Tuesday, August 15, 2006

When bad people make good technology bad

Wow! What a last couple of days. I have spent time at about 4 customers in the last 3 days and only one of them would be in a place that I would label as having their act together. I will say this, technology in the wrong hands is as damaging as technology in the right hands is beneficial. I thought I was going to spend a decent amount of time helping folks expand their usage of technology. What I ended up doing was helping them correct their thoughts about their Notes, SharePoint and Documentum installations to tell them that these are all good technologies and it is their fault they aren't working.

See, the natural tendency is when something isn't working internally the companies blame the technology. It can't fight back. Most of the times they don't want to give the developing company the chance to come in and correct because they don't want to look bad. Let's face it though. The collaboration and document management market has matured. Products like Documentum, Livelink, FileNet, SharePoint, Notes, SameTime, Communicator, etc... are all good products. They are all products that if used properly can make a difference in any company. Yes, I do know that there are differences in cost of ownership, functionality and reliability, etc... but it is like arguing the difference between a picture on a Samsung vs LG HDTV to the typical user. Only the trained eye can capture it. The real story is that if a company knows how to work together; the process is well defined; and there aren't any huge legacy issues (i.e. running x486 laptops with 32mb or RAM) most technology will help. Thinking that slapping up a place for users to share documents and do a bit of discussions is collaboration is evident that a lot of folks just still aren't getting it. Likewise, assuming that document management is all about a taxonomy, features like check in/check out and good compliance meta data is off the mark. Companies need to quit completely relying on the technology because it is taking their eye off the fact that they have to focus on the people just as much if not a whole heck of a lot more.

We need more people out there preaching the message of how to deploy collaboration and document management to and through the people instead of what platform to deploy. I think fighting the good fight of one's product is fine and needs to be done, but I also think it is giving excuses to these people that would rather blame tech than themselves as to why their companies aren't adopting a better collaborative or document management environment.
functioning. Alright...sorry....


At 3:35 PM, August 24, 2006, Blogger Ed Brill said...

Amen, brother

At 5:37 PM, September 10, 2006, Anonymous Cliff Reeves said...

Hi, Scott ... good to see you online. I am enjoying the commonsense and even-handed perspective.

You mentioned Documentum in this blog. I've been working with them recently on some enhanced sharepoint integration. Let me know if you are interested in details.


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