Friday, July 11, 2008

Reminding vendors of previous statements

I had a call the other day where the vendor said something that made be bork. They were talking about what "non sophisticated" IT users (IT literate business people) can do. During the course of this the vendor (who sells quite a bit of stuff) said that "Web Services" were usable by end users in their BPM product as they hide the XML because XML is too complex and its easy for these users to "string together" Web Services to build new applications

The next chap then came on talking about some stuff that accessed databases and said that "Web Services and XML are too complex" for this type of user group. What these users want is access to the database and the ability to query and filter the information, its all about the information for these users.

The next chap was then talking about ATOM and said that "Web Services are too complex" and that "people don't want to see databases" but that XML was a "natural" way of thinking about data. What the users want to see is the relationships between information not just the data and filtering. They don't want to build new applications they just want to re-purpose what they have.

In the area of "business users can use X" its the biggest lie that vendors push out. SQL was that thing and so was COBOL when it kicked off. I pointed out on the call that they'd just undermined each of their other products with their statements.

You could have heard a penny drop.

The reality is that different products work in different areas and different tasks require different solutions.

Its also fun to remind vendors of when they told you that X was the best thing and that the right approach was to do Y with that X. Now they are saying that Y (and maybe even X) is wrong, point it out to them. If they want to sell you something they should have a good answer as to why the world has changed and it shouldn't just be about buzzwords.

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Yogish Pai said...

Great anecdote!!! something that we see pretty frequently on vendor briefing days. I did blog about my thoughts on this last month at Vendors need to adopt Common Sense strategy

- Yogish

Sebastian said...

Well, the question would be if there is a need for business experts to care about Web Services and XML. Is it the right level of abstraction?

mkj6 said...

Well, in my experience vendors don't have a clue about what business users and customers want or need. they just throw out technologies and see what happens. One of the biggest lies has been BPEL and the fact that with it business users can "program without knowing programming". Bullshit.