Stop enterprise software hype: send me your stories

Stop enterprise software hype: send me your stories

Summary: It's time to take a cold, hard look at enterprise software vendor hype.You know what I'm talking about: vague, empty promises that don't come true.


It's time to take a cold, hard look at enterprise software vendor hype.

You know what I'm talking about: vague, empty promises that don't come true. Sometimes it's a sales pitch promising fast, easy, and cheap implementations; other times, it's a killer feature that never seems to work as promised. In every case, the beautiful story has a sad ending.

I'm not alone in my weariness over vendor hype. The quotes below are both written by purchasing and vendor negotiation experts. These folks are paid to cut through to the truth.

Vinnie Mirchandani, professional software sourcing advisor and fellow Enterprise Irregular, writes:

I find many vendor marketing and investor relations folks live in a dream world. What they put in their brochures and investor packages is to them the only version of truth.

And Jason Busch, author of corporate procurement blog SpendMatters, and another Enterprise Irregular, adds:

If I were in the market for an eProcurement myself, the first question I'd want to ask a vendor is what percentage of their sold seats and features are actually in use -- not about some whiz-bang desktop integration or uber-cool UI.

Like many practitioners, I'm fed up with vendor hype and incomplete deployments or rollouts.

I'm tired of these fairy tales, and you should be as well.

Send in your stories about enterprise software hype and I'll post some of the best. Anonymous submissions are welcome. To contact me, go to this bio page, and click the link that says Email Michael Krigsman.

Topic: Enterprise Software

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  • Hype to content ratio calculation

    You always need to take account of this (making due allowance for divide by zero errors).

    Also be careful when the integration layer of the product is the salesman's powerpoint presentation.
  • NT 4.0 . Beyond time 10/100/1000 and serv.2000.

    All these upstsrt upgrades from Rambus and IBM only leed the currency traders into the future of SUN Microsystems and Sparc Whatever that is;(Version-3 from IBM ??).

    Just fulling with you; this was always the "Game" for the Active Internet if you recall 1995... So much human resource changes have happened, though the corporate entity is skyscapering the planet for a more secure banking system; no doubt.

    > Outsourcing
    > Emasculating Windows
    > UNIX remains ME/LINUX
  • Not just vendors

    As much as I enjoy blasting enterprise software vendors for the packs of lies they sell, I have to admit they usually have an eager accomplice in certain members of the business to which they are trying to sell who have staked their own reputations on the success and SIZE of the implementation.

    It's a self amplifying process. The vendor exaggerates its capabilities. The business exaggerates what it can do with those capabilities and tosses in a couple extra "if only's". The vendor responds with "Oh, I didn't know you were interested in that..." and exaggerates some more.

    Repeat until all reality has been vaporized. Now buy software.
    Erik Engbrecht
    • The buyers' time will come

      I completely agree. IT buyers are often a partner in the cycle of failure. We'll have plenty of opportunity to explore their role in the future.
  • The GAP Report

    As a consultant I was hired to review a large software vendor's reply to a Request for Proposal by a large insurance company. My preliminary report was that the vendor's reply had a large number of serious, flat out lies, which anyone who had used the product would notice immediately.

    So, part of my deliverables was to produce what the IT director called a "GAP" report. A GAP report is to identify the gap between what the vendors response was and what the truth is.

    The head of the IT department said that a GAP report was always needed because they expected the vendor to lie. The IT head said that a Gap Report was necessary because there were certain areas that were important for the current strategy, and as long as the worst lies did not affect those areas, it was OK. Lies in areas that the IT department did not currently anticipate going into were not relevant.

    I then asked what happens in the future if they wanted to expand into new unplanned areas in an attempt to get the costly product to pay for itself, and those happened to be in the "lies" areas? I didn't really get an answer.
    The Rationalist
  • Technology vs. Vision

    (Technology vs. Vision) vs. (Fact vs. Fantasy)

    As a sales engineer, I once worked for an enterprise software company whose sales manager was quite fond of urging us all, "Don't let the technology get in the way of the vision!"

    Since then, I've found that about sums up the attitude of most Big Software Sales.

    One major improvement would be to abolish the Marketing dweebs who've never written a line of code, used an actual product or spoken to a real customer outside of a hospitality suite.

    It's sad how the system development and delivery process has become driven by the requirements of Wall Street quarterly numbers. I knew we were doomed years ago when, as a developer, I first noticed Men in Suits showing up in the office.