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June 2006

Enterprise Software

I just attended my first demo of an enterprise software product since I left my previous job where of course what we sold was an enterprise software product. And oh my did it bring back bad memories.

Now, OK, the product we were looking at is much more well known and undoubtedly of much much higher quality than anything my previous company put out. And it is a public company, so you can go to their website and get all kinds of real information about them and the company and all that. So not so much hocus pocus behind the curtain stuff.

However, it is still enterprise software, and so a lot of the same things apply. Can it do X? “Well, it could be configured to do X.” ARGGH! Probably true, but… Just the whole way that business works makes me uncomfortable. And although where I was last year and the year before seems to be much worse than most, a lot of the games that are played are common to that whole industry. And especially after now having been on both sides of that fence, just the whole being there and hearing the demo thing just… Well, I tried to concentrate on the pros and cons of the product itself, but my thoughts kept going back to just my whole negative impressions of the PROCESS.

And then there is the whole adoption thing. This seemed like a nice product. But it is one of those things that to be completely effective a culture has to develop around using it. A single person or two trying to use it makes no sense. It only starts to make sense when everybody uses it. So the obvious question is about adoption and how to bring it about. Of course, the management team on our side was clear. If the decision is made to do this, then it will be mandated from on high that everybody must use it, and that will be enforced.

Well, that is one way to solve that problem.

Anyway, we’ll probably end up using this thing. And really, I see no real problem with it, and probably some advantages. But I just naturally find myself suspicious now of just about anything labeled as an “enterprise solution”. And yes, I am jaded and disillusioned by my previous job. I fully admit it. :-)

Bonk, Bonk on the Head