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Network Computing's 7th Annual Reader Survey 22

Thomas LaSusa writes "In this year's reader survey, Network Computing Magazine editors invited IT managers to vent about the tech challenges they face every day and how they wish vendors would address these problems. Read the unvarnished truth about what your peers are thinking." From the article: "This isn't the Top 10 worst vendor list, though. The largest tech companies tend to get the blame because they're the easy targets. Individual experiences with a particular company will vary widely; for every person who blasted Dell or Symantec for poor equipment or lousy service, someone else sang their praises. Instead, we find it more worthwhile to identify key areas where technology vendors as a whole aren't living up to their own boilerplate marketing. Some of the vendors contacted for their reactions to this story explained that today's enterprise networks are bewilderingly complex and run a vast number of OSs, applications and protocols. They all defined customer support as a top priority, but recognized that problems can't be solved by first-level support. Whether you consume or sell technology products, read on for an unvarnished look at what 755 IT decision-makers want — and don't want. You might just come away with new strategies for dealing with your vendors or serving your customers."
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Network Computing's 7th Annual Reader Survey

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  • For some reason this story just makes me think of a recent daily wtf []. Thankfully aside from our core service providers the CTO I work with tries to keep almost everything within our relatively competent in-house operations and most of the applicable problems in the article have therefore been avoided.
    • by Otter ( 3800 )
      Speaking of which, what's happened to Daily WTF? Did the whole world suddenly stop writing bad code three weeks ago, forcing them to switch to this new Dilbert-as-essay format?
      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Speaking of which, what's happened to Daily WTF? Did the whole world suddenly stop writing bad code three weeks ago, forcing them to switch to this new Dilbert-as-essay format?

        More like interesting code snippets have dried up. There aren't very many of them before it starts getting repetitive or boring. Either that or everyone's starting to take breaks... But they do run code ones from time to time, for all the little bits that would never make it otherwise (like popup popourri).

        But I suspect the really big

      • by mgblst ( 80109 )
        Despite the large number of incompetent programmers out there, there efforts pale in comparison to Managers screw ups. Also, as programmers, there is something more perversely enjoyable about reading about these type of screw ups.
  • (15% error margin)
  • Behold! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @01:54PM (#16754041) Homepage Journal
    Others have resorted to more extreme tactics--including kidnapping. One respondent said the vendor's own hardware and software engineers disagreed on the problem's source. "I kept them in a conference room and didn't let them leave until they mutually found a solution," he said.
    This needs to be the standard for every corporate, political, or other human conflict. It's like a polite version of Thunderdome!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Nos. ( 179609 )
      A previous employer once did this with three separate vendors, IBM (Application), Microsoft (OS), and Compaq (Hardware). They had a wonderful circle of blame going on regarding Lotus Notes performing very poorly on a couple of servers. I never did hear what the solution was.
    • In colonial America, you never had hung or stalled juries in the court system. This was because the jury members were locked in a room without food or water until they came to a decision.

      I have been pushing for this to occur during internal committee meetings, but we haven't had consensus about it yet.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Interesting! I wish I could do that with Dell. Almost 90% of our employee time is spent fighting Dell to either get something shipped, deal with servers that were misconfigured (either to return or get the correct parts shipped), or get repairs. One position here deals with Dell 100% of the time. We've had six different employees in it in less than two years because no one can handle dealing with their crap for long.

      My first question would be why do you make us waste so much of both of our times when yo
  • Sanctimony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eltoyoboyo ( 750015 ) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @01:57PM (#16754079) Journal
    From the slide show:

    When it comes to open source, IT doesn't mind if the open source community is holier than thou if they can save them time, money, interoperability pain and more.

    28% of surveyed agreed that major open source projects are run by sanctimonious elitists. Were the other 72% of the respondents the actual sanctimonious elitists?

    Or are thanks in order for the 72% of major open source projects not run by sanctimonious elitists? I for one would like to thank the FileZilla [] team for building something better than the commercial competitor WS_FTP. And I would like to thank the sourceforge team for providing a repository of plenty of good software not sanctimoniously delivered.
    • I think thanks are in order for some of the open source projects run by sanctimonious elitists, too. Not that dealing with sanctimonious elitists aren't a PITA to deal with, but hey, if you're going to be a PITA, then thanks for at least being a PITA that makes free software.
      • by Fred_A ( 10934 )
        I have to agree with that. It's typically always a PITA to deal with commercial vendors, plus you have to pay support fees for the privilege of having someone being obnoxious or to play some muzak at you.

        At least with free software you get something worthwhile out of it. And if it comes to that you can probably find a support forum or mailing list or some kind of commercial support if the project is large enough.
  • As a fossil-sysop now retired, the list of complaints by IT sound depressingly similar to the ones we had, except that the acronyms and buzzwords got flashier.
  • But don't bother to RTFA.

    If you read Dilbert, you've read this. Salesmen over-promise, support under-delivers, blah blah blah. Oh, and if you have systems from more than one vendor, each vendor will blame the other.

    Seriously, Scott Adams from 1999 called. He wants his clichés back.
  • You mean people read Network Computing for something other then the humor on the inside back page?

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?