Thursday, 14 February 2008

Deception of IT software vendors?

I have been in the IT sector for now some 13 years now. In my 13 years of working, the last 8+ years have been with a financial institution, whilst the first 4+ years have been 2 different Independent Software Vendors (or ISVs).

In the past, when I was working for ISVs, I had the idea the clients I had to deal with were usually not that bright. They would ask me questions which I would consider bordering dumb or naive.

Now, having worked my last 8 years as client of software vendors, I am sitting across the other side of the fence, I sometimes feel that the vendor guys are not that cluey either.

This set me to think that either my perception is totally warped or I just happen to have a string of really unfortunate less cluey people to deal with.

Well, the truth is... all these perceptions are true to some certain degree. Perception is a funny thing. When I was working for software vendors, I used to think that the clients (who too, were developers) didn't know or have a clue what they were doing. They often asked the simplest and "dumbest" questions about the software products I was supporting. What I have learnt now that I am sitting over the other side of the fence is that often software vendors failed to realise what would consider "the most obvious and simplest" things about their software often turned out to be difficult to understand for their clients. Often the software applications were not built to the quality the clients expected before they are released to the market. Often, the sales people or the professional services people over sold the capability of their software which led to unrealised expectations. Often features sold by the software vendors are NOT that rich and yet often pitched as the "best things since sliced bread" or the "best of breed"!

Trust me, most ISV sales and professional services people are liars or "keen exaggerators" at best.

Very often support staffs of software vendors do not realise the frustration of in-house software developers and programmers where things are not easy to use or do not have features that they were led to believe. I, too, are often frustrated by what I would describe as being the recipient of blatant deceptions by software vendors. Perhaps during the days when I belong to one of the guy working for software vendors, I too, am guilty of similar "blatant deception", rubbishing clients for their "lack of ability" to use the software "properly" as intended for.

Anyway, I am right now dealing with a software vendor. I felt that my company has once again fell into the trap of purchasing a software / technology at an enormous cost but result is dismaying results. What can I do but resign to the fate that we have to simply just "live with it"!

1 comment:

Charlene said...

Heh. I think this whole "other party not knowing what they're talking about" phenomenon is fairly common, owing to all parties involved not acknowledging/aware of the vast number of assumptions/familiarity that are in place on the other side.

But that's life though - "common sense" isn't really that common, it depends on where you're coming from!

This post made me laugh :) Completely relate, though no doubt in an entirely different context. Such is the peril of office life!