Software vendors and the bait-and-switch trick

Software vendors love the old bait-and-switch. Readers are invited to contribute examples.

Dang, they're doing it again! Managed Objects people linking the real problem (capturing and maintaining accurate and consistent data across federated CMDBs) with an irrelevant solution, MyCMDB, a shiny new way of looking at the data, rich in Web 2.0 buzzwords. MyCMDB may indeed improve non-technical people's ability to walk the CMDB data and to chatter about it, and maybe even to tell the tech folk about it, but it does nothing to address the maintenance of the data: control, validation, reconciliation, audit... i.e. to solve the problem being raised as a bogie-man. Even if the full MO suite does this stuff, MyCMDB doesn't (far as I can tell). This is one of the oldest vendor tricks there is, and is closely related to the old bait-and-switch.

Abbas Haider Ali, VP of Product Strategy, getting some advertising space over on Doug McClure's normally more useful blog:

the biggest barriers to a successful CMDB implementation is the accuracy, currency, and usability of the data – especially across federated sources...The key elements that are missing include an easy way to populate the missing information (which isn’t stored in any uniform fashion) such as relationships between IT elements, applications, and business services...We built myCMDB to address these challenges in the CMDB market.

What the world needs is a better screwdriver which is why we have designed our hammer with such a comfy handle.

But enough picking on Managed Objects. Readers are invited to contribute examples of the bait-and-switch from other vendors. There are two popular formats:

  • They invoke FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) of a problem and then segue to a solution to a different problem (or to no problem at all)
  • They invoke FUD of a problem then talk loosely about their overall capabilities across their product suite that may actually address the problem, allowing the prospect to assume these capabilities are in the specific offered solution



I can't believe there aren't any examples here, this is a huge problem. I've seen so many products turned into shelfware over the years it is not even funny - sometimes our fault, sure - but usually caused by the smoke and mirrors given by the vendor during the dog and pony shows, and when the reality of the program hits it is nowhere near what they said it was. Again, there are two sides to this of course so we share equal blame. I'm not going to name the vendor, but in our RFP for a pharmaceutical software we ask for confirmatin they offerd a Windows version (this was a few years back now) and they responded positively. What we found in reality was that it was a DOS based program that just happened to run in Windows, but of course was not taking advantage of Windows GUI.

(Man your captchas are impossible.)

Sorry about the captchas

I tightened them up because of this. You can always register on this site :-D No captchas then.

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