EasyVista release Category 2 cluster of ITSM crap factoids

ImageIt has been a while since Chokey the Chimp got to issue a Crap Factoid warning, but here we have a Category 2. According to an ITSM Portal report on the EasyVista survey that many of you will have seen around the traps [update: here's the original article from Staff&Line, the vendor of EasyVista], "Nearly 87% of respondents said they felt negatively toward their current service desk solution". I find it a bit rich that the article says "ITSM vendors are deliberately ‘muddying the waters’" [update: and it opens with "They say there are lies, damned lies and statistics. Sometimes though, there’s just no escaping the facts"!!!!] when this vendor survey is based on such a misleading biased statistically-invalid survey as this one, and draws such outrageous conclusions.

Regular readers know the litany of criticism that twaddle like this deserves:

  • the sample is self-selecting: anyone can respond and only the grumpy and dissatisfied will
  • there is no filtering of the validity of the responses (anyone could skew it for fun or malice; nobody knows if the respondents know the first thing about what really went on)
  • the survey is clearly written by a commercial entity with an agenda, not an impartial investigator seeking the truth
  • the raw data is not provided to allow the results to be checked. 87% of what?
  • conclusions are drawn with no supporting evidence - anecdotal comments on a survey are not evidence, just opinion. Quite different conclusions could be drawn from these numbers: e.g. people take too simplistic a view of their own failures to deliver on ITSM improvement and instead blame the tools
  • etc etc

Look at the inherent assumptions in the questions:

1. In addition to the basic purchase/ticket price, which of the following costs has your organization incurred since it purchased its current service desk solution?
2. For those who encountered unexpected, extra costs, what has been the impact of these unexpected costs on the original purchase price of your current service desk software solution?

Oh wait, so does q1 refer to normal additional costs that should be included in any professionally delivered solution, or does EasyVista regard any cost beyond sticker price of the box to be "unexpected, extra costs". it certainly seems as if EasyVista subscribe to the box-dropping mindset that organisations can work out their own optimal ITSM solutions by slapping in a tool with no professional help:

Imagine being able to customize your Enterprise Service Desk solution through a simple to use web 2.0 GUI that non-technical IT users can be trained on in one day

The questions are dreadfully emotive:

Which of the following statements reflect how your organization feels about the service desk solution it has in place and/or the vendor who you purchased it from? (Select all that apply)

We cannot afford to change solutions right now

We are lumbered with the existing system - vendor delivers poor support, slow to respond to our needs

There are always additional costs when we ask our vendor to do anything

We are actively looking to replace our service desk solution

We are very pleased with the vendor in place

We are very pleased with the solution in place

Don't know

"Very pleased"? How about just "satisfied"? - not an option.

And look at the skewed options presented:

Not important


Very important

An absolute necessity

And the article makes some outrageous derivations from the numbers: " their number one long term cost is incurred by daily code tweaking, above their existing maintenance and integration contracts". There is no question in the survey that could possibly support the inference of "daily" or "code tweaking" or that it is "above their existing ...contracts".

And "48.4% don’t know how much unexpected cost coding added" is so sensationally misleading as to possibly be Chokey's prize Crap Factoid for the year. it is certainly crap. 48.4% chose "don't know" because the emotive and badly-worded question offered them no other option.

The one that made me chuckle is "25.8% complain that there is always an additional cost when asking their vendor to do anything". Perhaps people think software should be operated on a Ponzi scheme where new buyers fund the existing customer base's service requirements. Or perhaps software vendors should act as charities, funded by donations and government grants.

One hopes our industry is maturing to a point where it realises that vendor surveys found on the web are not worth the paper they are written on. But I doubt it. Sadly this bilge will get picked up and reproduced on powerpoint bullets until it becomes lore.

I don't know about Staff&Line, vendors of EasyVista, but I expect better of ITSM Portal.


In the Belly Of Chokey

I find it highly disturbing that you would take the recent award winning product over at THINK IT SERVICES and Jeff Kaplan http://www.thinkstrategies.com/blog/2010/06/easyvista-wins-best-of-saas-showplace-award.html and call their scientific results and hard hitting survey results and turn them into a crap factoid. I am weeping blood at the sadness I feel. The world needs more companies that promise ipads, only to then delay them for 4 months while they process the results http://blog.staffandline.com/?p=360
For the love of Service Management please have chokey reconsider this fine bunch of Marketing pros....I mean ITSM fellows.

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