone"
>>else is using something isn't a compelling reason for me to adopt it.
>Which places you in a very small minority.
Yes, and I'm used to that.

>Suits are extremely risk-averse.....
They understand, from bitter experience, that computing represents a 
series of risks. If everything "just worked", they would (and do) ignore
it all.

> and 'with-everyone' almost always looks safer.
In the absence of knoledge, consensus is often confused with excellence.
There is safety in numbers, and no one ever got fired for buying ________
[fill in with the top dog of that decade].

>>>Actually found this while looking at a possible replacement for our core
>>>business system so it was a pleasant surprise.
>>Looked at Samco? [http://www.samco.com]

>Have you any experience with Samco?
Some, and I expect to gain more as well. It looks like a comprehensive bit
of software, and it runs on Linux. They are interested and willing to (for
a fee, natch) extend their stuff into new areas and industries if the pro-
duct is found lacking. From what I've seen in two organizations, the big-
gest problem they have is that they are not using it enough! In one case,
I may be doing a good deal of consulting about how best to deploy it, since
they are facing time and personell shortages and planning a shift to it 
has been a real bottleneck.

>(I've forwarded the link to the suite evaluation guy since it does 
>list service management and leasing, which is where allot of 'ERP' 
>type systems fall down, most I think are oriented toward manufacturing).

Yes, most ERP's I've seen are manufacturing or service organization oriented. 
I would maintain that Samco shows more flexibility than most, both as a 
company and as software. So far, I beleive they show good value and have the
right attitude.

							---> RGB <---

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