I’m pretty certain the complicated resale initiatives in the software industry began as an attempt to thwart pirating. It’s turned into an unmanageable mess benefitting software resellers over target customers. Everything has to be purchased through a “partner” now. Never mind there is no “partnership” between your company and a VAR beside some sales guy trying to get paid. It’s implied these resale hurdles are meant to provide “consultation” and inform the customer. What if I’ve already adopted the application or platform and just want more licenses? Many software development companies understand the madness of the reseller model and have moved to online sales and self-service. But not enough of them.
Take Connectwise and their flagship remote support product, Control. Jake Morgan and his team realized the absurdity of the reseller model even back in the ScreenConnect days, opting to sell DTC. They still do. It’s pretty easy to add Control seats as opposed to Sophos for example, who decided to make it damn near impossible to buy or implement their products. Ironically it’s a lot of security outfits who are failing on this front. CheckPoint acts like their product is too good to sell to anyone without blessings directly from Israel. Their arrogance is off the charts, price be damned. They don’t even want to talk to small customers and won’t even provide renewal purchases from quotes generated in their own portal. I genuinely believe the Israeli CheckPoint team is so arrogant they literally do not want money from a segment of potential customers.
A lot of C Levels in software companies believe making their product hard to procure makes it more important or more secure. Meanwhile a big reason Cisco’s lost so many customers hasn’t been exclusively due to competition but because they won’t end the decades long joke that is Smart Net. “Nobody ever got in trouble for buying Cisco”, until now. Overly complicated and non-intuitive, I find Cisco ios devices easier to configure using a shell and decades old commands. For this Cisco still demands an outrageous premium. Their VoIP phone system is horrible and overpriced compared to RingCentral or Vonage yet they double down on being difficult and expensive to procure.
These days I look for ease of purchase as a qualification in software selection. The modern industry’s failure to deliver is a big factor in the selection process today. Doesn’t matter if it’s intuitive to use, simple to deploy and effective at it’s job, if licenses are hard to buy, involving many reseller quotes and electronic delivery delays I’ll go with the competitive solution that isn’t. It’s a problem software development companies brought upon themselves and until they start listening to those purchasing their product the industry will continue to decline in innovation and effectiveness. From SMB to Enterprise sales the industry is failing to accommodate customers and increase revenue.
In 10-15 years more people will be watching YouTube than any major over-the-air TV network or streaming service. Our kids go to YouTube first and as Google aggregates content for YouTube TV there won’t be a competitive network.
In the past week I learned the RingCentral Outlook Add-in for Outlook won’t work anymore. Microsoft conveniently and intentionally broke that. It goes right along with them forcing a Teams Meeting link into every meeting scheduled in Outlook. Sure, this can be cut off in each individual Outlook instance but it’s a Powershell struggle to remove it across a corporate domain. All to force us to use Teams.
Now I just learned Teams doesn’t support using Apple Airpods in meetings. This is absolutely absurd. I didn’t think they could do something to make me hate Teams more.
I wish more C Suite executives understood the creation of Teams was nothing but a Microsoft temper tantrum. Slack wouldn’t sell to them for a billion dollars so, in typical Microsoft fashion they weigh the cost of anti-trust lawsuits against revenue they can earn by forcing their product onto everyone using Microsoft office.
Now I’m in a position to make a call on what software is deployed to hundreds of workstations in a billion dollar company. I’ve supported Microsoft workstations, servers and domains for over 25 years. We are slowly moving to Macs on the desktop. As few Microsoft Office/O365 products as possible will be used going forward, possibly just Excel if I can get there. But it’s expensive. We’re moving to a Zero Trust network without domain authentication as quickly as we can get everything into the cloud, to Infor M3, jumping away from our locally deployed Dynamics GP ERP system.
Why are we working our way from Microsoft as much as possible? Their never ending and relentless push of this work collaboration platform, forced on a user base: Microsoft Teams. They may not lose in court but I am going to personally do all I can to make sure they lose revenue. Sharepoint isn’t much better from a security and administrative perspective.
Update: I’ve also recently learned that Teams has a habit of hijacking AV peripherals without releasing them for use by other applications. So I guess that answers the original question, yep.
I’ve taken my longest absence in 18 years from this blog. Work, life. Mostly work being a completely horrible existence. Five years since the Garland Company bought Trimaco to merge with Surface Shields and while things are finally underway, it’s about three years slow. Everything about Garland is slow. Their executive staff cedes decisions to those without experience, they use third parties to the detriment of efficiency and the bottom line. It’s genuinely a horrible place to exist now and change is inevitable. I haven’t changed my income path for a over a decade and now I’m feeling the Millennial trend, quit.
I’ve learned this new entity doesn’t care about my experience, expertise or efficiency or value brought to the company. They promote happily disingenuous “Yes” men. Anyone who will say “yes” regardless the deficiency of any decision. No longer worried about customer service or delivery of a quality product on-time, this new company’s polishing turds. This is why I appreciate working for Engineering and Architectural firms, they have to get it right, on-time and stand behind their product. Too many other industries rely on internal timelines or none at all, appeasing only sales associates as they pat each other on the back for another record quarter, while no one delivers on what they’re selling. It’s a national epidemic.
I’m now charged with securing and deploying apps on a production network as a third party actively removes administrative capabilities from my team, reduces network security and they have the audacity to keep my title “Manager”. I’ve done nothing but cede to misguided marching orders for 4 years. We literally could have had these companies merged had it not been for 4 years of inaction or bad results from a third party vendor to which the Garland Companies have sworn a blood oath (or a silent investment).