Adopting a Service Mentality

Peter Armstrong

Adopting a Service Mentality

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Introduction
For several years now, I have been writing a blog called “Adopting a Service (Management) Mentality, which is a collection of my rants and raves about how people need to understand what their customers want and not to be surprised when people walk away if the service stinks. Now, I personally find reading more than about a page on a PC screen is incredibly tedious, which is why I keep my blog entries short and pithy. However, that makes it a pain if you want to go back and read several of them, so I thought I would gather all the entries, and the comments in one place for you to read / dip into / scrawl over / put in the lavatory with the other humorous books you have. So you will find here such classics as the totally useless hair-drier, the De Sade School of Hotel Interior Design, the CMDB song (to the tune of YMCA), my EMPTYS campaign for manners – Excuse Me, Please, Thank You, Sorry – and my new IWOS campaign, which recognises that a large number of people in the banking world appear to be Incompetent Wastes Of Space! I have published them in the order they were written, starting back in July 2005, as I found it quite interesting to see what has happened in the world of IT over the last few years, and how it has changed. I have taken out the links used in the blogs as they wouldn't work in a book, but you can always search for the blog entry online and follow the link if you so desire. As usual with me, these are all written with a degree of humour, but they are meant very seriously. I personally believe the world needs a lot more humour, a lot less sycophancy and a lot more service. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them, and many thanks to all those people who have contributed their comments over the last 3 and a half years. My apologies if I didn't answer any questions you may have posed – I frequently didn't get informed about replies that had been posted. Bloody computers!! Last but not least, it was interesting (well it was for me) to see how I have complained about certain devices/systems over the years, which have actually improved now – not all of them, but some are getting the hang of providing what the customer really wants. Can't believe it was entirely due to me, but please continue to complain if you are not happy with the service being offered. Cheers Peter

Adopting a Service Mentality

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Part 1 – 2005 The Innocent Days?

Adopting a Service Mentality

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The Revenge of the Monolith
Are mainframes strategic? I was visiting a large bank recently. As part of the visit they demonstrated their very advanced internal banking system to us (real-time analysis of customer transactions, extracting to data warehouse etc.). My colleague was staggered by the ultra-fast response times; it was of course running on a sensible platform - a mainframe. I have also been talking to some other folks about this, see James Governor's MonkChips and the z/OS Journal. It does not surprise me that the mainframe has never gone away, as it still has the lead in terms of availability, security, cost etc. (The last one may surprise you - look at "The Dinosaur Myth" where you will find that the cost per end user on a mainframe over 5 years is 1/3 of Unix and 1/4 of Wintel). Now do I believe that everyone should chuck out Unix, Linux, Windows etc. and replace them all with a mainframe - no. Do I believe you should get rid of a mainframe because the application package no longer runs on it - possibly, but how about kicking the software vendor instead? Do I believe you should get rid of a mainframe because it will save you money - no way, it will cost you more. A lot of my colleagues think I am either slightly mad, or too set in my ways. Every time they get money from a machine, fill their car, take out insurance, fly on a plane or whatever I just smile - imagine the world without mainframes and life would be hell. And yes I do realise that a lot of good things also run on distributed platforms, although I am not totally convinced that swamping me with slow graphics and whizzy buttons actually makes the experience any better? The thing that really cheeses me off though is when people ignore 30 years of experience. Running mainframes has taught us how to handle processes like Change Management, Service Levels, Backup and Recovery, Security and many others. Ignoring what has been learnt here, which many customers and educational establishments seem prone to do, strikes me as crazy. One customer I met puts every new employee (who thinks C++, Java, Linux and CTL-ALTDEL are the centre of the universe) into the mainframe department for 6 months. Not to learn MVS or JCL, but to learn how to run a production environment correctly. Many others are looking at initiatives like ITIL, the IT Infrastructure Library, which is fast becoming the de facto standard for how to run the processes of IT. Not far behind this development, a standard has also started to emerge: BS15000. This is specifically dedicated to IT service management, and comprises two parts: BS15000-1 and BS15000-2. It too is being widely deployed and followed and is destined to become an ISO standard (ISO 2000). ITIL started about 20 years ago when mainframes were dominant, and the writers have taken a lot of the good ideas and experience which existed and documented all of this as an aidemémoire for the rest of the world. It has also been updated since then to cater for the brave new world. Which is all good news to me because CTL-ALT-DEL is not a production option as far as I am concerned. Friday, July 01, 2005

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Friday. We're off.. he asked me to call to his office (in UK) and press the Hash key. My American colleagues tell me that the symbol for pound over there is #.It's a hash key! Conference call blues Two Nations separated by a common language? Every time I get on a conference call with the US I get the "enter your participant code followed by the pound key". #1...Posted by Jim at 2006-08-22 15:19 In the U. 2005 Add Comment Thanks to talk. a hash mark is found on a football field.. My phone (like all others in the world) does not have a pound key (£) . yes. Cheers Peter hash key . Adopting a Service Mentality 5 . Strange. life would be boring! Cheers Peter Hash Mark .Posted by amy at 2006-08-21 16:02 I believe the "hash" key is the pound sign.I know you call it the pound sign over there. And. e. Oh well. none of them gave me the useful info I found on your site!! Cheers! hash key .Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-05-19 13:07 Gosh. hash that you don't smoke .bmc!! .. but like most British people I think we invented the language and hence you are wrong! The symbol for pound over here is £ or lb.g.S.I did not know which one was it and I Google. if we were all the same. that is different from a soccer pitch. July 01.Posted by Irene at 2006-05-19 12:39 Hi was chatting with a client on Skype.Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-08-22 03:06 Amy This was meant to be English humour . never expected to be that helpful!!! Glad to be of "service". I found 4 sites.it does have a hash key (#).. We use that for number.

I am in Portugal now.. We still drink in pints if you are drinking beer (ask for bitter or lager or Guinness in a 6      Adopting a Service Mentality . thank you very much hash key . There are 14 days in a fortnight. ten-bob notes and I still remember getting 3 gallons of petrol for a quid.Posted by peter at 2007-12-12 16:00 Very glad to have helped . There are 12 inches (an inch is 2. The origin of "pound" in this case refers the the old unit of mass. If you go horse-racing. Just to note quickly that the words "pound key" as used in some parts of the US to refer to the # have nothing to do with Pound Sterling.Posted by astroturf at 2006-08-22 17:29 There was a story of an American footballer who was asked how Astroturf compared with grass.. a furlong is 220 yards. pennies. amazed .Posted by Ali Marjovi at 2007-12-11 18:33 oh . florins. and he said "I don't know. my account is now activated. 1760 yards in a mile (a mile is 1. and I didn't know what is that.!!!!! pound/hash key . tanners..Posted by peter at 2008-01-03 05:45 I am amazed how useful this "humorous" blog entry of mine has turned out to be ... There are 16 ounces (oz) in a pound (lb). threepenny bits. thank you very much.. ha'pennies.Astroturf? . 3 feet in a yard... A quid is a pound in money (we don't have those funny Euro things) and we still talk about pounds and ounces in some places. We used to have a wonderful system of currency with farthings.. 454 grams. the answering machine wanted me to press hash key .just send 10% of your account balance to .54 cm) in a foot. the mission is not completed successfully !!! I Googled it and found your comments. A pound is ca. I pressed star and it said . I've never smoked Astroturf!" thanx . crowns.just shows that you can't assume the user will know what you want them to do! A few other helpful pointers for those visiting the UK:    We drive on the correct side of the road .Posted by Steve at 2007-12-26 04:43 Dear All. We have never as far as I know used the # symbol for pound weight over here. and I wanted to activate my new bank account here. half-crowns.Napoleon ruined it for the rest of you. Water freezes at 32 and boils at 212 degrees. bobs.6 km). I had to do to it via phone.

which is single figures. so I am gradually getting to where I want to be.pub.just substitute another sport the idea is the same) Tuesday. etc. how would you go about improving your golf swing? What is your SLA? I happened to score my first ever hole-in-one at the weekend (145 yards over a lake for those who care).get to single figures. and NOW golf! I rarely shoot the scores you claim here on your BLOG.98%. I don't start by saying I want the club-face closed 0.75 degrees with a swingspeed of 86 mph. What has all of that to do with computers? Well. not ale . (Don't worry if you don't like golf .. easier. Sounds kind of like our story around BMC's Managed Services offerings? Get to the end goal "fast. I have also put a lot of effort into my golf over the last few years.BSM.. Cheers!!! Peter Computers or golf? Want to improve your IT processes? Well. speaking German (and being funny in a second language). more predictable". working on different aspects etc. Why then do we always talk about the availability of server XYZ being 99.Posted by jgardner at 2005-07-21 16:42 I am impressed that you have actually surpassed me now in several areas of expertise. July 12. British humour (and history). then I set out by stating my goals . taking lessons. and shot 82 and 80 on Saturday and Sunday. 2005 Add Comment Hole in One . are you sure Tiger didn't hit your hole-in-one FOR you? Adopting a Service Mentality 7 . when what really matters is whether the customer can do business with us? Make sense? Then please take a look at the interview I did with Computerworld "Get Into the Swing of Configuration" and the white paper I have just written on the similarities between golf and computing "Swing into Business Service Management: Seven Strategies for Enabling IT to Activate the Business". If I want to get better at golf.only foreigners or Dickensian characters ask for ale). and I have yet to hit a hole-in-one! Clearly you have drawn on better "subject matter experts" to help you achieve success than I have. Peter. I have tried to teach myself too many things and probably should have gone to some of the subject matter experts you have to reach the end goal faster... easy. for me the answer is that you cannot improve a computer system / IT process / business process using IT until you actually define your highlevel business SLA.

Some ill-mannered idiot always barges between you and the carousel and nearly takes your feet / legs off with their suitcase (and never says sorry) Adopting a Service Mentality 8 .. The use of the incorrect name "The British Open" is likely to get a sand-wedge wrapped round your neck! Tuesday. and rise like a trout to the fly every time I hear the phrase "The British Open". not Britain (it was held at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. "you managed it quite easily last week!" Perhaps it's me. it cannot really be called the British Open?!?!? Luggage service Why are trips ruined at the luggage carousel? Excuse me.Posted by chrjohns at 2005-07-15 12:24 In regards to The Open which is held periodically in Britain . 2005 Add Comment Golf. No matter what class you fly the luggage comes off in random order 3.. "Strange. am I invisible? Lee Trevino supposedly once asked at check-in for one bag to go to Paris.It's called The Open Can we stop saying the British Open please? Those who know me know that I am a boring old pedant. You are convinced your luggage has been lost because everyone else appears to have got theirs 2. one to London and one to Tokyo. He was told that this was impossible.Posted by parmstrong at 2005-07-15 12:41 Actually it is periodically held in the UK. but I find the luggage carousel the worst part of the journey for several reasons: 1. So being totally pedantic. which is part of the UK but not part of Britain)." he said. July 12. I thought I would warn you that the locals are even more pedantic than I am and hence quite correctly call it "The Open". bacon & whisky . As some of you may be travelling to the hallowed birthplace of golf (St Andrews) this week. Q: What do they call Canadian Bacon in Canada? A: Bacon Q:What do they call Scotch Whisky in Scotland? A: Whisky The Open .

2005 Who designed this? Why are hotel rooms and bathrooms so badly designed? It is staggering to me how badly designed many hotel rooms and bathrooms are:  You can't find the light switches. or is one of those tedious ones on the wall that occasionally blows a faint puff of warm air  The shampoo bottle is impossible to open  The writing on the shampoo bottle is so small that you can't read it. Your luggage actually came off half an hour ago and someone has stacked it 20 yards away in a corner 6. Your golf-clubs are coming off on another belt. Everyone stands right next to the carousel .see above • Guaranteed lost • Guaranteed broken • May appear today • May be delivered to you tomorrow • First off the belt • Delivered to my hotel and I don't have to go the belt at all • Picked up at my home and delivered to the hotel I'd pay for better service. The luggage comes off on two different belts and you always stand at the wrong one 7. July 13.4.if they stood back we could all see more 5. when you do the room is still dark  The TV is unwatchable from the chair as it won't rotate that far  The hotel offers internet . Wednesday.it still doesn't work  The pillows have every combination except one that is comfortable to sleep on  The shower sprays ice-cold water down your neck when you eventually work out how to turn it on  The hair-drier is hidden.the cable has been stolen  You collect a cable . which is so far away that it appears to be in another city What I really want is different levels of luggage service like different levels of ticket: • Normal . and in fact you Adopting a Service Mentality 9 .

So he set about improving his game. you may be wondering why he has not been winning a lot of major championships recently.have just washed your hair with hand lotion  The light in the bathroom casts your face in shadow when you look in the mirror  There is so much hotel junk on the bathroom shelf that you have no room for your own stuff These (and many more) are easy to fix if you put yourself in the position of the end-user. First at the Masters. July 14. not the people who run them. especially when they are running well and don't foresee the changes coming in "equipment" or our competition and then wonder why we get left behind? There is always room for improvement. 2005 What's a Mainframe Daddy? What should I learn now to earn me lots of money later? Glad to see someone is offering mainframe education . but there won't be many people who have the requisite skills. In Tiger's case the investment has been significant.eventually I imagine many of you saw Tiger win the Open at the weekend. For those who don't follow golf. Well. runner-up at the US Open and winner at the Open. Adopting a Service Mentality 10 . A few years back he was unbeatable. Monday. and then he seemed to go away. 2005 Tiger Wins The Open Practice makes perfect. but the results show that it was fully justified. and the business and marketplace you are in will dictate the level of investment that makes sense. This game's a never-ending struggle and that's what makes it what it is. Tiger was not happy with his swing. How many of us get complacent about our IT systems. July 18. he knew his body was changing and so was the golf equipment. "You can always get better. but it may take a couple of years for results Tiger told you his swing would come right . but not least. it will help them to make lots of money when they grow older. in order to be correctly positioned to exploit the new "equipment" and out-perform the competition. Last. Mainframes will still be here. Thursday. his competitors were beginning to catch up with him.point your kids this way." The results this year speak for themselves. So why don't we design computer systems properly? Let's design them for the people who use them. Business and IT have to talk together like they never have before.

and every other customer's life easier. which just happens to be out of stock all the time (why have it on your website then you tedious people?) So I was very happy to see a special offer in the newspaper at the weekend for exactly the specification I wanted (lots of RAM. July 19. IT is there to service the business.speed. Internet-driven. 2005 Who is Peter Armstrong? A short history Adopting a Service Mentality 11 . nice big TFT panel etc. "When you have a lot of different people working on the same set of programs. Tuesday. broadband-prevalent world the only thing that actually tends to differentiate you from your competitors is the service you provide. so off I went to the wondrous Internet and tried to buy one. I have tried searching various UK websites / dealers and always ended up choosing the attractively specified model." Couldn't agree more. but it was twice the price of a much longer call to the US! In today's always-connected. So. socking great hard drive.and I will pay for it. I do not particularly want to spend 15 minutes talking to someone in the depths of a foreign country." Smith said. I had bought a new one for downstairs. it is now my wife's computer (and my daughter's for her Ipod)! So if I ever want to get on with my digital photography and music. which I had naively assumed would be there for me to use every now and then. do maintenance or add a new feature. I am glad to say the phone call was not particularly expensive. non-mainframe environments don't have that much rigour or structure to them. but could not get down to the price quoted in the paper. You will also see that my colleague John Albee has lots to say on the subject in his blog. you need to have strict standards in place so that you can . I spent an hour trying every configuration option available. I have checked my phone bill. July 20. ease of use. which actually means making my. Make life tedious. please see my first blog entry where I talk about keeping mainframe disciplines alive and using frameworks like ITIL to get processes like Change Management under control.Here's a quote from the article: "In my experience.) They quoted a URL for their website and a special model number. and I will go to a competitor. intelligent assistance etc. I phoned them the next day and was told that the special price only applies over the phone!! Why? It is much cheaper and quicker to service me over the Web.. Give me something a bit extra . 2005 Give me service! How do you differentiate yourself nowadays? I have been looking for a new PC for some time. . Wednesday.. I need to buy one for upstairs in my office. However.

because I wanted to actually be able to talk a foreign language . Started working for IBM . in 1986.html (given to us by King of Scotland in 1237. but the text message got through after ca.just done my first podcast. try this link: http://www. Sorry! I studied engineering at University. It is hard to describe how wonderful the arrival of a text message on a mobile phone can be . Friday. lifted him up and rode off). I don't know who invented the mobile phone. particularly in area of disaster recovery.scotclans. 2005 Mobile phones can be wonderful SMS texting from Outlook? Yesterday some more bombs nearly went off in London. BMC approached me and made me an offer I couldn't refuse and I was at the age where I thought it was worth taking the risk (BMC was very small then and no-one knew where they were going). Also believe I am related to Lance and Louis ! Wednesday. and want to check out the fascinating history of the Armstrong family name. and especially who invented SMS texting. because my ancestor saved his life . got married (the two are connected!).King lost horse. I am related to Neil Armstrong (read that he has traced his family back to same roots). You will find lots more there as well from my colleagues. Getting through on the phone was practically impossible.became IMS (a mainframe database) Country Specialist. July 20.as you probably know most English people abroad simply shout louder in English to be understood. 10 minutes. but you should be given a prize (on the other hand people who shout down their mobile phone in restaurants should have them surgically removed!). 2005 My first podcast Want to listen to me talk about computers and golf? This entry is a bit of blatant self-advertising . My daughter works up in London and travels on the Underground every day. ancestor rode past. Adopting a Service Mentality 12 . I've only just realised that I have never told anybody reading this who I am and what I do.com/scottish_clans/clans/armstrong/history. about where the world is going and what we are doing about it. and now many years later they have put me in the Corporate Strategy and Planning group as I spend my life talking to customers / media / analysts etc. If you're bored with all this stuff. got into computing and returned to England with my wife."Dad. July 22. I'm all right". Then.Being a bit slow. Got fluent in German. Glad to say it was the right move. and then went to work in Germany.

. I have found websites where you can send an SMS text to a phone number for free. Friday. This download will enable you to send SMS text messages through most GSM mobile phones connected to your PC using Outlook 2003. they would see it very soon.Whenever I fly somewhere. I know you can set up an email id for your phone and route it through their server. As soon as I land. 2005 Add Comment Mobile phones can be wonderful .I got 250 characters of header info telling me who it was from and there was no room left for the message. I feel I am missing something obvious here . and I have found one that offers a distribution list service for a fee. The SMS messages can be saved as a draft. Y and Z and wrote a simple program in C++ and cut and pasted that into . or a USB/serial cable.. The point is that I am a normal ignorant useless end-user.microsoft. I turn my phone on and she gets a beep and a report to say the message has been delivered so that she knows I am safe and sound. Well I tried that on mine and it was tedious . grouped.I use it to SMS Text from Outlook to my daughter's cell in Europe while I am at my home in Austin.aspx?FamilyID=240080b4-986e-4afb-ab213af2be63508b&displaylang=en Adopting a Service Mentality 13 .perhaps someone will come back and tell me there is an easy alternative in Outlook? In fact.Posted by mstabler at 2005-07-22 15:07 Peter This may help with Outlook 2003 . what I would really like is a feature in Outlook that lets you send an email to a distribution list. one of my colleagues will no doubt tell me that if I did X. but most of them just list the features rather than explain how to achieve what you want to do. I know there are some phones which do email very well. http://www. It would appear that SMS texting is a lot more prevalent in the UK than in the US and I am not quite sure why. July 22. I do actually read instruction books.S. at this point. There is no requirement to install third-party software or to subscribe to additional mobile network services if your mobile phone can be connected to your PC. who don't see it because they are on the road. This is typically via an infra-red connection. who does not want to read a 200-page thesis or take a degree in nuclear physics to operate something. If you sent them an SMS text. and not everyone has a Blackberry. Bluetooth technology. You can enter your SMS text within a Outlook-type entry form and have it sent to your mobile phone for delivery through your mobile phone network service. my wife sends me a text message when I am in the air.com/downloads/details. which includes phone numbers. P. which is most of the time. So what you get is an "urgent" email sent to a group of people. Perhaps you get more free minutes over there? Now. but the majority of them as far as I know don't. and forwarded like standard Outlook 2003 e-mail.

http://feeds. but I am relatively new to this blog world. 2005 Add Comment There is an rss-feed . New "All" Feed and OPML file . I haven't found a general rss-feed to get notified for whenever anyone posts something to http://talk. Thunderbird.Posted by kstone at 2005-10-27 09:27 We have an official "all" feed now that will pick up every new blog entry published in any blog on this site! http://feeds. RFIDs Now I like these. The other thing I use a lot is Skype. Monday.feedburner. It includes the "All" feed and the podcast feed. If the person the other end is not signed up to Skype.bmc.com/blogs yet.Keeping in touch How do I know there are new blog items? How do I contact people cheaply? Apologies if this is blindingly obvious to the people reading this.. 'My Yahoo'. by just dialling their number. giving Adopting a Service Mentality 14 . as long as we learn from our past.feedburner. which gives you free phone-calls via VOIP to any other subscriber. Also has chat. They pointed me at Bloglines. I am not always totally convinced that these are actually new ideas and I detect a severe case of nostalgia creeping in here and there. I asked the people who set this blog up for me if you can get an automatic notification when new entries are made in a blog (and in my case when someone makes comments). For instance.com/blogs/blog-gentle/anne-gentle/talkbmc-opml Innovation or nostalgia A review of some of the new ideas in the marketplace? I have been looking at some of the wondrous new things coming our way. July 25.bmc. Nothing wrong with that. which are meant to make our lives truly complete. you can use it as a phone from your PC.com/TalkBMC-AllBlogs Anne Gentle has also created an OPML file which we will be maintaining and adding new blogs as they come online.. and it's excellent. or incorporate them into 'My MSN'. I think they have enormous potential if used correctly.com/Talkbmc-PeterArmstrongsBlog The one for you is You can use rss-feeds with popular software like Lektora. http://talk. and I hope to find out soon.Posted by mreys at 2005-07-27 07:13 There are individual rss-feeds for each blogger. However.

me an RFID tag when I enter a hospital and then checking it against the medication I am being given to ensure that they are not about to shuffle me off this mortal coil gets my approval. Tagging kids in Legoland so that you can find them when they wander off – excellent. In fact I would quite happily have one of these implanted in my head if it meant I could get through immigration in a few seconds rather than the hours it takes at some airports. So where is the nostalgia in that? Well, the problem with new technologies is that all the manufacturers run around with different standards and the consumer ends up with the one with the best marketing – Betamax vs VHS, Windows vs Mac – which is not necessarily the best brand. And that thought leads me neatly to my next two items of innovation. Virtualisation When this all started, the word being used was Autonomic, which in my English dictionary means uncontrolled, involuntary reaction (as in knee-jerk). You will have noticed that it has moved on now to a world of (hopefully) controlled reaction to operational problems. My bigoted mainframe background makes me laugh here, as to me the whole area of virtualisation is actually the rediscovery of MVS in distributed hardware. We used to have a platform that could soak up workload, run multiple tasks, be highly available and was secure (remember those days?). Now we have a selection of poor operating systems, which don’t meet any of the requirements set in the previous sentence, so we solve the problem by dynamically provisioning more of them! As it happens, it is probably the right thing to do, as it would take too long to rewrite the operating systems to a robust production standard, but do I see virtualisation as the universal panacea? No. I want to see it driven by business needs (not technology needs), preferably predicted in advance, and hooked into change and configuration management. If you allow a dynamic environment with no change control, I believe you have a recipe for disaster. SOA I’ve just read a neat article explaining Service Oriented Architecture. I particularly like the author’s use of analogies: “SOA is actually everywhere. Let's look at an example of SOA which is likely to be found in your living room. Take a CD for instance. If you want to play it, you put your CD into a CD player and the player plays it for you. The CD player offers a CD playing service, which is nice because you can replace one CD player with another. You can play the same CD on a portable player or on your expensive stereo. They both offer the same CD playing service, but the quality of service is different.” Obviously standards will be the make or break of SOA, but it is that last sentence which is key to me. The nostalgic part of me thinks back to the different kinds of shopping experience we used to have – corner shops vs. supermarkets vs. online. I use online shopping for some purchases, but would not dream of using it for other ones (where for instance I need to try / feel the goods as part of the decision process). The point is that I can choose which level of service I want and am prepared to pay for. That is how we started computing many years ago and that is where it is coming back to today. IT and business need to decide what level of service is required and what they are prepared to pay for it. Then I can design the system that is required. I call this a Service Oriented Mentality. Monday, July 25, 2005 Adopting a Service Mentality 15

How do I define time / distance?
Where do we get seconds, yards and meters from? I've just read a book called "Civilisation One". I am not giving anything away if I say it shows evidence for the theory that there was a very advanced civilisation on earth that pre-dated the Egyptians. As part of this, they investigate how the various units of measurement that we have today came to exist for time, length, volume, weight etc. This leads to an interesting thought. Imagine you are on earth thousands of years ago and there is no such thing as a second or a yard or a meter. Now work out a method for accurately defining units of time, distance, volume and weight. I'll give the answer in a later blog entry, but for the moment I plan to apply the technique to any problem I have. If I can't work out the answer to something, I always go back to first principles. What do I know, how can I build on that, how can I avoid making false assumptions. A technique that also works for analysing faults on this stupid PC of course! Sunday, July 31, 2005

Email rules - KO!
Why do people use email so badly and why is email software so stupid? I was going to write the rules of email (according to me!), and then realised that it would be long enough to make a book. So bear with me whilst I get a few grievances off my chest (and feel free to add in some of your own). As an old mainframe man used to rapid response, I think Outlook is fairly useless. Multitasking (something we have been doing in computing for decades) appears to be totally beyond its capabilities. It sits there locked out whilst some moron sends you a 6M attachment you don't want. Fortunately I am on broadband; I pity the poor folks, who are not. I know you can set up email to run remote and just download headers. I tried that and it threw everything else into confusion. I also have a Blackberry-type device - lovely for emails, almost useless for attachments. Unfortunately this is a typical example of people designing software to be used by either those surgically attached to a T1 pipe, or those who are on a 24K dial-up in the Antarctic. I wish they would try thinking about how people really use this stuff - travelling round the world, sometimes in offices, sometimes on wireless, sometimes removing furniture in a hotel bedroom to find a phone socket etc. So, my rules for today:

There is no such thing as an urgent email – the correct device for this is called the telephone. Email is not a guaranteed form of delivery. Emails can be read by lawyers years later, so be careful. 16

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Adopting a Service Mentality

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People who press the reply-to-all button should be asked to leave. People who press the forward button and send me back my own attachment should be asked to leave. Do not send a message to a complete distribution list asking to be taken off it - rightclick the list name, go to properties, find the owner and email him/her. Where is the option to send attachments to some people and not others - do I have to send two emails? Can I have a central attachment location, and send a link? No-one has invented the device, which I need when travelling, and this is what I want to discuss in the next blog entry.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005 Add Comment Use the phone? - Posted by parmstrong at 2005-08-04 02:16 Got this comment offline by email Peter, I enjoyed your post about email rules. I also believe in the proper use of the tools, including when_not_to use them. (Part of my advice to participants in my consulting skills for technologists classes). One suggestion I have is to use email as an exchange of facts alone. Opinions -- maybe -- but only positive thoughts. Opinions critical of others should not be communicated over email. No matter how good a writer we may be, and so few of us are, it never comes across the way it was meant. Instead, make a phone call. Another rule I have is to stop replying to an email exchange after the third message with the same person on the same subject. If something cannot be resolved over three exchanges, it's time to make a phone call. I actually tell my counterpart that I'm calling because we've already had three exchanges. It usually works and the matter is resolved! The other (revolutionary) piece of advice is this: ("Revolutionary" because it's not widely accepted - yet) Pick one day a month when you don't reply to any email messages you receive. Place a phone call instead. When conducted judiciously, a live conversation is a much more effective method to exchange thoughts. I've been told it has worked wonders for those who've tried it. If it works one day a month, try two days a months, etc. Hope you find these interesting and maybe share with you readers.. David Alev E-mail rules, I agree... mostly - Posted by mreys at 2005-08-03 06:30 But not on these...: Email is not a guaranteed form of delivery. Adopting a Service Mentality 17

Not really true, is it? Technology provides the means to check this (delivery receipts) and if delivery is not possible you will be informed anyway. But this is all technology again! There is no guarantee for being read though. Here you should start thinking about an interesting subject line ;-) People who press the reply-to-all button should be asked to leave. Unless information in the reply applies to all ? Do not send a message to a complete distribution list asking to be taken off it - right-click the list name, go to properties, find the owner and email him/her. ... and I would add that Internet mailing lists (I guess you are referring to company mailing lists) should always provide the information on how you can un-subscribe. There are standards for setting up Internet mailing lists (subscribe/un-subscribe automatically), unfortunately these have been forgotten. Where is the option to send attachments to some people and not others - do I have to send two emails? I think a lot of software architects/writers will not approve your 'request for change'. How often does this happen? How much time do you loose: you do know about copy/paste? Any idea how much time will have to be spent on developing this, as compared to your casual copy/paste? Can I have a central attachment location, and send a link? This exists... commercial and non-commercial. And what happened with addressing the people you write to (Dear such-and-so..., Hello Mike,...), and finishing with a greeting and a proper signature (even when you reply!). E-mails aren't letters, but a minimum of good manners is not asking to much, is it ? Btw, you don't have to go as far as Antarctica to have 24K dial-up, just come to any Belgian/Luxembuergish hotel. Coming back to the rules for e-mails and mailing list: have a look at Netiquette http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1855.html. Some things might be a bit outdated, but still is true. Has the time come for a new rfc on netiquette, with maybe an extra section on blogs? Cheers, Mike Email culture - Posted by parmstrong at 2005-08-04 02:11 Thanks Mike - good input. Guaranteed delivery - you are right, I mean guaranteed read. Reply-to-all - let's add "without thinking". Cut and paste - I'm lazy!!! Cheers Peter

Adopting a Service Mentality

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" It would appear that Intel are working hard in this direction . power leads and adaptors! I watch many of my colleagues and other travellers hauling their laptops round the world and I ask myself why do the manufacturers force us to do this? Which pieces of the laptop do we actually need. and storage to meet all our needs on the road as well as in a desktop docking environment. access e-mail (from anywhere).hooray. I have now reduced my travelling office whenever possible to a phone. August 02. and as one reviewer puts it "In our lifetime we will see a PDA sized device with the right features. If I am only travelling for a couple of days I can even get away without having to carry 10 lbs (4. airplane seats etc. In another review of a small notebook (who has fingers small enough to use one of these and eyes sharp enough to see the screen?) I read “This is the perfect device for business if it only had a wireless telephone option.5kg) of chargers. Isn't anyone listening out there? We need an inexpensive means to do business. a Blackberry. I travel a lot in my job and like many others I used to lug around a laptop. Half a product doesn't influence me. There will be hundreds more failures before the right device evolves. I found a device that does this.Posted by carslone at 2005-09-01 08:57 Adopting a Service Mentality 19 . 2005 Add Comment Travel without a laptop. or should I say which are unique to us? The only piece you actually need is some of the data on the hard-drive. Tuesday. airport lounges. power. Imagine a world where you just carry this and plug it into the supplied screen / keyboard / power supply. This would be made available in hotels. that comes in a small yet powerful offering. but it is rather expensive.Travels without my laptop When will the world be easy to travel? Like many others.are the manufacturers listening to the users or are they simply trying to make us buy 6 devices? Many years ago at school my art teacher taught me that anything you buy or design should have 3 properties: • Does it look good? • Is it well made? • Does it do its job well? Try applying those rules to any device you buy or computer system you design and I don't think you will go far wrong. mobility. a phone etc. take/make calls.” And that for me is the key .neat). and USB stick with combined remote control (plug in and show your Powerpoint .

I do not want to wait 15 minutes for him/her to agree which pub they are meeting in tonight. I enjoyed your presentation so much. Now that I have got into the swing of it. When I walk into a shop and the assistant is on the 'phone discussing his/her social life. Hence the change to the title. Peter.Hello. Best Wishes. I came across a device I though you'd find interesting. Carlos E. appliances or whatever).com. Hope you have fun on the course today. There is a programme on English TV called "Grumpy Old Men" (yes.I want to be served where. I was fortunate enough to attend the BMC Forum yesterday. I walked into a major customer in Hong Kong a while back and the first question the IT manager Adopting a Service Mentality 20 . Unfortunately not on course today . Slone Travel device Posted by parmstrong at 2005-09-01 09:50 Looks neat – thanks. there is "Grumpy Old Women" as well) which has a series of people about my age (55) venting their wrath on all sorts of subjects under the sun. If I go to the doctor and he/she tells me that I have a temperature of 104 degrees (40C) then I would quite rightly be worried. But that is the start of the journey for me. This is Paul Allen's latest venture: www.getting over jet-lag back in UK Peter New Blog Name Why have I changed the name of this blog? When I entered the brave new world of blogging and started posting entries here. I realise that a common theme has emerged from my ramblings. and I think these are very sensible as part of establishing whether an SLA has been met. and get to meet you. On the subject of your dream device to travel sans laptop. then I start to panic. the first thing I did this morning was check your blog. listen to your speech. which I'm finding very entertaining. robots. If you listen closely though. you will notice that the same theme runs through a lot of the complaints . On the other hand I also do not want someone coming up to me every 15 seconds when I am browsing and asking "can I help you?" I know many people who use an end-user response time measurement tool (synthetic transactions. how and when I dictate. I wasn't really sure what I was going to write about.flipstartpc. (If you ever want to proceed with the multi-million dollar lawsuit over the paper cut. If he/she then tells me that he/she has no idea what is wrong with me and what to do about it. you've got a witness!).

a key IT Adopting a Service Mentality 21 . pitch from 50 yards. hold the club consistently and start making small swings As the lessons progress. August 03.put the basics in place and build on them. so you get a great sense of success straight away. sit down. All of this would be building on the fundamentals. Grumpy ? My intentions . as I could provide parts of the solution and wanted to discuss their requirements for the rest as we were actively working on a solution. and eventually we would start hitting full swings. where would you start? Take out a 6-iron and hit some balls seems to be a common approach.the most critical business application. how much is it costing me? The only reason IT is there is to service the business. the first shot I would teach you is a 6-inch putt. Start with a small key part . 2005 Add Comment Grumpy old (wo)men . and you would learn to aim properly. What were your intentions in the late sixties. so let's adopt a service mentality and run it that way. She wanted to start with the symptom and work back to the root cause. You haven't had to learn anything particularly complicated and you have got some of the fundamentals in place already.Posted by mreys at 2005-08-03 06:41 In my TV magazine. GOM has always been announced as a program with the people from the sixties who were about to change the world and what has become of them: They are still being grumpy about everything (implying that the world hasn't changed as much as they said they would). That manager had a service mentality. I would still take the same approach though. break it down into the individual components and tell me where the problem lies? If yes. Unfortunately most of us have systems and processes in place already and it is changing these (ingrained swing thoughts) that is often the problem. Wednesday.Posted by parmstrong at 2005-08-04 02:21 Retire and teach people golf Cheers Peter How to learn golf / run IT? Why start at the wrong end? If you were teaching someone to play golf. In a perfect world you would set up IT systems management this way . we would move further and further away from the hole.asked me was "can you measure the end-user response time.which business service is impacted. Why? If I were teaching you golf. Almost impossible to miss. if no goodbye!" I asked if I could hover over the chair. learning to hit long putts. We would then move gradually further and further away from the hole. Many of us in IT measure all the components but don't understand the bigger picture . Mr. chip from the edge of the green.

I am also reading "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman. and we are apparently one of the leading broadband countries in the world. were managed like they always did in the past and the "little new piece" which are now handled the new kind of way – by a different process flow. This is where you look at things like ITIL to give you a series of interrelated processes working off a common reference . with speeds up to 10Mb per second coming soon.from a service mgr. August 09. and implementing it in such a way that other applications and processes will build upon it. when you have implemented the CMDB storing now your server information. Consider the situation where you have implemented your IT solution to manage now the first of your most critical business services from a service perspective. Dedicate time and effort to getting this right. test runs.Posted by ansgar at 2005-08-22 10:11 That is the kind of approach I think we're all agree with . where the author makes the point that the connectivity we now enjoy allows people anywhere to compete (digitally) on an equal footing. with maybe another additional monitor. try thinking back to when you were trying to download a video clip down a slow old dial-up connection! It would appear that the UK is about to undergo the next wave of broadband. Make sure you have the correct foundation in place. Adopting a Service Mentality 22 . However. related software and logical CIs still reside on other. etc. and hands-on at all levels. Keeping up the service goals of your incident lifecycle in such a multi-faceted environment is not that easy. separated asset silos. If you don't believe that. As we’re talking about integrated ITSM there are relationships and dependencies between both sides. And. the "approved" old one where assets/CIs related tickets.process or whatever. Make sure the CMDB hooks into and exploits other processes you already have and/or intend to improve like Asset Management. don’t forget to reimburse your staff for the additional time which is needed to implement the changes. start small does not mean that it might be going easier. If you read Tiger's book "How I Play Golf" you will find that he learnt golf exactly the way I have just described . RFCs. e. Capacity Management etc. People in IT operations have to deal now with two different environments at the same time. Therefore manage such "big changes” through an adequate programme is key. but other hardware CIs.the Configuration Management Database (CMDB). where the author quite rightly points out that the net only becomes a compelling proposition when you have broadband available. backed with internal marketing. etc. Think what chaos in SD might come up. project manager perspective.g.seems to work for him! Tuesday. sufficient training in advance. 2005 Add Comment The start small approach . Change Management. and your swing can only improve. Speed or service? I have just read an article in today's Daily Telegraph Connected section about the impact of broadband.

Tuesday. My wife had dropped of the prescription earlier. But for me. I just wanted service! Don't forget to save! I have just spent half an hour typing a blog about the joys of using a BlackBerry. Instead. She disappeared." "So while the Internet has come a long way in the past decade. the key part of the Telegraph article comes in the last few paragraphs: "People do not buy broadband on speed alone. not just speed. 2005 Add Comment Pharmacy . which is unusable until you have broadband. assume that the user is stupid and make it work from my point of view!!! Tuesday. but has some nasty humps and hollows in those countries / districts. you need to know how long it will take to get fixed.Posted by fjohannessen at 2005-08-11 10:29 A non-technical case-in-point.Combine the two articles and I believe you actually come to the conclusion that the world is partially flat. and you want to speak to a real person about it. August 09. yes. I stupidly pressed the view button to check it before hitting the save button tucked away right down the bottom. Whole lot gone! Please. I would have been happy. I finally became exasperated and asked what was going on? She says that they were filling the prescription and it would be another 5-10. go into Redirector Settings and at the bottom Adopting a Service Mentality 23 . However. but if your email goes down. or do they not know how to turn it off / change it? Start up the Desktop Manager. If she had just told me this up front. where broadband is not available. I drive off unhappy and without the prescription because I didn't want to wait any longer. but I find this message tacked on the end of BlackBerry emails extremely tedious. and then wonders why it doesn't take off. I was getting a prescription filled at a Walgreen's (big US pharmacy). 2005 Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld Perhaps it's me." "It's all very well to have a warp speed connection. August 16." Yes. the companies that plug us into it are still in the last century when looking after their punters. software designers. yes!!!!!!!!!! It's service I want. then came back and started servicing other customers without saying a word to me. Do they want to show off that they have a BlackBerry. I came up to the drive-thru window to pick it up and the person couldn't find the prescription. instead of a computer. Unfortunately not everyone thinks about this and chucks out a service.

although unfortunately large numbers of people seem to be losing the art of grammar and spelling nowadays. • • • I personally think that IM. we use Outlook and the sync in Desktop Manager says sync with Outlook . and for people not to take offense.Posted by Bob at 2007-09-21 14:06 Most people add the auto sig so people know that it comes from a mobile which could explain spelling. Peter. In the vague hope that someone from BlackBerry gets to read this. and I still want a decent device aimed at my needs rather than some technician's vague belief of what I want. designed from the enduser's point of view. but I'd still like it personalised. you have a great device for quick emails.Posted by peter at 2007-09-22 03:09 Fair point. 2005 Add Comment Blackberry Autosig . VOIP. Where is the Tentative? Where is the Forward? Attachments!?!?!? Enough said.Posted by Chris at 2007-11-16 01:38 I agree with the comment. I want to be given a break. In the meantime. Webpages . so I LIKE the autosig. texting etc. the Calendar sync does not work at all." Perhaps the autosig should say "sorry this is spellt rong and the grammer is rubbish! Blackberry autosig . You have to change it to BlackBerry Wireless Sync. On the system we have here. but could you add some features to Version 2 please? • Out of the box. Obvious?! Now you can accept and decline appointments on the BlackBerry. are all going to grow exponentially. (This woz riten on my blockbery!) Adopting a Service Mentality 24 . grammar? . grammar and short messages (can me mis-interpreted as rude).Posted by peter armstrong at 2007-11-16 09:46 Ok. because I think people should use the 'phone more and hide less behind email. I didn't have time to write a short one. grudging agreement. Tuesday. I'll stick to sending Owls. Oscar Wilde once wrote "I'm sorry this is a long letter. I have changed mine to my name and my phone number. personal .doesn't work.the sig lets people know not to get tweaked by mispellings or extreme brevity.you will find your signature. both of which are intrinsic to typing with your thumbs on keys that are too small.most of the ones I want to go to need Java. August 16. you may not understand the benefit . So I sit here in the hope that one day someone will invent a truly useful device.

driving on the correct side of the road and other assorted ramblings. The link points you to my first offering on toasters.typos are my own fault.Posted by peter at 2008-01-24 17:47 Fair enough. And if you don't believe mainframes are still going strong. IMHO.3 OS devices have Spell check. typos and grammar errors that are inherent with the blackberry..0 0. Secondly.103659. try this: http://www. but is this the start of the slippery slope to the state wher we dont care about our spilling and pinctuation.Posted by Tim Dowdall at 2008-01-25 09:38 4. but felt that I had to replace it because I want people to know if I respond to something. the tag line indicates that although you have responded.. the slippery slope . you may not be in a situation that means you can reply in full.Posted by Laura at 2008-01-23 21:08 I also thought this was kind of a snotty "signature" but do like it for the aforementioned reason: It explains the SMS text. witch lds 2 peeple hoo cant spel or rite inglish?!?!?! Spell check . Romans.com/hardwaretopics/hardware/mainframes/story/0. Laura Sent from home . August 16. 2005 A Design Classic One of my readers sent me this classic: Adopting a Service Mentality 25 . It has a place."sent from my blackberry" . I'm not at a comfortable workstation and may not want to respond in detail. New mainframe blog Forgot to advertise a new mainframe blog..html Tuesday.computerworld.10801.. I deleted it for a while. where I have been invited to join in. ========== Not sent from my Award winning BlackBerry Smartphone.. Thanks.

" Reminds me of many the websites I have used. If interested to go.eweek. I was one of the original team that put together the Business Service Management (BSM) strategy at BMC.be/Riga) Are you underutilising ITIL? A colleague pointed me at this article http://www. You know that a strategy (design etc. who was not involved in its creation. the people are quickly 'Adopting a Service Mentality'.This is from a hotel room in Riga. Even better when your customers tell you that the others are talking. 2005 Add Comment Riga . go soon before it's as popular as Prague is nowadays! (http://pictures. To quote Mike: "The edge of the sink is so small that it takes 5 seconds to balance the stopper as shown on the picture.) has been successful when your colleagues. In both cases the work is useless until it has been tested by someone else. The other option is to let it dangle. Anyway. which seem to tie you in knots because they never have the option you want. August 17. analysts. The cord is too short to lay the stopper next to the tap. Wednesday. No-one else does.com/c/a/IT-Infrastructure/Managers-Underutilize-ITILAdopting a Service Mentality 26 . This picture is not enough reason not to go to the beautiful city of Riga. customers. customers and media all talk about it (just try a few searches on Google and you will see what I mean). after years of communist and Nazi oppression. The person who designed the website / wrote the procedure knows exactly what to do next. or you have to search far and wide to find it. but then your feet get wet.Posted by mreys at 2005-08-17 13:01 Just to warn all other readers. Web design is a bit like writing a disaster recovery procedure. but you are delivering.reys.

because you can determine who is using it. In fact the most accurate CMDB I have discovered on my travels was in Moscow and that was claimed to be 75% (and it was only 100% for about 3 hours).Survey-Says/ the other day. the CMDB should be the heart of your ITIL processes.these all belong in an asset management system. In fact.. This is when you move IT from a silo'd technology-driven mentality to a business-driven service mentality. how much it is costing you to be offline etc. Hence you can find out how important something is from a business point of view when it breaks. A lot of my ITIL literate friends and colleagues are surprised by it as ITIL is widely adopted over here. Not because the Americans are slow. it’s a model of your IT environment and how IT is configured to deliver services to the business. discounts received etc.com/fang_club/lego_grail. maintenance details. and it has taken a while to swim across the pond. and to keep it up-to-date.html Actually I've always thought that you should combine work with humour. August 21. which is several years behind Europe in terms of ITIL. • I assume the survey was done in the US. I would never store information like licences. what business process is impacted. • Sunday. to which you can link from your federated CMDB. 2005 Monty Python and the Holy Grail I have not worked out how to link this to a service mentality except to say it will make thousands of people laugh and that is a service! http://www. and should be hooked into as many of them as possible to provide business impact and hence value. It’s not just a database. but I don't want to use this blog for politics).geocities. Many people think a CMDB is just an asset store. but due to the fact that ITIL started over here (my standing joke is that it is the only sensible thing to come out of the UK government in the last 30 years. which is a re-engineering across the entire IT organization of the provisioning of services. August 22. in a CMDB . These tools haven't been available for years. Note the quote: ". Monday.. No! The significant difference is that a CMDB holds details of the relationships between the items (Configuration Items CIs) stored within it.." • • Creating a Configuration Management Data Base (CMDB) is a total pain in the neck if you don't have tools to automate the population of it. 2005 Adopting a Service Mentality 27 .represents a lack of understanding on the part of upper IT management of what ITIL is intended to accomplish.

but that doesn't vary hugely across the bits of the earth that we are talking about here). The interesting part to me is that the whole reason they investigated this is that buildings all over the place (Scotland. the Aztecs and the Incas it reminded me that I hadn't given the answer. In fact.to track across a part of the sky. the time it takes for a pendulum to swing is dependent on its length (and the gravitational force. you have defined length. bandwidth etc. and here the theory is that they used a pendulum. but that's another rant at a later date. I sincerely hope there are intelligent people out there thinking about what that means Adopting a Service Mentality 28 . France. distance. Venus . fascinated by the the sun. but hey who thinks about the travelling user? Actually my mobile phone works everywhere except Japan and Korea. From length you can make cubes to give you volume. Similar schemes exist in other countries as well. and then fill them with water to give you weight .Time and distance follow-on In an earlier entry I set the challenge of coming up with a method of accurately defining time. as they are on a completely different system.e. or carrying round sticks or whatever. So if you get a pendulum that swings x number of times whilst Venus is moving across.) were all constructed to the same unit of length (to a very high degree of accuracy). All of this amuses me as I wrote about it 5 years ago in my book (note – contains adult language). One of the things you can do with your phone over there is pay with it. weight etc. are making the world a level playing field. The clever bit is how to get from time to distance. If you remember your school physics (a long time ago for me). They reckon that this could not be by chance and hence could not be based on someone's length of foot. 2005 The intelligent phone? I am in the middle of reading “The World is Flat”. if you have nothing else around then the only constants are the size of the earth and the movement of the planets. Middle East etc. I am personally convinced that SOA is the biggest thing happening in computing over the next few years. the moon and the stars. if you were living on earth a few thousand years ago.neat. These ancient people were. August 24. and technologies are going to converge rapidly. Plus ca change? Wednesday. where I hypothesise on the mobile phone becoming a personal identification (PI) system. The theory is that they defined time by the amount of time it took a planet . How many of you have a mobile phone? How many of you have credit cards? Why do you have both? The world is going to become more and more wireless.g. WS etc. The time part was determined by laying out a circle and splitting it into equal segments. Having watched a programme on TV last night about the Mayas. of course. which talks about how the advances in connectivity. Probably all on different standards and procedures. Just been reading the section that shows how advanced the Japanese are in the world of mobile phones (cell phones if you are American). 5000 years later as we need to make computer systems all over the world talk to one another through standards like XML. volume.

. August 26. the business-end of all this is totally clueless. but I argue that most technological innovations in the business environment were old-news a decade ago. check-out (or in!) to your room -. and as you pointed out.Oak Brook Hills Resort. Give me hassle and I will go elsewhere.98%. who see a dreadful level of service with no-one looking at the metrics that are pertinent to them. I guess I better keep track of that keycard. However. Their website boasted "High Speed Internet Access!" when in reality unless you were within 4 or 5 rooms of the center of the building you were out of luck as the range was awful. is basically thought of by both the business and end-users as merely a way to replace the Ethernet cables. If you look behind the figures you discover that the Government have given doctors a goal of handling all appointment requests within 48 hours . which is meant to be helpful. Now. Doctors' surgeries have achieved this by telling anyone who wants an appointment next week Wednesday to call back on Monday!!! So on one hand we have a metric. here is an industry (hotels) that could really take advantage of the concept of wireless transactions. They can't manage to set up an Internet access point with any degree or reliability. Give me convenience and service and I will pay for it. many companies have missed the boat completely.or how about this wild and crazy idea. Take the hotel Forum '05 was held at -. Who is measuring whom? I was listening to BBC Radio 4 on the way in to the office this morning and there was a wonderful item about measuring how successful doctors are at handling your appointment requests.. Completely clueless when it came to wireless. let alone implement a wireless way for me to open the hotel door with my cell phone or other device. This is a shame. On the other hand we have an alienated user population. Just imagine being able to use your wireless device to order up room service. in all its glory.this is the SLA. fulfilling an SLA.from the point of view of the person in the street.Posted by rstinnett at 2005-09-03 22:22 First off. Wireless. I learned a lot from your talk. Technology and business are so far apart in many areas nowadays it is not funny. if you then ask the patients the same question you discover that 30% of patients cannot get an appointment when they want one. However. which appears to be sensible. They think they are using technology. I finally convinced the company to purchase a discovery tool for the CMDB! Anyway. and thanks to your brief conversation. onto the subject at hand. The Government (no comment . Friday.. use wireless to replace the keycard. 2005 Add Comment Wireless or Clueless? .this is a non-political blog!) have asked doctors to tell them how many requests for appointments within the next 48 hours are successful. Adopting a Service Mentality 29 . The answer is a staggering 99. The possibilities are numerous here. it was a pleasure to meet you at Forum '05 in Chicago this past week.

one out in the field and one in. and I am enormously impressed that some of my colleagues have joined in. out. They do this by sleeping rough themselves. 2005 Do you want fries with that? What's the point in blogging if you can't point at yourself in a magazine? Wednesday. that is the end of the Adopting a Service Mentality 30 . September 07. including those who are not out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out. and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in. and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. This year they will be sleeping on the streets of London on September 23rd. and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. When a man goes out to go in. September 07. Wednesday. the men who are out try to get him out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out. It reminded me of how not to explain something to someone: The definition of Cricket as explained to a foreigner-You have two sides. When they are all out. 2005 The Rules of Cricket Those of you who are not English or Australian my have missed the fact that England won a rather important cricket series the other day. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out.Sound familiar? Wednesday. 2005 What are you doing on September 23rd? Supporting children and young people sleeping rough Since 1998 IT companies have been raising money (over £1M so far) for children and young people sleeping on the streets of our cities. the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in. September 07. There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.

etc. First line support must be extremely boring.Posted by mreys at 2005-09-16 03:38 .Posted by parmstrong at 2005-09-14 02:14 No Mike . These people have a standard questionnaire and follow it without even thinking.. .Posted by mreys at 2005-09-14 01:52 I sure hope that it's not the length of the game (up to 5 days ?) that reminds you with service desk telephone conversations . September 14.. they're probably not even paid to think! Adopting a Service Mentality 31 .-) My experience . 2005 Add Comment What part ? . Then the fun started: "Who was driving the car at the time?" No-one . I left the car parked overnight and came out in the morning to discover the windscreen was cracked.. Hilarious.IT WAS PARKED . etc..it was parked "How long has the driver had a full driving licence?" Not applicable "Was the driver hurt?" Not applicable "Was anyone hurt in the accident?" ARE YOU LISTENING .NO-ONE WAS IN IT!!!!! "Did you talk to the witnesses?" "What time did it happen exactly" "How did the accident happen?" I DON'T @~*@*# KNOW .I WASN'T THERE!! etc.I was particularly thinking about an insurance claim I recently had on my car.if you're not involved.game! And that reminds me of some help desk calls I have had with companies round the world!! Wednesday.

the big ITIL conference. In the middle of the meeting we all heard about Hurricane Rita growing in strength from minute to minute so Bob (the big boss of BMC) flew all the Houston folk back early to sort out their homes and families . with no time to blog.and there were 1800 people at the conference (a couple of years ago it was probably less than 500). but said they would not comment on here as we currently require registration for comments . This has grown enormously in the last few years . the new International Standard for IT service management coming soon. People ask if ITIL is a fad. I am just downloading it now wonder how many of the rules I break? Obviously written for the (American? and other) markets where the ability to express yourself Adopting a Service Mentality 32 . Friday. 2005 A busy week Been a busy week this week.see my colleague's blog and the link here . The answer most definitely is that it is not a fad. where we held our International Analyst Conference.thanks! Several of the analysts knew of this blog. and actually met someone who reads my blog . it can work very well (if it has management backing and a committed project manager) and it is the foundation for ISO 20000. 2005 To blog or not to blog. Sunday I flew to Chicago for ITSMF .I will take this up again with the powers that be and try to get it changed. which is also celebrating 25 years. Friday.hope you're all OK. I created a history quiz for them. Then flew back to UK for BMC's 25th anniversary yesterday. Flew on to Vancouver. reviewing world events (with music clips) over the last 25 years . September 23. Lots of flying . the person in front always reclines their seat when you least need it shoving your screen straight up your left nostril. that is the question A handbook that offers advice to bloggers who want to protect themselves from recrimination and censors has been released by Reporters Without Borders. or whether it works.contact me offline if you want a copy as it's big!! Now I have to get ready to fly to Dubai tomorrow for their GITEX Conference. £60. I dream of the day when we just carry our hard-drive and the screen and keyboard are provided everywhere. September 16. and the person next to you has sticky-out elbows that stop you typing.I'm in the wrong job! Just watching the World Matchplay golf from Wentworth.who does the algorithm for flight prices? They are either the cleverest person on earth and should be used for something more productive or do they simply use a random number generator? I don't work on planes when sitting down the back as there is no room for your laptop.000 if you get knocked out in the first round! I need to practice my golf swing this weekend.

Plug in cable (why not put it in bedroom to start with or give me wireless?). crank my Internet browser into life. fire up this steam-driven marvel. I will get the front desk to call you.when it does I shall go and live somewhere sensible! Friday. Fortunately the UK has not yet gone down the route of farcical lawsuits . How much later I enquired? October!" Reminds me of the old days of waiting for the IT department to deliver a new project. I was told that 20% of the world's static cranes are currently in Dubai. which tells me to go down to the business centre. with ERP and other initiatives delivering code faster. "That is not an IT problem." Five minutes later they ring. I wanted to do my email." I went out to dinner! The next day I went to the front desk and asked again . So I phone the business centre. September 29. you can do email in your bedroom. 2005 Fawlty Towers? My previous blog entry on the problems in a hotel in Dubai prompted a colleague to pass on this gem: "I read with amusement you blog about getting internet access from your Dubai hotel.freely is nigh-on impossible. 2005 Dubai Been in Dubai this week chatting with customers (and playing golf with them!) The amount of construction work going on there is absolutely staggering. they ring. As usual the hotel managed to totally misunderstand the concept of customer service.lady there clicked on a screen and fixed the problem in five seconds. "You need to contact the business centre. I will get you a cable" Back to the room. it goes into the hotel web-page and asks me for for an id and password. Thursday. I was advised that cold water would be available later. I rang the hotel front desk to complain that there was no cold water for my shower. I will get technical support to ring you. But there are still a lot of Adopting a Service Mentality 33 . I march in there with my laptop: "Oh no." Five minutes later. "That shouldn't happen. so I read the hotel "services" brochure. I did not have the strength to ask them why they did not have a consolidated incident and problem management system. Things have moved on. September 23. I once worked in Saudi Arabia and stayed in a hotel when I first went there in August.

and you wonder where I am going with all of this. but we need to move forwards. Thursday. 2005 Sgt. The pace of change is staggering. but that's another story).. and my son has put down a deposit on a house. Adopting a Service Mentality 34 . October 06. Actually I see it is now called neo-luddism. My daughter has just moved out.com . but that I have two "Kids In Parents' Place Eroding Retirement Savings". Which is why I enjoyed reading this article on SOA.. dreadful implementation) is buzzing. I have four devices charging their batteries up for the next business trip (why can't I have one charger?). but life is too short.it has to be driven by business level contracts and not by technicians getting excited about new stuff.. by an analyst I know. the fact is that the reason for my neo-luddism comes back to may favourite peeve and that is that people get way too excited about the technical stuff and forget what the user really wants. and golf balls are going far too far and ruining some of the best courses in the world. I could at this point drop into some boring rant about the farcically iniquitous price of housing in the South East of England. my Blackberry (great concept. excuse me. my piano is attached to another PC and 3 more synths and . You may not like it and you may yearn for the good old days (actually I hated school. October 06. which is why I see Service Oriented Architecture and Web Services growing rapidly. but my Blackberry is calling my phone and the synthesizer is getting confused! Thursday. the ideas in Nicholas Negroponte's fabulous book "Being Digital" are coming true. I sit here typing on one PC listening to BB King playing on another PC (downloaded the album from allofmp3.. but I realise I have actually succumbed to a lot of it (the technology that is). 2005 The Meaning of Life Those of you who know me will know that I am bit of a Luddite with all this new technology stuff... the post has just arrived and I binned 95% of it (I don't want paper statements). my guitar is attached to a synthesizer and plays the saxophone if I want. This does not mean that I have some strange fetish about collecting smoked fish.legacy apps out there. The point is that life is all about change. my mobile phone plays the Pink Panther when it rings. Well.great site and the Daily Telegraph says it is legal). my new car can't handle the MP3 player unless I use an illegal radio transmitter (they are illegal here in UK). IT is the same . Peppers' Track 6 Until recently I had two KIPPERs at home. Now. But .

security. but the basic problems stay the same. then please spell it our way! I also hate bad punctuation.fortunately we are very unlikely to ever meet on a golf course. 2005 Plain English please A colleague pointed me at this. on the receiving end you need to listen and respond rather than behave like Basil Fawlty (if you've never seen Fawlty Towers on TV. but the English (and other nations) are renowned for being polite. This is normally an admirable trait (and one that is sadly disappearing amongst certain elements of our population) but IMHO there are times when we need to cast aside the shackles and say what we really think. In fact being British. e. The skill is taking that and combining it with the best bits of the new initiatives coming along. I personally find that humour / a smile works to break the ice on both sides. How often have you sat in a restaurant and said "lovely" when you actually wanted to say "sorry. please go and find a copy. Track 6? She's Leaving Home. The simple alternative is "using what you have". tuning.Talking to a large customer this week. October 10. Can we please not use phrases like "leveraging the legacy paradigm"? This is a "pass the sick bag" phrase. I also spell things with an "s" rather than a "z" so whenever someone in America puts "Globalization" on a slide or in a document I want to scream. Monday. "the book and it's cover" . then buy a copy of "Eats. I think the chef forgot to cook this"? Similarly. we agreed that IT has moved on.g. In fact as far as I am concerned leverage is a noun. Wonderful. backup and recovery etc. 2005 Are we too polite in England? I know it is dangerous to make sweeping statements and generalise.) cannot be lost.it is the essential guide to bad service starring John Cleese). I meet far too many people who take life (and themselves) far too seriously . I don't mean that you should become an obnoxious foul-mouthed rude git (the people I referred to above) but that you should politely and clearly make your displeasure known. availability. Shoots and Leaves". If you want to pretend that you are even vaguely global in your thinking. Thursday.yuck! If you cannot see what is wrong in that. and paradigm should be banned. not a verb. October 06. I have installed Bullfighter on my laptop and use it regularly to check what I am writing Adopting a Service Mentality 35 . As you have probably gathered from this blog I am a firm believer in the school that says you can combine humour and work. and hence the skills we have learnt over the last 30 years from running mainframes (performance.

co. It was then that I realised what a joy it was to have a friendly human interface as opposed to some bloody machine. Regarding the subject: see http://www. but when I got back home on to broadband. how about saying "thank you" occasionally when you get good service.. Personal service Was on a slow old dial-up all last week. Incorrect spelling is everywhere nowadays.uk/testthenation/ And how well would you perform on your third language ? Or just let me know (honestly) how well you've done.. And whilst I am firmly in rant mode.. In the middle of all this my laptop decided it was old and tired like me. whether you like it or not.. or when one of your staff does a good job. A fact that many people forget when designing websites that are due to be used in less developed countries . or some bloke (or blokess . a word you need on your bullshit BINGO card (ever played this? it's fun!). .bbc. attached himself to my laptop.Posted by mreys at 2005-10-11 16:14 Mr. If you know that learning a foreign language is a lot about imitation.I am not sexist) in some far flung part of the Adopting a Service Mentality 36 . I fear that this is the disadvantage of English being the main business language used around the world! Now. .. I had forgotten how horribly slow dial-up is.. you know what is going to happen in the future. Armstrong. Furthermore he kept me informed as to what he was doing and why. Chap there immediately downed tools.. so I spoke to our jolly friendly local IS people.. guess what? Same problem! Fortunately I had to go into the office today (normally I work from home when not travelling). diagnosed the problem (corrupt OST file) and fixed it. and went into a catatonic state every time I tried to synchronise my offline Outlook folders.in your own language. Leverage is.. and I'm afraid it will be difficult to stop. I thought it was the dial-up or the VPN. thank you for the wonderful advice on bullfighter.highly recommended.. on the other hand. Mike. October 11. so didn't get round to blogging. you will be amazed how positively people will respond. thanks for the comment on the big L-word. 2005 Add Comment 39/70 . project management.. I fear that this is part of globalisation. Tuesday. it increases the chance that you are the first to shout bingo when listening to a presentation on software roadmaps.but that's a separate rant. I would just like to ask for some understanding for non-native English speakers.

which was a good mile walk away. October 19. but what incentive do those people have for reducing the number of help desk calls? None! In fact.he didn't. Let me explain that there are two luggage delivery areas . Unfortunately this is all too typical of the pseudo service mentality. they want exactly the opposite. I know offshoring or outsourcing your help desk is all the rage. Barcelona airport was interesting . and I'm sure there are many more that don't have the attention of the press. etc. How can we account for that disparity in making help-desk decisions? Dell seems to be a highprofile company that's gone back-and-forth on this issue. who wants to know my inside leg measurement prior to suggesting a solution. etc. try looking here for amusement. "What did you score on that hole?" "Somewhere between 6 and 12!" Wednesday.world. it's so much nicer and quicker to just be face-to-face. waiting for the gasman to arrive as the central heating is up the twist. 2005 Add Comment The Value ... So let's play annoy the passengers and split them and their luggage as far apart as possible . and/or the system gives me enough information and guidance to fix it myself quickly.we landed at one end. As I explained in my previous entry. Unfortunately they decided to deliver the luggage at the other end of the airport. isn't it? Do we really value the cost-savings so much that we'll throw out the ability to have on-site support in favor of cheaper off-site support? Obviously. because everything gets resolved automatically. as you found out. What are your thoughts.problem was that I was in Barcelona! Why ask me for a phone number? Why not call beforehand? etc. He'll be here between 12 and 6 they said. then when it comes to the down-and-dirty of actually doing it. where they drive you mad asking for all sorts of personal contact info and then never use it. Sounds like some of the people I play golf with. the gasman was due to come round between 12 and 6 on Wednesday . definitely. which is why you should always go through a problem management exercise (which will probably reduce the number of help desk tickets by 20 to 30%) before passing over your help desk to someone else. the answer is yes. Now I am sitting in the kitchen typing this.30 on Thursday . My dream help desk has no tickets.thanks! Adopting a Service Mentality 37 . do it double-post-haste! But.Posted by cote at 2005-10-19 11:52 That conflict between knowing that being face to face with someone is much nicer than having to call up someone across the world is the perplexing thing about off-shoring.one right next door to where we landed and the other one a mile away. when the question is de-humanized onto a balance sheet.vague as the question above is? The gasman cometh? If the title of this blog means nothing to you. He actually came round at 10.

but we were being picked up by a non-English speaking taxi driver (whose phone number we didn't have anyway). apologise again. it's good and worth repeating: • • • Is it well made? Does it do its job well? Does it look good? It's not that difficult to design something well.he actually came at 4. to add insult to injury. 2005 Adopting a Service Mentality 38 . is not the button you have to press to change the cartridge . A similar thing has just happened at home. most of us had no luggage. Lesson 3 . because the fundamental ploy appears to be to make me walk as far as possible. Monday. where the printer cartridge has run out. I suppose this is because airports used to be for getting people on to planes and now they are shopping malls with planes attached? Then. because no-one told us how it do it right (as far as we can remember). It helpfully flashes a red light at you on one of the buttons. Thank you.oh no. someone drove into my wife's car (parked outside my mother's house) and drove off. you ^&$#&*~! Saturday. This. October 22. 2005 The gasman came! "The gasman will come between 12 and 2" . October 24. because that is where the airport told people that the passengers were coming out. I want to meet the person who designs modern airports. Are there any instructions inside the printer lid to help you? Don't be silly!!!! I can't remember if I have said this before.when it transpires that the fault is due to no-one explaining the (recently installed) system to the customer properly. so give them a copy of the instructions or an easy way to find them again. Lesson 1 .apologise to the cheesed off customer. and the customer can use it. He was of course waiting at the other end. The problem was that we were doing it wrong. Lesson 4 . but even if I have.don't make promises you can't keep.As it happens. It's the one next door with the unreadable icon underneath it. so why do so many people fail so spectacularly? Try using something you design and see what the user thinks of it.assume that customers will forget anything you tell them. Lesson 2 . A knowledge base is a wonderful thing if you can use it. that would be helpful and intelligent. of course.

offshore tasks and processes etc. a sensible and useful article!!! Read this. I just downloaded the whole thing to my PC harddrive (whence I can copy it to my iRiver any time I want!!!) Cheers Adopting a Service Mentality 39 . I simply bought an iRiver and copied across the mp3 folders.. consolidate servers.com some years ago . Now back to your comment . but I only listen to it in planes so I can live with it. but the link to import this in iTunes. Everyone seems to concentrate on the cost side and reduce staffing. So having filled up most of my backroom PC harddrive with repeated songs. October 25. and show the value that IT provides.. 2005 Add Comment Import in your podcast software ? . I have refused to buy an ipod because it uses that bloody silly itunes intermediate step.Posted by parmstrong at 2005-10-25 13:34 Ah.com (highly recommended).no idea as I don't use any of those.. Tuesday. and learn how to speak to CxOs. The user interface on the iRiver is crap. though. iPodder or other podcast software is well hidden! itunes etc. seems to look at the equally / if not more important value side.Golf etiquette At last. get promoted. but I hope the enterprise leadership people are reading all of this. 2005 Some interesting podcasts Just been pointed at this. Not everyone.Posted by mreys at 2005-10-25 13:04 Good site. probably good podcast. How much revenue do these systems bring in? How much does it cost if they are offline? Which are the core ones that the business simply cannot live without? Tuesday. where she talks about bridging the gap between IT and the business. My daughter got an ipod = copy number 2 of songs in itunes. To me there are two parts to IT . . Her boyfriend then got one = copy number 3 of same songs (it says you can do two ipods but it requires a degree in nuclear physics). young Michael.cost and value. I remember reading Patricia Seybold's book customers. Several other podcasts including Dr Lawrence Hrebiniak talking about how IT can help the business implement its strategy if they can find a way to communicate with the business and deliver meaningful metrics that are easy to understand. Ripped all the CDs I like to MP3s plus downloaded ones I wanted from allofmp3. October 25. where not to use your BlackBerry etc.here is an update.

Peter Snail Mail Went through the post this morning. If you take this thought stream further and get to the stage where all interaction is electronic.she repeats that you should drive your business from the customer's point of view. However. Yes. rather than the inside out. it got me to thinking about talking to your customers and asking what they want.yuck! Bridging the gap Last year BMC conducted a pan-EMEA survey of 500 IT Directors. Work from the outside in. Say thank you. so work on retention.. Knowing you. 2005 Add Comment Scary . predinosaur view of the world. From memory only very few of them have ever asked me what I actually want.Posted by parmstrong at 2005-11-04 12:54 Craig . because I found that option on the various companies' websites. As they always say it costs far more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones. Ask us what we want.good to hear from you. October 27.personal service.Posted by cmullins at 2005-11-01 18:17 Hmmm.. you arrive back at the theme of one of my recent posts . Apart from the terrible implications this has on the forests of this world. Too true. Listening to Patty Seybolds' podcast . As usual. and I seem to add new words to my hate list every day .. Adopting a Service Mentality 40 . and the 'phone has unfortunately become almost as dead as snail mail because everyone sends you annoying emails. Give us a little bonus now and then for being loyal. I threw away about 95% of it. I still fight for the abolition of leverage as a verb. You long to meet someone / talk to someone / be recognised as a loyal customer. the thought of actually asking you what you want seems a bit scary to me. A lot of my statements now are electronic. Moving on . I think it would devolve into a rant about the proper insertion of the letter "u" into certain words and the desire to never hear the word "leverage" used as a verb again. some others seem to resolutely stick to the paper-driven. Be nice to us. Thursday.my current least favourite is operationalise .see previous blog entry .. This research revealed that 70 percent of CIOs pinpointed poor communication as the reason for lack of alignment between business and IT strategies.

Next candidate . Actually I would also like it to come in a 12" cover like we used to get our vinyl in. can we please get rid of the name IT . where you need to take out a second mortgage if you are there for a week. Petrol in the UK .DUUUH! Of course we do. The record companies complain that we all download our music because it's cheaper .you drive away (forgive the pun) your customers. • • The common theme of course is that you gradually cheese people off. because you charge us iniquitous amounts. that's greed. press. Now I would happily buy a CD if it were a sensible price. Ogden's Nut Brown Flake etc. Monday. to write a guide on how to bridge this gap. What prompted this I hear you ask? Well. Inside you will find interviews with CIOs. then offer me something I want / something extra / a unique service or whatever and I'll happily pay the extra (if I think it's worth it!). this year we commissioned renowned business author and European Speaker of Year David Taylor. aka the Rip-Off Of The Year Award.As a follow-on. Net result . This is normally in the companies where IT is behind a closed door. Many people think IT should get a ROOTY as IT is considered to be a cost centre. If you want to charge me more. and only ever seen when there are problems.that's not service.? Other candidates: • Any designer clothing with the name on the outside . which also has the added benefit of a nice French meal and no tax for the thieving Government. No it isn't!! That immediately Adopting a Service Mentality 41 . as well as tips and techniques on how to improve the communication between the two camps. In fact.Information Technology. The cost of this has been steadily rising to the ridiculous levels they now charge.gosh almost sounds exciting when I write it all down!) and I had to park at Heathrow airport. Hope you find it useful. and they all go elsewhere . Electric Ladyland.if only there were an easy alternative we would all flock to it. What this means of course is that if you are there for longer than a few days it is much cheaper to get to the airport by taxi / train or whatever. October 31. In those companies where business and IT are aligned. For the older ones amongst you remember Sergeant Peppers with all the inserts.it's cheaper for me to drive through the tunnel to France and buy it there. I have just been to South Africa for a few days (BMC Forum.why aren't you paying me to advertise your stuff? Alcohol in the UK . £15 in the UK).buying a CD and paying full price for it (ca.the ROOTY. TV . This guide is now available. customer visits. IT is a fundamental part of the business strategy and IT is seen as a value generator. guru and author of the Naked Leader. because I like to read the sleeve notes and they are too small in a CD. 2005 Rip-off of the year award I would like to announce a new competition . then the CIO is on the board.

afterwards? I know it is debatable. waiting to be served!!! Shopping in Brussels. the assistant is on the (mobile) phone and he/she continues to hold the conversation! Apart from the total lack of manners and the fact that the conversation is normally about organising their social life. Monday. and we just stand in the queue. which you could compare to Selfridges or Saks to a certain degree.conjures up a vision of techy nerds peering into screens and talking to one another in TLAs about their SLAs and OLAs and am I boring you yet? Let's have a name that gives a positive impression and implies that the company makes more money because you're there. which immediately set off several examples of how not to treat people.. November 04. So as a customer.something my colleague talks about in his blog. And I get soooo irritated by their way of working. is it asking too much for a bit of concentration on the person being served? Actually I recommend that we all rise up and grab the phone when this happens and grind it into dust. November 07. and a third and fourth girl were wrapping and putting our shopping in bags. use (business driven) virtualisation techniques .. then run it professionally. As one might imagine. 2005 Serve me now!!! Had some friends round for dinner on Saturday night. Just an example. and all part of extremely difficult queueing theory. two girls we're handling the money. 2005 Add Comment Shop assistant provisioning .you try to pay for something. you hate it or you just don't shop . Why could the 'money' girls not wrap some of the shopping from the customers in the queue. But this has been going on for years. while the two girls in the front are waiting to serve the next customer until the girls in the back have finished. Somewhere around Xmas period. whether an extra (wrapping) resource is needed so that the 'money' girls could work faster. the money handling is a much faster job. but you continue to run your totally unnecessary database query at the same time and kill the response time.. If the service is important.. Any candidates (either for a ROOTY or for a new name for IT)? Friday.. and maybe hand over the unfinished job. you see the two girls in the back working their %rs$s off. whom we hadn't seen for ages. but make sure the assistant is smaller than you! Imagine one of your key customers is trying to order something from your website.-) Dynamic resource provisioning is not solely an IT challenge! Adopting a Service Mentality 42 . My favourite was the one we have probably all come across . If you can't predict the workload and hence don't know how much hardware to provision. So they asked what I do and at some stage we got on to blogging and this set of ramblings.Posted by mreys at 2005-11-07 14:40 In Brussels we have a shopping mall called l'Innovation (Galleria).

As an example of why I keep thinking this way. I rang up my cable company the other day for help as most of the channels on the TV had disappeared. which is of course what you always get in an English garden. If you can't see the connection between that and some of the IT systems. then lucky old you! Capacity planning died out as an art/science some years ago. Capacity management is of course one of the ITIL disciplines . now have to support a plethora of online web junkies. where I talk about how to move yourself across the Gartner maturity model from proactive to the service and value levels of maturity. and make them worry about things like data models. support of ITIL etc. I eventually got to a message that told me they were closed.) The tricky part for me is getting people to think the right way. called "Taking IT to the next level".). Adopting a Service Mentality 43 . Hey presto it worked again . cleaned out all the muck stuck in it from last year and put it back together again. There are actually eight core books and the most important one is probably "The Business Perspective".people just tend to forget about it and think that ITIL is just about help desks and incident management.for about ten minutes. which in turn will drive the need for the correct set of integrated products/solutions. November 14.hell. After trawling my way through umpteen layers of menu (press 1 for "I am losing patience". which you are unfortunate enough to have to use. At this time of year in the UK all the leaves fall off the trees and cover your garden. It seems to work quite well on consistent sized dry leaves. It doesn't work at all well on a mixed set of wet leaves. and guess what. 2 for "I am going mad". Which led me to wonder how they tested this machine? Is there a man in a factory somewhere who has a neat bag of leaves from one tree that he sprinkles on a dry flat floor (indoors with no wind) and then sucks? Probably worked perfectly. 2005 Leave it out! The title of this blog entry is a nauseating pun as will soon become apparent.Some more blatant self promotion I have just written a new white paper. As you will probably have guessed. and please ring back tomorrow. because people thought they would just buy another server . they're cheap aren't they? Suddenly it is back in vogue as IT has to save money and their systems. My wife told me that the stupid machine didn't work. So at the weekend I got out the leaf vacuum / blower machine thing to suck them all up. 3 for "I am about to commit suicide" etc. I am of the firm belief that the technology part is relatively simple (leave that part to the software vendors. which reminds you why IT is there in the first place. so I took it apart. I got the same message at the end every time. integration. which in turn will drive the correct processes. which work perfectly with two users. TELL ME AT THE BEGINNING YOU MORONS! Monday. I tried several other menu options.

You basically take a word (e.forget it. and have a look at the techniques pages).. find something that rhymes with it (rabbit and pork). highly recommended. I tried blogging from a BlackBerry .." which really means. "Got to my house (mickey mouse). What that actually means is that in the restaurant the floors. back to the hotel. (not always. but mostly) chop that in half (rabbit) and then use that instead of the original word . Anyway. we have an interesting form of slang over here called Cockney Rhyming Slang. but life gets a bit boring on the road. so you couldn't see where you were going. 2005 Empowering the user Whilst travelling I tend to jot down ideas for blogs (sad I know. are all made of hard surfaces with no sound absorption. It was my wife (trouble and strife) telling me to get the kids (teapot lids). which discuss how to move up the service management maturity levels and get IT to be a value enabler rather than a cost centre . found me way up the apples. The lighting in the bedrooms was so complicated that it took you half an hour to turn Adopting a Service Mentality 44 . It was me trouble telling me to fetch the teapots. put on my suit (whistle and flute) when the phone (dog and bone) rang..Wednesday. and I had written the phrases "empowering the user" and "gadgets".best software I have found is here. and thanks to Brendan for organising the event in the Guinness Storehouse). Modern designers seem to have forgotten the benefits of carpets and curtains and soft furnishings. Very modern. The corridors were all lined with black wood panelling. December 02. Thanks. Friday.easy really. walls etc. November 16.. but whatever) . dog went. 2005 I've been rabbiting again Been a bit quiet on the old blog front recently as I have been on the road for the last couple of weeks. so you can't have a conversation without shouting.I have been rabbiting (talking) again about BSM in a Podcast and a white paper. supposedly very appealing to the turned-on modern young professional (hardly a description of me. For example. very trendy. tables. talk).please have a butcher's (hook = look) at the links." Hence the title .g.. to explain the title of this blog to non-UK people. Just been looking at my notes. found my way up the stairs (apples and pears). which brought to mind the hotel we stayed at in Dublin (a lovely city. put on me whistle and the . and I need something to think about in between doing my Sudokus . Anyway. from this site you get a bit of the history and examples like: "Got to my mickey.

However. I thought perhaps it was just me being a grumpy old man. tell me to ring and annoy you every 4 weeks?) So I asked about the part on order and get the reply "did you talk to the Parts department or the Service department last time?" The problem is that I. That's how we design our stuff. half a mile from the nearest mirror. the hair drier was hidden in a cupboard and the only plug was under the desk. So they promised me to order one and let me know when it came in. There's a lot more. and that's why the CMDB is so critical in a Service Management environment . so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. it falls straight through as the gaps are too wide. and I couldn't turn the lights off when in bed . why haven't you told me about it ages ago? But. I expect them to have integrated systems that talk to one another." Seems very reasonable to me. The shampoo was in one of those silly little bottles where you can't get the top off when your hands are wet (fortunately I have twigged this over the years and loosen the tops before I get in the shower).so I had to get up. because it may get interpreted totally differently you know what you meant when you wrote it. December 02. 2005 Parts or service? Got a letter from the people who make my car saying that I have to take it in to be checked because of a "long-term safety related concern with the rear door handles". So. My immediate reaction was .yes I fell over something on the way! The shower (very modern) door had no seal so as usual you washed the floor as well as yourself. Isn't the English language fun? The moral here is to get someone else to read what you have written. and not to rely on me to provide the application integration.it's theirs. How often do we force our application designers and operations people to use the systems they deliver? Friday. of course. turn them off. and then go back to the bed in the dark . but you get the drift. 2000 years (at least) of hotel design and this is where we have got to? I hope IT can do a better job of delivering integrated. or do you expect the customer to do half the work for you? Tuesday. where he was woken at 2 in the morning when it turned on). December 06. The soap falls through too. As one customer put it to me when discussing why integrated products are so important . I rung the garage to book the car in. end-user related services on a shorter timescale.never ask for it again. go over to the lights. heard nothing (don't promise to call me."Peter. they don't.if this is a long-term concern. but all my colleagues were equally annoyed. can't remember and frankly that's not my problem .do you design your systems that way. but it was out of stock. of course. when you now try to put the top of the bottle on the soap rack thing in the shower. I will give you data once and only once . I have. there was no shaving mirror. The TV (an Apple PC with TV card) didn't show any TV channels (except in one colleague's room. The hotel would be fixed (probably) by making the designer spend a night there. perhaps they mean that this is a safety issue if I have the car long-term and it is fairly new.the right light on. and whilst doing that I remembered that I asked for a part to be fitted at the last service. useful. 2005 Adopting a Service Mentality 45 .

people have been asking me whether there is anything I really like. What a load of tosh. how can I help you?" before I have even said a word.They know who I am! Continuing from the previous entry where the garage didn't know who I was and who I spoke to last time (and they still haven't rung me back to tell me whether the part is in yet) I would like to give an example of doing it right. Other groups think that teachers should avoid arranging games of a competitive nature in schools so that no child feels that he or she has "underperformed". they are going to get one enormous shock when they truly meet the outside world. then have a really good time anyway. keeping this a good clean family blog. "Hello. here are a few in no particular order: • • • • • • • • • • A hugely diverse range of music from Albinoni to ZZTop My new Bose noise-cancelling headphones A well struck golf shot Sunset on a Caribbean beach New Zealand and South Africa are geographically stunning The Sistine Chapel / Michelangelo's David Virgin snow A field of daffodils Good service A decent cup of tea (can't get one of these in most countries as they don't understand the concept of boiling water.whoops I've started complaining again!) Thursday. Because I love to complain so much about everything. What I really like is when I ring them up. the usual?" as you walk in. The conversation starts with "Hello. Get real. they go into their system based on that and have my complete booking in front of them when I speak to them. December 08. Well. I wish all my readers a very Happy Christmas. Which leads me to part 2 of this blog entry. If we allow our children to grow up in a world where everything is perfect. If you don't celebrate this particular festival. Magic. I would love to win every time I go out on the golf course. Adopting a Service Mentality 46 . Mr Armstrong. My wife and I are going on holiday soon (30th wedding anniversary) and the people organising it have been brilliant. milk that comes from cows. 2005 Happy Christmas!? Certain groups in the UK think that it is politically incorrect to say things like "Happy Christmas" . my telephone number comes up their end. Reminds me of the old days of the village pub. but it ain't going to happen. Peter.rubbish. and tea that isn't made from sawdust .

A collection of systems that are average.Posted by mreys at 2005-12-12 17:12 Been to Boston recently for a beta class of the promising Capacity Management Route-toValue training.." Well. service support and service delivery that you can buy...php?/archives/233-Telling-the-truth. I normally have no idea at the beginning of the day and then something triggers off a wave of thoughts / rants / distress or whatever and off I go.be/index. but I've learnt all that with ITIL.. 2005 Add Comment Happy Hanukah. Would you be happy with that? Monday. and I totally agree that the starting point should include determining linkages with the core business and getting management support.. Sounded good. but you are not allowed to complain". The debate reached its peak shortly after the e-mail that was sent from a WalMart Customer Service representative who responded to one of the complaints with. whatever . December 12.. so I read on: Great concepts but lacks examples This book is very formal approach to IT services.If we continue with this ill-conceived and ignorant way of thinking I can see two alternatives: 1.-) ) You cannot be serious People ask me how I come up with things to blog about? Frankly.. the debate was on! Happy Holidays <> Happy Xmas. The ideas and concepts were very interesting. because no-one is interested in being the best What's your SLA? "Well. you reject that one as it was probably written by the author or a good friend and you start looking at the customer reviews: I bought it with the objective of having it as a reference for managing data center operations. THE TRUTH! The whole story on: http://blog.html (and many more places .reys. and I read the first review: "This is one of the most important books on IT strategic and tactical planning.. happy Xmas. Please don't give it to your Adopting a Service Mentality 47 . Number 1 today was being recommended a book to read in some email I got. On practically every television channel and news paper. A generation of users who expect everything to be 100% perfect and don't know what to do when it isn't 2. it works quite well sometimes. Good so far. .

monkeys and bananas etc. I assumed some of the interviews are not shown 2. it may be totally wrong . Go back and challenge things when you think they are wrong. Several things struck me as I watched this: 1. the author quite rightly points out that a lot of obnoxious. with strange words are useful? My latest hate words are incentivise and operationalise . Back to the blog . I assumed she purposely chose predominantly young people Adopting a Service Mentality 48 . My pet (sorry about the pun) example is John McEnroe.good on yer) ever had the guts to kick him out of a tournament. However. with a quantifiable benefit (how much is this worth to the company if I do it?) If you can't get a sensible answer.let's work out why. The book is very hard to read with wordy sentences. and this book makes some things even more confusing. If you need humor or analogies to make things clear consider another book.Why? We want to rewrite this application . which is what they should have done early on (and what he says should have happened in his autobiography). all is not lost. Why? Because he was allowed to. Sublime tennis player with totally obnoxious behaviour on court. useless behaviour is "because we have always done it that way". then why do the project? The status quo may be perfectly valid. we all know that animals can be trained to act certain ways .I should be a detective!?) What she is asking the passers-by is whether they prefer Internet Explorer or Firefox. Wednesday. 2005 Internet Explorer or Firefox? As a follow-up to my last blog on monkeys and bananas. I was sent this link offline.sad gits.Why? The answer should be a valid business reason.Why? We want to take backups twice a night . put me right off.if you read the monkeys and bananas link above.yuck! What's wrong with motivate and do? Why do some people think you cannot be serious and use humour at the same time .Why? We want 1 second response time . The best question in IT is: Why? We want 24x7 . Which brings me to number two .Pavlov. Ah.motivating people / how people behave. thanks. as he is now probably the best commentator on the game in the world.customers/clients it will scare them. Simplicity is much better. It appears to have been filmed in Washington Square in New York (worked that out by Googling the Garibaldi statue in the background . December 14. which shows a young lady interviewing random? people in the street. no-one (except the Australians from memory . UUUUUUUHHHHH! Not a good answer. Why do people think that long complicated sentences.

Then I did some more detective work. the hint is in the clothing and some of the interviews. the park doubles as the university's "campus green" — and is a part of Greenwich Village. and do something about it.unfortunately I don't know the problem you are referring to . Don't be frightened. confused . FireFox on Mandriva1 will run a lot of web apps that usually are "Windows only" for other Linux OS's.can you contact me offline and I'll see if I can help? Peter Adopting a Service Mentality 49 . 2005 Add Comment propaganda . and I do like the tabs a lot). the park is typically inhabited by a variety of bohemian. If you want to know what your customers really think about your service.I just made all that up. If you did a similar survey in a park in London. I enjoyed the video (in fact it made me download and install Firefox on the home PC. intellectual. Friday. but I do hate people using meaningless statistics in (I hope futile) attempts to sway my thinking. no idea what you are talking about" 20% "Sorry. I don't have cable TV. If they think it is lousy. you get the following from Wikipedia Because it is surrounded by New York University — indeed. don't watch those channels" 20% "I believe fox hunting should/should not be banned" 25% "Microsoft. Which is the point of this blog entry. also ask them why. nice touch. If you Google the location and University (again. and non-traditional people you get a totally different idea of the randomness of the sample. So why does BMC block me from attempting to access their products namely "Magic Service Desk"? The warning is fine. but then give me a chance to see if it will work for me or not. If they think it is great.Posted by peter armstrong at 2008-07-01 06:40 Jonathan Thanks for the comment . because it's all I know" 5% "Firefox" I have no ideas if the figures are right and I have no idea what the proportion of people using Firefox is in the UK . go and ask a meaningful subset of them. ask them why. I guess the answers would be: • • • • • 30% "Sorry.Posted by Jonathan Doors at 2008-06-24 10:25 Or put up some blog entry that is derisive about the competition without ever citing what is actually wrong with the competition. December 16. Oh and I liked the little caveat about the "tabs" in FireFox.

"Hooray" I hear you cry! If you get grotty service over the holiday period. Cheers Peter Friday. 2005 Adopting a Service Mentality 50 .All quiet on the blog front A combination of mega tennis elbow (ouch. smile. December 23. I hate PCs) and a long-awaited holiday means this blog will be quiet for a few weeks. say "Happy Christmas" and then kick them!!! See you in the New Year. when all going well we will remove the registration requirement for comments and we can start up some conversations.

Part 2 – 2006 The Dawn of Enlightenment? .

Posted by Bill Adamson at 2006-02-01 07:02 Top blogging Mr Armstrong. I am one of those people. to have a system to handle copious quantities of email whilst you are away. stunning scenery) is that you don't normally tip. January 25. When we did this in New Zealand. Get a PA to look at them for you and kill the rubbish 4. created a "To: Bill Adamson" filter and fine tuned a couple of other filters. travelling the world. taking into account another persons bad experiences. because if you don't do this you get nasty messages about your inbox being full. Problem now is that I have totally forgotten what I told people a month ago! So back to #1 above I think.even when you have had the pleasure of being driven badly by someone who doesn't speak a word of . From a colleague . I'm back again from my holiday! The good news . I find one of the most difficult things is knowing when to tip and when it has been included already. written an out-of-office message so about 100 of the emails were invalid attempts by me to respond to someone trying to sell me a fake Rolex or medicines or PC software. learn from it and ensure I do not have 900 unfiltered e-mails to contend with upon my return. they are easy to delete.delete them all. of course. beautiful place. I will then be able to prioritise.my tennis elbow got much better whilst I was away. The bad news is that clearing 900 emails on my return has started it up again! The moral of all of this is. Pray that someone comes up with voice software that really works I had. Wednesday. What I had forgotten about is that I have autoarchive set to delete sent items after 30 days. if it is important they will contact you again 2. No problem. Tipping One of the interesting things about New Zealand (where we went on holiday. Your e-mail problems instigated an e-mail solution. In fact. So as an IT planning exercise.Back again Bad luck. No special occasion apart from getting away from this awful weather seeking the elusive bit of sunshine and of course spending precious time with the family. thus saving precious time and any risk of personal injury. I have cleared out the backlog. Simple but effective. Only look at the ones where you are in the to: field and ignore any where you are cc: in fact. 2006 Add Comment E-mail injuries . of course. Here are some suggestions: 1. friendly people. the look of surprised delight on the person's face made it a pleasure on both sides. write a filter for this 3. In the US you are expected to hand over 15% . who likes to tip when I have good service as a way of saying thank you. I am about to go on holiday to SA with my family in February.

the point is that good service is a joy and I am happy to pay for it. What you really need is a handy phrase book with phrases such as "I may be foreign. Tuesday. and thought this is the most wonderful excuse I have ever heard for playing golf. January 26. First. hitting it and cleaning all the bits I could get at. I'm just off to run down my phone. I got it feeding paper again." Brilliant. don't print if there is no paper feed / paper starts to feed and then stops. which means the inside of the printer gets covered in ink. tips are taken for granted or expected regardless of the quality of service. Alas. At this point. the same is true in many countries.English. Thursday. If you are foreign and leave a small/no tip. or "Had you provided any degree of service. a bit of background. I was going to rant on about the misplaced use of technology / wasting the user's time and money etc. If you go out with French people. I can understand why authors get writers' block. 2006 Have you tested this? I was struggling to find something to write about this week. I'm not making it up!) My immediate reaction was "Ouch. "Sorry. After a fine afternoon's work of shouting at it. the waiters will probably take you to the Bastille and guillotine you! And no. get a new job where you don't have to work with the public". about a new golf bag with solar panels that charges your mobile phone (no. 2006 The application of technology A colleague sent me this link. In France. which worked beautifully for a time. Then I thought a bit more about it. January 31. and happened to read a review . need to play 18 holes to charge it up. I play golf to get away from mobile phones!" Actually on most decent courses they are quite rightly banned. I am not picking on the French. because the creative Muses were not helping me at all. Fortunately all of that changed when I tried to use my super-duper new photo printer to print a document. but I'm not stupid". my phone has run out. I would have given you a tip". Hint 1 to manufacturers. or "Why are we taking the scenic route rather than the direct one?". it then decided (probably because I shouted at it and hit it) to print in the wrong colours. they tend to leave a small tip and there's no problem. Here is a quote from the US: "Tipping need not be considered mandatory or automatic. I decided it was time to treat myself to a new one. Too often. Tipping should be done at your discretion and as a reward for good or superlative service. Bad service is a pain and I will never come again. I had a rather nice photo printer from manufacturer A. Same with IT systems. they love tourists. but then developed the tedious habit of not feeding the paper. see you later." Enough rambling . as the restaurant bill normally includes service already and the dumb tourist adds another 10-15%. or "Here's a tip.

You have three options if you need better control over the printout. When trying to print an email (memo style). if I discover that the fault was entirely mine. 2006 The plot thickens Continuing on from the previous entry.fineprint. Now.com/). 2006 Add Comment In one word . the print dialog changes based on what you're printing. Here's what they suggest: When you print a plain text message Outlook uses its printer dialog.htm).of Manufacturer B's latest offering whilst perusing a magazine at the dentist. It even lets you know how many pages have you saved by using it. is there an alternative to simply putting one sheet of paper in the printer and then cancelling the job after it prints page one of an email? Grrrrrrrrrr Wednesday. Yesterday. All of this means I am now probably going to spend several hours reading the manual again (yes. and lots of other nice stuff. lets you delete pages. it may be that I am being even more blind and stupid than usual. February 08.Posted by Shmulik Flint at 2006-02-12 03:42 As a rainforests fan.FinePrint . This is a great product that lets you preview just before the actual printing takes place.Posted by Anne Gentle at 2006-02-09 12:42 According to Outlook Tips (http://www. however. Where does all of that come in the SLA? Of course.outlook-tips. I had to print the first page of an eleven page document. I cannot find an option to print only the first page. Turns out. but I thought the whole point of computer interfaces nowadays was to be intuitively obvious / simple. you should take a close look at FinePrint (http://www. Outlook has two different print dialog boxes depending on the content you're printing . but with that wondrous piece of software called Outlook (or possibly with me).no way! The only options I can find are All / Odd Pages / Even Pages. I discover that the problem does not lie with the printer (glad I didn't name the manufacturer). Could I find the option that says which pages to print .net/archives/2005/20050927. I could have sworn I used this in the past? Am I being blind / has something changed? Or is this a cunning plot to encourage us all to write short emails (also a good idea)? As I am a fan of rainforests. or print several printed pages on the same sheet. I did read it when I bought it) trawling through FAQs. . Amazon efficiently delivered it a couple of days later and the photos from New Zealand are stunning. I shall keep very quiet!! Wednesday. February 08. installing new driver software etc.

do them every day and always have a book of them with me when flying to pass the time away. So there you go! Enjoy your enhanced print Do you Sudoku? Now I've started. 3. Edit message then choose Format menu and change to HTML). I thought I would share some of them with you.5 9's availability. 2006 The English language I'm reading a fun book at present called "Red Herrings and White Elephants". and the amount of time that is lost. Print to a digital format such as the Office document image driver and then print the electronic copy to paper. they tell you what level they are . I can't stop. Diabolical. Just had another thought. All of which leads me to the observation that you need to know what the end-user is experiencing. February 08.co. Moderate. 24 by 7 (by the way 24x7x365 annoys me intensely .encouragement to Victorian people playing badminton to keep the shuttlecock in the air . Does that tie in with what you are seeing your end? Do you have a mechanism for talking to them / contacting them and vice versa? What is your Change Management process? etc. Unfortunately their rating system went up the twist for the last couple of weeks and all the so-called Moderate puzzles were actually Tough or Diabolical. Convert the message to HTML (open the message.Gentle.1.sudoku. the Daily Telegraph publishes a couple of puzzles every day and as part of their SLA.org. I am a Sudoku addict . 2. Sudoku to Change Management in one blog entry . I discovered this by trawling through the chat forums on www. with their history and my suggested modern-day IT equivalents: "Keep it up" . Tough. There are still extra steps. select Edit.that's 7 years and then what?) "Rule of Thumb" .impressive huh? Wednesday.various suggestions from the size of stick you could beat your wife with in . which is all about the origins of some of the more interesting phrases that we Brits use in every day conversation. Good news is that the puzzle setter has now spotted the problem and apologised and we are (hopefully) back to the right levels. So what has that got to do with Service Management (I hear you cry)? Well. and you quickly get a picture of how many users are affected by a change outside their control. Press Forward and print using Word's print dialog. but I always want to know what's really going on behind the interface.

Normally we only find out when the irate end-user phones up and tells how "wonderful" the system is today. or successes you have had. and wonder whether anybody out there really cares.aligning IT with the business. but my broadband decided to die. Similar frustrations happen with blogging. 2006 Winter Olympics Wanted to write this last night. 12000 people appear to read it.two dogs fighting over a bone . and over 3000 people have downloaded my podcast on Golf and BSM. which bent and broke and the wire ended up coiled and tangled on the ground and looking like a wild grapevine email / IM / SMS. "Bring home the bacon" . February 12. so the conclusion is obvious . but that is not the point of today's blog.the Middle Ages. back to Roman bricklayers using it as a rough measurement . You sit there whittering on about things that get up your nose. Then. this morning I get an email from one of our lovely ladies in the US. Time we invented some new sports like cricket on ice or downhill darts? Sunday. February 12. who got me into this whole blogosphere thing.SLAs. "On the grapevine" . I don't have that many people in my family and I don't have that many colleagues at BMC. By sheer chance we are announcing some wondrous stuff on the 13th to address this issue. then feel free to send me stuff offline.(inaccurate old-fashioned) capacity planning.early telegraph lines used trees instead of poles.I have tapped into a stream of IT people who play golf. Please join in and send me comments. 2006 Thank you! One of the frustrations of running an IT system is not knowing what the person the other end is doing / thinking / experiencing. Let me know what annoys you (unless it's me!). and attached is a spreadsheet showing how many people are reading this and other BMC blogs / have RSS feeds to it / download our podcasts etc. thank you. and I will blog about it later this week (am travelling all week and won't be able to bore you with my ramblings). In the meantime I am off to Oslo and Helsinki this week to chat to customers. "Bone of contention" .prize awarded to a couple who could live for a year and a day in complete harmony without a cross word . Many thanks to those who have already contributed. I assume they will talk to me all about the Winter Olympics .a sporting event at which we Brits (with our huge array of mountains) obviously excel. At the weekend the telephone . or I have totally misunderstood the stats! On a serious note. and yes James they have promised me that they will get rid of the registration requirement. Well. Sunday. Now. imagine my complete surprise when I discover 6000 people have feeds to this blog. If you don't want it to appear online.

but useless. "wouldn't be it be so much simpler if we could just use one of the controls from one of the other TVs. What are the users actually experiencing? Are they happy? If not. I asked the people there whom they remembered from the UK over the years. No-one knew that our ladies had won the curling gold medal last year. Now. but forgotten for your good performances. Just for fun. My wife made the observation. why not and where is the problem? You cannot afford to spend hours looking for the problem or have a bunch of technicians pointing fingers at one another saying "my bit's fine". misses them terribly. Which reminded me of IT .probably needs new batteries and a darned good clean and I will do that later.brave. and the fact that Torvill and Dean redefined ice dance twenty years ago had faded from the memory. and that parts of the IT system are over-configured. This may and probably will change over time and the dynamic reconfiguration of IT is going to become a standard way of working as we go forwards. but no-one could call in). but if the fault was in my equipment then I would have to pay a £50 fee if someone came out and determined it was my fault. February 21. 2006 . February 26. It is possible that the service they are getting is in fact too good. Part of establishing SLAs has to be reminding people of when they are getting good service and asking them if they are happy. Only problem is that the remote control is a bit temperamental .in our weekend cottage also stopped working (could call out. The answer was Eddy the Eagle . both children have now left home. so I rang up the friendly local cable supplier to get the message that they aren't there after 8pm or on a Sunday.a dream or a necessity to reduce costs and improve service? Sunday.you are remembered for your disasters. All of which means that is vital to know what is going on at the coal face. if you'll excuse me. My wife. So I went and bought a new phone/answering machine thing for £50 and guess what it still doesn't work! As expected. after all they all do the same thing?" Standardisation . I am going to tell my cable operator what the end-user experience is!! Tuesday. 2006 Leaving home We have entered a new stage of our lives. we have just announced a bunch of stuff to address these issues. we spent a lot of time watching / talking about the Winter Olympics in Oslo and Helsinki. of course. That's service????? When I did get hold of them they told me the line wasn't working properly (good spot). As you have probably guessed. I am getting used to the fact that I actually get to park my car in the garage! It also means that we found a spare TV set lying round the house and stuck it in our bedroom. so please call back during working hours.

no need to register! Travelling all over the place at present.tedious. So. Bit worrying though "I'm still at work dear. where we talked about aligning business with IT. the role of the CMDB etc. and due to age and arthritis I don't carry a laptop with me. which was attached just above the sink: . so go for it! Let me know what annoys you in this stupid world driven by blind moronic designers (see next entry). I can see you are down the pub!" During the trip I stayed in a very comfortable hotel. When watching golf. the ball flies out of shot .Comments . Sunday. you're not. be home in about an hour.we have removed the requirement for you to register when adding comments to these blogs. Personal view is that you will never automatically discover everything. Also had me conjuring up a vision of all your employees having an RFID chip implanted in their body so that you could track where they are (not as daft as it sounds . all in Art Deco style." "No. but also encompasses personnel. because otherwise you would have to buy a new version next year . Not a problem with general email as this BlackBerry thing works OK. Spot on.did you ask anyone before you decided to change it? I have. However.already being used in some military and similarly sensitive areas). but of course attachments are a farce and blogging has to wait till I get home. 2006 Add Comment about freaking time . February 26. but that tools (like ours) will get you a long way towards it. you lying git. Several people raised the point that the CMDB does not just contain hardware. being a sad old fool. software etc.Posted by Chris at 2006-03-11 21:18 Thank God BMC got rid of the registration requirement in order to leave a comment! How silly was that?? Technology rules KO? I was in Copenhagen and Paris last week.reminds me of a certain PC operating system! Now the important bit . but I must give a stupidest design of the year award to this technological marvel.congratulations to the manufacturers on forcing us all to buy new TVs as they start to put more and more programmes on in wide-screen format. We had a very pleasant dinner with a group of CIOs in Paris. and that even more importantly with initiatives like virtualisation and SOA round the corner your Change Management process has to be a/the (?) key part of your whole CMDB implementation / exploitation. also waited until HD-ready TVs are more common. of course. Also makes me wonder when I read people claiming that they can automatically discover and maintain all the components of a CMDB. the amusing thing is when watching on a widescreen TV all the golfers who used to be tall and thin now look short and fat!!! I liked the old TV format . it is now Sunday and I am writing a quick burst of blogs before going to look at televisions .

enough. you get the picture . any chance of doing the same thing? I've never quite understood why I sit in Gatwick for two hours. The hotel room was very good and didn't suffer the usual end-user unfriendly features I have come to expect. If anyone from US (and other countries') Immigration is reading this. get my eyes scanned and whoosh I'm through. sit in a plane for 10 hours and then stand in a queue for an hour to give you information . On the way out I went to the IRIS recognition room in Heathrow terminal 4 and had my eyes scanned.send me your entries. This means that I now get to go through the quick channel when I come home . thanks for listening / talking to me. and frankly I would have paid for it if they'd asked. Thank you BAA.walk up to the machine.One assumes that the short cord is designed to stop you committing suicide by plunging yourself and the hair-drier into the sink. but I feel the designer has slightly forgotten one key fact .in its current format it is totally useless for performing the only thing it was designed for! Monday. 2006 Useful technology Just been to Vienna . February 27. to the positive side. I am sure that somewhere there is the "De Sade School of Hotel Interior Design" with courses in: • • How to put in 14 lights and hide all the switches so it's really tricky to turn them all off How to design shampoo and soap bottles for the shower that are impossible to open when your hands are wet Where to put the hair-drier (see previous entry) How to place a TV set so it is extraordinarily uncomfortable to watch from the chair or the bed How to make the alarm impossible to set / go off at the wrong time How to fill up the shelf space in the bathroom with so much hotel rubbish that there is no space for the customer How to make wardrobes that aren't deep enough to hang clothes in • • • • • OK.very friendly group of customers. Now. Technology that helps the end-user.

Regards Oliver Curtains! . Spot on. which results in people not being able to use the supposedly wondrous device. 2006 Add Comment Optional choices. It's either that or the class 'How to make wardrobes that prevent you from walking between the bed and the wardrobe' The option to make it impossible to set the alarm at the wrong time. And what type of cruel maids make those hotel beds? The sheets are either so tightly tucked into the mattress so as to cause the blood to stop circulating in my legs -or..and it invariably shines right into my sight-line in the bed.Posted by Steve McCarthy at 2006-03-03 09:48 This one amuses rather than irritates me : All lifts now seem to have a recorded message that tells you: a) When the doors are closing (err..Posted by Oliver Laube at 2006-03-06 11:30 Hi Peter.Posted by Mike at 2006-03-03 04:13 The class for the wardrobes deepness is optional. why? again) Write a book! . why?) b) Which direction the lift is going in (err ... Bad design Colleague sent me this link about the problems caused by bad design.that you could easily have captured in the previous 12 hours? Thursday. .Posted by csm at 2006-03-13 16:17 The thing that always exasperates me at hotels is when the curtains won't overlap each other and therefore will not close completely. Lift Messages . March 02. please write a book about your travel adventures. . I will be the first buyer. So there is this shaft of light that shines in through them all night long . sounds rather useful to me.. That is real life and so funny..the sheets are just haphazardly strewn onto the mattress with only luck appearing to be what keeps them from falling off.

where we ran a breakfast meeting with a group of CIOs.Phone for Discerning Adult . So let's just work on getting the right data. and how to microwave a bag of popcorn (she does not like popcorn). and a manual of the same size as the pilot's handbook to the same airliner. Why does an oven need to know what time of day it is?? I managed to teach her two basic functions: How to switch it on and set the temperature.people do. We were talking about aligning IT with the business. It has six buttons . I am willing to bet a pint of beer that in 6 months she is still cooking her meals in the old oven and the new one has found a permanent resting place in the back of a cupboard. 2006 Add Comment Design for the user? or cooking is fun and easy. . • • • We are making IT way too complex. The first thing I learned was that nothing worked before you had set the clock. I decided to leave the rest of the functions in the dark.• • Do you design for usability or function? How do you know if it's working / being used properly? I don't want convergence of devices . To sleep. She is 77 years and her real reason for inviting us was. Everyone I talk to about data centres of the future also talks about simplicity. because she thought that the old stove is too large for two persons. March 08. I can only hope that this will happen before the next power outage in the kitchen. I was presented with a shining monster with a panel that looked like the overhead panel in the cockpit of a medium sized airliner. Computers do not generate value . For instance. so I don’t have to go back and reset the clock. Computers are stupid.Posted by twulff at 2006-03-08 09:29 Last Sunday me and my wife were invited to dinner with a very short notice by my mother in law.Joel Stransky (the man who kicked the famous drop goal to win them the Rugby World Cup in 1995). Wednesday. and I got to meet one of their sporting heroes . Very nice chap.which has the basic functions (phone and SMS) and nothing else. perchance to dream. at the right time.I want simplicity. what I want is a PDA . to the right people. but she needed instructions for operating it. they only move data round. and the question came up as to how do I .most with multiple functions and a turning knob with different functions if you turn it left or right. How do I change? Just got back from a couple of days in South Africa. via an interface that is right for them. in the right place. that she had bought a new combined microwave/converges/grill oven.

Wednesday. Get rid of the silos in IT . rather than running off and getting excited about some new toy you can buy. the new style IT person on the other hand knows how his/her servers/databases support the business. .feel free to join in.reorganise according to services.000 transactions for you last week.pdf • • • • • • • • • • • I am sure you can think of some more .not we ran Oracle at 99. That way they will learn what your company does and understand/resolve incidents far quicker. Learn to say megabuck.it smacks of techy nerds.bmc. Send your IT people out into the front office and make them help the people / use the systems. If anyone in your department says they work on servers / databases / networks etc. Have a look at this http://www. Take the LOB managers out to lunch and understand their issues. Don't report in via the CFO. March 08.IT just happens to be the tool that they keep running to help do that. which generated $x of revenue .83% Only use techy speak in the IT department . This time it is all about the difference between old-style IT staff and new-style IT staff (or if you prefer old-style IT and new-style IT).nowhere else. and when he/she can afford to take them offline.com/emea/doc_depot/EMEAMgmt_GuideOct2005EV. 2006 How to keep your job? Some more self advertising . Don't only appear when things go wrong. Present business metrics. Be seen regularly as the supporter of the business and sell yourself in a positive light.I have done another podcast. The company (probably) cannot generate any revenue without you. ask why and how much is it worth. The new style IT person will keep his/her job. so you should be on the board helping build the company strategy. The old style IT person will retire or more likely get replaced by someone in India or China. They help your company generate revenue . When given a new project. Pretend you are on the other side of the desk. What do they want to hear / know about? You are talking and they are saying in their minds "So what?" Answer that question. In my opinion old-style IT people talk about the performance of Unix/Oracle/DB2/IMS or whatever and the size of their buffer pools. not megaflop or megabyte. The business can't run without you so call yourself something like Business Services or Information Solutions. not boring techy numbers.. tell them they are wrong.change from a technical to a business frame of mind? Several ideas / options came up: • Get rid of the name IT . We ran 250. That way you are only seen as a cost centre.

2006 Will this stop you wrecking your back? My regular reader(s?) will know that I hate lugging laptops and other crud round the world. . the two systems don't talk to each other at all Beautiful mature garden / beautifully maintained property . March 20. If you think about it.5 different systems with no integration Unique decorative style . way behind on releases Previous owners have all left their mark .great web portal.we hate the old (event) console.enormous potential I was looking at some estate agent's (chap who sells houses) particulars. 2006 Desirable property .complete shambles. keyboard. but no-one wants to admit it Unique retro-look kitchen .) is common and if the hotel or airline provided these pieces you could just plug in your hard-drive (iPod?) and off you go. the vast majority of your laptop (screen. Integrated systems and we spend a lot of time and money on maintaining it as it attracts customers and generates revenue • • • • Which one is worth most to the business? Monday. power supply etc.we chose the wrong system and have been regretting it ever since.we have off-shored the help desk and they have no idea what we do Previous owner has cleverly merged two properties . and I don't know how it works in your countries but over here if the estate agent says enormous potential.Please have a listen and let me know if you agree. March 20. I can't see the point of lugging stuff round that is unnecessary.hideous web portal In slight need of repair . but no-one will let us get rid of it Separate granny annex .major cost cutting. Monday. I wondered then how IT people would describe their systems to the outside world: • • • • Enormous potential . it basically means that the property hasn't been maintained for years and the garden is a jungle.

which appear to give you the option to carry your screen and your keyboard in your pocket neat. .Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-03-23 11:49 Good thinking Jan . 2006 Add Comment Why bring your hard disk ? .it means I am steaming mad. You can read the story and see some additional pics here: http://www. and absolutely yes.wave-report. NEC's prototypes .A couple of weeks ago I was sent an email with pictures of these interesting looking devices.Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-04-12 11:38 Many thanks Brittain – fascinating Spitting Bullets! For those of you confused by the title of this entry .htm computer pens .com/other-html-files/P-ISM%202.Posted by Brittain Fraley at 2006-04-10 18:07 The cool pics are of NEC's prototype pen computer. In the meantime I will try to do some research Monday.Posted by Jan Flodin at 2006-03-23 10:18 Enlightened by my experiences in Sun's universe I challenge you to take your Laptop frustrations one step further: Why carry anything at all except maybe smart card proving your identity? As you mention everything you need to present and manipulate your data are standard devices that easily can support an internet connection.the only reason I hadn't gone down that path is because I have spent too many hours waiting for the Internet to respond to me! But give me the bandwidth. When you're on the net you theoretically have access to all the power and data capacity you can dream of (check Sun's newly announced GRID and start your imagination) so why not have your data somewhere in cyberspace. please let me know. If anyone knows any more about these. which naturally leads me to my old favourite comment: Who ever got the idea of using PERSONAL computers for CORPORATE business? spot on . In order to be free you simply have to distance yourself from Microsoft. March 20. where you by the way even can have someone backing them up for you? Your current problems are all created by the fact that Bill Gates want you to be tied into his PC based technology whether it's Desk or Lap Top.

with only a wireless connector .At 8 this morning. Now I am going to go through the most important stage . do the same thing again ." I try the laptop through the wireless connection .. this used to be pretty accurate.problem was with the connection in the junction box out in the road. I had almost the same exact experience with Time Warner Cable in Seabrook Texas. nothing. I get the comment "Please ring xxxx xxxxxxx for broadband problems and we will charge you an iniquitous fortune to tell us about a problem of our own making. Maybe we should both call on our cable service providers and explain how transaction management needs to be handled. Fortunately I have a laptop with an Ethernet plug and this is possible. I went on a train in England for a long journey. and I can bore you all with my ramblings again (and more importantly get my expenses finished). no big deal.nothing. nothing.. To cut a long story short. because I have gone through Problem Detection. why does that all remind me of the Transaction Management stuff we announced recently. she arranges for an engineer to come out. I call the other number and talk to a helpful lady in some foreign clime.." OK. but the meaning was.that is not my responsibility. so I go and reboot the cable box and the wireless router and the laptop and .broadband didn't work. 8 hours later. Well I'm off to grab a Tequila. the message was not exactly like that.. Problem Isolation and Problem Resolution. but much to my . In the middle of 87 options for whether I want to sign up for this month's special Neanderthal (all the programmes are that old) TV channel selection.Posted by mike smith at 2006-03-31 15:30 Geesch. I tried to use my laptop . The engineer gets my laptop working again with it plugged direct into the cable box. but I asked her what would happen if I had a desktop box. OK. So I call the Freephone number of the local cable supplier for help. he has been and fixed it . who takes me through all the procedures I have just done twice and tells me it is not working. Anyway. Now. I had been led to believe that trains in England never leave or arrive on time.silence the other end... For years. 2006 Add Comment Wanted to shoot bullets at my cable provider . another 27 reboots and the judicious use of another PC on my home network..Problem Celebration (mine's a Guinness). happens quite often. Tuesday.. The most amusing part of this was when she asked me to plug the PC directly into the cable box (20 yards away in another room). as that does not appear to be in the script. Trains and boats and planes Been doing some "different" travel recently. March 28."not our problem". OK. but "I can't help you with the wireless router . I call the help centre again . For the first time in ages. To be honest. and the fact that we announced that we intend to acquire 100% of Identify Software? Oh yes.

at the weekend I had to climb on a series of flights to get to the north of Norway (more about why in a moment). but was told it was not their problem and I had to take it up with the baggage handling company. not passing me off to someone else. In fact the shop-owners should pool together and buy the airport a few more luggage scanners? As I got on the plane. I was told (and so were many others) that my hand luggage (a suit carrier) was too large so it would have to be checked in. In fact. OK.snow-covered mountains. Now. I am totally supportive of security procedures as I don't particularly want to share an aeroplane with a nutter with a bomb. Same thing on the return journey. because the Norwegians are intelligent enough to provide a wireless service even out there well done chaps and thank you. could you please compare the train experience with the plane experience and guess which one made me a happy satisfied customer? Tricky. April 05. my telephone worked pretty much the whole way and so did my Blackberry. The queue for security at Heathrow Terminal 4 was nearly an hour. Unfortunately. WRONG!!!! I am your customer. but it is not designed to be handed in.amazement the train left on time. wasn't it?! So why was I in the north of Norway? Well. I tried to report this to the airline. fjords and pretty villages. because the flight was delayed an hour and the luggage took an hour to come through. so at the other end it was no surprise to me to find that they had broken part of it. then go back outside the building to join the security queue. you had to check in. Then. clear water. Now. but if you are constantly forcing your customers to stand in a queue for an hour (this has happened to me several times recently at Terminal 4) then something is wrong with your security process. Much to my amazement. Not a great start to a trip and guaranteed to put everyone in a foul mood before they even get on the plane. arrived on time. I only just had time to catch the next flight and thus had no time to vent my wrath on the appropriate people. which took place on a boat cruising down the coast of Norway from Tromso to Trondheim.which is all rather beautiful . 2006 . and also obviously having a knock-on effect on the shops in the terminal. you are meant to be looking after me. the service was excellent etc. Wednesday. I was presenting at a customer conference.

Bentleys and Ferraris 5. April 05.now I just need to work out how to print them? 4. 2006 The (ITIL) Masters First question . but I don't want to push my luck! What do these all have in common? Back to my art teacher at school. This was prompted by a colleague who talked about his new espresso machine and tells me he was very pleasantly surprised to be sent some really good coffee for it.see www. enough of that .load in photos. who think that golf is played by boring old fools (me) or overpaid youngsters.if the world is suffering from global warming. took the opportunity to watch the Masters at the weekend and enjoy the beautiful flowers around Amen Corner. 2.com . but it is more difficult to find things that I really like.I need a couple more lenses though 6.if hot air rises. Allofmp3. where I buy my downloads 7. Wednesday. Bose noise-cancelling headphones . Draught Guinness There are some more. simple to learn 3.really neat music software that I use at home .stitches photos together to make a panorama . who said you should look for 3 things when you buy something: • • • Does it look good? Is it well made? Does it do its job well? Great rules for ITSM as well. and have peace when I want it . why is there snow on the top of mountains? OK.back to the important stuff in life . tell it to merge and it does it.radargolf. I like Aston Martins. without nasty looking joins .easy interface. happy to demonstrate round the world for you at conferences if you send me a scanner and a dozen balls. why is there snow in my garden this morning? Second question .brilliant MP3 site.neat idea. .golf. Photovista . so they would fit right in.for the first time in years I can understand the movies on an aeroplane.bliss 8. I hope that even those of you. My Canon EOS digital camera .Things I like Thought I would try a different spin today as it is easy to be rude about stuff.com . so here goes: 1. Band-in-a-box . I present all over the world about computers and golf. Golf balls with RFID chips in them .

2006 Add Comment Global Warming . My driving has actually been improved by a combination of People (me and the golf pro). April 10. .Posted by csm at 2006-04-18 01:19 Unfortunately. This year.to fix a problem. Now. Do we hate each other? I've been reading and commenting on this thread. which shows some classic examples of a sensible request rapidly dropping down into boring techy speak. let me know and I will bore you to tears. Process (lessons and practice) and Technology (yes. what annoys IT about users. you do get a "free" coffee table to go with it !!!! .I played golf on Sunday and it was rubbish.gosh those three remind me of something! So. Chipping and pitching are subsets of the full swing. I have exactly the opposite . IT about business etc. OK.g.. Now. as those who play golf can probably guess already. including putting as badly as Fred Couples did on the back nine. Monday. and crud round the greens. users about IT. I admit putting is a bit different. global warming is poorly named. If you read the article you will see that whilst the book is a bit expensive. I was going to ask for examples of what annoys you most about other people e. but that all seems a bit negative. It would be better named "global climatic instability" because there are indeed some areas that are getting colder and others getting warmer. and my short game was wizard. but I am still trying to hit the ball first (rather than the ground) and I need to be pointing in the right direction. but build on the same principles as I used for the long game. I succumbed and bought a new driver with weights in it which cuts out/down your slice and it works!) . So I would much rather people waded in with constructive ideas on how to bridge this gap. and that is probably where I am going wrong as I am trying to do something clever and different. business about IT. Last year my long game was crud. April 12. Any volunteers? Wednesday.magic off the tee. In golf you will often see the professional going back to first principles . what next? Obviously apply the same techniques to the short game. I sat back and tried to work out why.stance / grip / posture / swing / tempo etc. if you can't see the parallels between all that and ITIL. 2006 Which one is free? A colleague sent me the link to this rather fine coffee table book.

How was my golf? I know you are all dying to know how my golf was over the weekend. Now you are all wondering how I am going to tie that back to SLM / ITIL etc. that of course prompted me into thinking about other interesting reverse possibilities. To me that is why the combination of ITIL (processes) and CobIT (controls) is coming up more and more at customers. Ask your customers what they want and why and what it is worth . Which is what drives me mad when people start talking about boring techy features of some gadget or other.. but we will rise above that. I am actually getting vaguely near my handicap again .you will be amazed at the answers. that solves my problem. April 18. Also. more recently: Sun's deal (US only I think) to offer developers subscribing to its software development tools. 2006 Queueing theory Regular readers will know that my life is fairly sad . what was the problem? Fortunately my daughter's boyfriend is a fine golfer (who hits it so far that I don't even see the bloody thing land) and he spotted a fundamental flaw in my swing . and get a free mobile phone. but what it points out is that at the end of the day you are looking for a total solution.) but hadn't got the control mechanisms in place to see that the processes were actually being done correctly. Buy an expensive digital camera and get a free laptop? Buy 50 sets of guitar strings and get a free guitar? Buy lots of electricity and get a free server? Buy 5 shirts and get a free suit? Of course.not bad.greatly improved.. Well the answer is that I had implemented some processes (backed by lessons / drills etc. Tuesday. Medium game (irons) .there are some obvious real-world examples: buy into a network contract. or some piece of software get a life! I want a solution. 2006 Add Comment More examples . Short game . not just a bit of it.hooray! Now. Long game .Well. Tuesday.room for improvement but heading the right way. not a person who has swallowed a marketing / technology dictionary and is spouting meaningless jargon at me. April 18.the old joke here would be that the fundamental flaw is that I swing at all. I .Posted by Neil Ward-Dutton at 2006-04-19 05:03 Peter .to prove this I am currently sitting in the foyer of the Hyatt San Francisco airport hotel on a Saturday morning writing this blog entry. By the way my colleague Ken talks about all this ITIL and CobIT stuff in his blog. we all know it isn't really free. a free Sun server to develop and test on.

What I want to know is how long the queue is and whether there is a chance of my reaching the head of it before I die of starvation or boredom. So why am I talking about it? Well. is the cheap option selected by the chief bean . We are rather good at this in the UK . of course. there will be someone ahead of you who appears to have the IQ of a goldfish. The realistic best Service Desk would implement several actions to make our lives happier: • • • Problem Management .it is part of our breeding / training. for those who care) through my Bose noise-cancelling headphones so I can't hear all the rude comments my colleagues are making about me! Anyway. As I have said before.get to the root cause and eliminate Proactive notification . Santana is on to Samba Pa Ti now (Abraxas album).queueing. as usual I sat in Heathrow airport for 2 hours.whichever one you choose. 15 already chosen by other people they will stand exactly in front of the doors seemingly unaware of the fact that other people will need to get off first. Wonderful. Think you get my drift. 2006 Can I help you? You all know by now that I am not a great fan of technology for technology's sake. This imparts no new useful information at all.crazy. and yes I will happily pay for the privilege of using it? There is a also a rule of queues like this . I digress . If it is a security queue at the airport with 87 signs telling you to remove metal from your pockets and take your jacket off. You have gone through 18 menu options and then get the message "you are being held in a queue". This led to me thinking about the main point of contact between users and business/IT .namely the Service Desk. in a plane for 11. Saturday. and a bunch of frustrated users. Something isn't working properly so the Service Desk gets flooded with a series of calls.am also listening to Santana's Black Magic Woman (written by Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac. When they get on the plane ahead of you with a ticket that says seat number 44H. April 22. Other countries appear to work on the rule that a queue is 1000 wide and 1 deep. and begins to lose its cool. but that I do get turned on by the (rare) intelligent application of technology. Can someone please sort out a sensible immigration system. Talk about stating the blindingly obvious. Not a pretty sight. they will wait until they get to the head of the queue and then proceed to produce metallic objects from 23 different pockets. or as the Americans would call it standing in line. all so that I could stand in a queue at immigration for another hour . If they get into a lift (elevator) and press floor 18.tell me before I ring and complain People on the Service Desk who speak the same language as the users do and understand their culture Self-service where it makes sense • What most companies have gone for. with floors 7. the perfect Service Desk would have no calls. 13. This also got me thinking about those particularly annoying telephone queue messages. they will be absolutely shattered to find that the seats start with number 1 at the front. which exploits technology and speeds things up.

So I send off the voucher with the code blah blah. but not in Italy according to my atlas). but it does mean that you have to: • Determine which are the priority services . 2006 Free Holiday? There was one of those "you have won a prize" things in the newspaper a few weeks back. and then close the ticket.but sucking business process info into the CMDB will become more normal as we move forwards Which. with the result that we get rubbish service and people who frustrate us even more when we complain. so I thought why not. I called the number today and now we get to the twist at last. proactively notify me if necessary. which is why I was in San Francisco last week. not a boring string of technical metrics Which should all hook into your (end-to-end) monitoring and your service models.software probably can't do this. but the call cost was way lower than the worst prize. Well. As usual. Last week in San Francisco I get a phone call from a hideously cheerful man (who kept calling me mate . in fact. he choked when I told him he was talking to my mobile in California (that probably cost them more than the call I made . and much to my surprise all the prizes seemed attractive. it cost money to phone up and find one which one you had won. GET LOST. Well ours can. I read through the prizes to see where the catch was. May 02. so you can assess impact and prioritise Which in turn look at the CMDB to see who is impacted and proactively notifies them yes CMDBs can and should contain people too. of course. All I need to do to collect my prize (and they couldn't tell me why Italy had moved several hundred miles left into the Atlantic ocean) was come to their offices and sit through some brain-numbing presentation on why they are the most wonderful travel people in the world. you need some intelligent business-related input .seems good so far. I make the call and discover I have won a holiday for two in Italy including flights . which many people seem to forget Which also hook into your capacity planning / provisioning so that IT can be sure they have the correct (business-driven) capacity available at the right time without spending a fortune on redundant kit • • • • This can all be done (and is being done) today.counter.ho ho!). where we were updating our people on how all of this stuff fits together and how it pertains to your particular industry. So why can't the software determine that the SLA is being breached. Tuesday.these are business contracts. All I had to do was phone a Freephone number in the UK within the next hour. OK. dynamically provision resources to solve the issue or trigger level 2 to solve the problem. actually determine your SLAs .I AM NOT HIS MATE in any sense of the word!) telling me I had won a holiday in Tenerife (close. raise an intelligent ticket and route to it to a user-friendly Service Desk. so he sweetly agreed that I could call the number when I got back home. The way you can persuade me to use your services in future is to tell me I don't have to come to your offices .

no. Here is a sample quote: "If you think that bandwidth refers to the girth of the trombonist.(which are miles away from my house)." Saturday. then this could be for you. tea/coffee etc. and how you should be attuned to the culture of the people. so I decided to have a decent meal before I took off. So this item from the Daily Telegraph amused me.) or I purposely order something else just to annoy you and make you do the bill again. 2006 Do you speak English? I wanted to write a blog on the problems of misunderstandings in foreign climes. • • • • So what message are you sending out to me? All I know is that I react in one of two ways. I would have complained already if that had been the case. I am too ugly for your restaurant. fresh laundry. it wasn't. that peer-to-peer describes the seafront between Brighton and Worthing and that podcasting is something you might do with homegrown peas. Tuesday. almost invariably. to whom you are delivering service. It was an airport hotel. As part of the build-up to the World Cup (a soccer tournament for those from America). and I am trying to work out the thinking behind it. a football stadium in Germany has a sign. sir. Either I get cheesed off and leave straight away skipping all the other options I might have enjoyed (dessert. I am sitting there sipping my glass of Chardonnay and eating my main course when the waiter comes along with the bill and says "when you're ready. May 06. so don't think that's it either. Well." Why are you bringing me the bill half way through the meal? This has happened to me several times in the US. You want to knock off down the pub with your friends for a few drinks before closing time .no. I had showered. which when translated directly into English says "Welcome to all the football ventilators". In fact. The restaurant is full and you want to use the table again . whenever I have been . Oh. so don't think that was it. • I smell and you want to get rid of me. cheese. nice suit and tie. Two reasons for this: I heard an absolute classic on Radio 4 this morning. more wine. I do like calling people ventilators rather than fans .probably. 2006 Help the Aged I often talk about help desks needing to be attuned to the people calling them. May 02.think I shall start up a ventilator club! I was flying back from Chicago on Thursday evening on the red-eye. The food is so awful that you know I won't want to order any more .

it is amazing how quickly people appear then . I'll discover for you I said.offered the bill too early the waiter returns shortly afterwards and offers me coffee?!?! Actually the one that annoys me even more is when I have had a really good meal with excellent service and then everyone disappears when you want the bill. but they don't necessarily know that yet). CMDB Here is a blatant attempt to keep ahead of my colleagues in the blog readership league. come on. just load those CIs I said. so why hide? I find the best thing to do in these circumstances is to stand up and walk out ."oh sorry. come on. a single source of the truth Let's hear it for the C M D B . I am running a competition with PRIZES. . May 06. relationships too. there's no need to be shy I said. Why? It should be fairly obvious that the next thing I require is the bill. I know that getting your colleagues at work excited about ITIL and getting a CMDB implemented is not always the easiest thing in the world (it will actually save them time and trouble going forwards. see that config come true I said. come on. I though the meal was free. so here is a little ditty to get them all fired up and in the mood (with apologies to those that wrote the original): Come on. Saturday. 2006 Add Comment Learning good English. with identities too There's no need to be ex-clud-ed Let's all hear it for the C M D B It's fun to load up the C M D B You get your processes in. as no-one wanted payment for it?" Constant service monitoring and improvement? That would be nice. I am on a world wide mission to spread the goodness of English language. come on.Posted by Master Fu at 2006-05-12 04:05 One should not be disheartened by people not knowing good English. IT-IL be a surprise There's no need to be un-happ-y Come on.

and what I want. Anyone got/used one of those? If not.how many times have you reacted to something based on a series of preconceptions? You assume that something is suspect. which is a "service centre". I showed him the picture of the hair-drier. We then moved on to discussing possibilities in the Polish market and I won't steal his thunder as he will be writing an article. Now. a tripod for your digital camera/video. Or no-one tells you what to expect. but one thread in the discussion is pertinent to this blog. Others amongst you probably thought that this was just a cheap publicity stunt. give the help desk a ping. he grinned: enough said.very disappointing .. a fine Ashworth golf shirt. As it happens. For instance. when I tell people about the mp3 site I use. rather than being the recipient of my bottled-up frustration. who asked me the question "Isn't IT just a tool. not going to work or whatever and hence avoid it. which never match what actually happens. the sharper amongst you will have noticed that I didn't say what the prizes were. which my regular readers know can have the ability to get straight up my nose.especially as the prizes were the latest Clive Cussler and Jilly Cooper books. As a result. 2006 Prizes. there have been no entries . federate with all of your friends No doubt you can do better. . The problem with treating IT as a tool is that you end up with things like the hair-drier in my earlier blog entry. The bad news for you is that you missed out! The good news for me is that it is my birthday next week and I get to keep the prizes! Now the serious part . May 06. so you make your own assumptions. why not? Are you still in the chaotic / reactive / annoy the end-user mode? Friday.It's fun to load up the C M D B You can search anything. and if things worked out right an iPod Nano. I offered prizes for the best entries. what prizes? In my previous CMDB entry. and there was a catch somewhere. May 12. they get all excited until I tell them it is in Russia. Saturday. and shouldn't business just use it that way? You don't really need to have IT as part of the business strategy?" Interesting question. I have been using the site for over a year and had no problems whatsoever. so prizes for the ones that make me smile most. The latter is an intelligent proactive body. Met a journalist. the dotcom fiasco etc. which provides me useful services / information / workarounds etc. 2006 IT is just a tool? Just been to Poland for the CMG conference there. We talked about the difference between a call centre.

How often does this happen in IT? You don't tell people what to expect and they either avoid it or complain because they had expected something else. as it has matured. May 12. May 12. and then to quote Shakespeare: "At first. at what times. May 15. of course.it also keeps my fingers out – DUUH! Friday. I was there for its (sorry. with his satchel and shining morning face. Monday. Then the whining schoolboy. It has. People were trying to be part of its gang. the infant. I have watched the teachers and the other pupils understand that they had something truly different in their midst. has to be neuter I think) conception. 2006 Watching BSM grow I feel like a parent with BSM (Business Service Management).the prediction is that we will have no water soon.8%. 2006 Murphy's Law Our local water supplier was granted a drought order yesterday . I know the sleeve is meant to keep the rain out . creeping like snail unwillingly to school. with what performance and at what cost. a whole new level of CMDB and discovery. But. So where is BSM now? Today BMC is announcing the next level of BSM with major new products and releases. I have seen the school bullies taunt it and claim it wasn't correct . and then to add insult to injury you print out a nasty thin piece of paper that curls up inside a plastic sleeve. Friday. the bullies were acting from positions of jealousy and weakness. This is what SLAs are about to me not about server 42 running at 19. I have watched BSM go through its infancy. workflows tying it all together. integrations amongst our own stuff and with partners and third parties etc. I think BSM has just had the job interview and been offered the job." Yes. Now it was the person to be seen with. Along the way I have obviously taught it to play golf. mewling and puking in the nurse's arms. so they need to impose strict controls. rained non-stop . helped deliver it to the world. 2006 Pink Elephant parking at Heathrow Anyone use Pink Elephant parking at Heathrow? Anyone from Pink Elephant reading this? Your receipt dispenser is a total farce .as usual. take out a second mortgage to pay your iniquitous charges.stick my credit card in. but an honest business level contract describing what I can expect.

namely no content with sex. To do this.flying there and back with guess who? So my beef today is integration.since! Read this article in the FT the other day. it is magic. with tools to create it and maintain it. The next integration front for me is that of the ITIL Processes. This is not normally a great problem. Now guess what? The date they have invited me is when I am out in Houston . light year?) and made them talk to one another and flow seamlessly from one to another. When we spoke. you require an open and federated CMDB. I had a phone call from one of the airlines I regularly use the other week.well done. Today. It was a courtesy call to a "valued customer" to see if I was happy with their service. May 18. I have met many customers who have implemented one or more ITIL processes. but only a few who have gone that extra yard (metre. mile. Wednesday. 2006 Are you there? When I started this blog. 2006 Add Comment . religion or politics. Just frustrates me when people miss the obvious. which would have told them I was in San Francisco and was flying home with them 3 days later. which has only been available in recent times. I made some rules for myself . At this point you are no doubt impressed. I received an email from one of her colleagues inviting me to lunch at the House of Lords with some of their senior execs to discuss life / travel / service / my taking over the Prime Minister's job (I made up that last bit). So. We used to talk about integration of systems and data with middleware (some of us still do) and how wondrous this would make the customer experience. When it is done properly. but I must admit the combination of recent scandal in the UK government and the release of the Da Vinci Code movie tomorrow has been sorely tempting! Move on Armstrong. Unfortunately I was in San Francisco at the time. there's no excuse now is there? Thursday. had forgotten to turn off my mobile and the call came at 5 o'clock in the morning! After a few attempts at speech I managed to convey that we should talk again later when I was back in the UK. one of my recommendations to the airline was to exploit the data they had about me. which has some lovely quotes: "Some technologists have yet to make the link between their remuneration and the satisfaction levels of the users" "Migrate the help desk from organic voice mail to digital butler" etc. etc. of course. Profuse apologies their end and the lady involved has been incredibly helpful in sorting out another trip for me and my wife . May 17. which we have subsequently done.

I must copyright / trade mark that and see what happens!!! Send me the money! I was dead chuffed (means very happy) to receive an email today talking about PayPal introducing a new service. but be warned that the book includes adult language of an Anglo-Saxon nature). Keep us updated on elsewhere you are speaking! Take care. in the podcast it sounds like "itool" which you'll be tickled pink to know returns a bunch of stuff on iMac products. the reason this is happening is because people are at last cottoning on to the fact that if you make technology useful / make it deliver a service.com . I am not trying to say that I am particularly clever. or can foretell the future. I find quite a few career minded friends starting to study MBAs part-time. Southampton. For the interested ones.Posted by Imran Chaudhry at 2006-05-23 08:30 I've been reading a few entries in your blog and I've found it an amusing yet interesting read. I wrote a book about doing this years ago (follow links under the nauseating picture.Podcast on DBAzine.wikipedia. Well it's refreshing to hear a British voice! I've been reading for a few years now that what businesses want now are "business technologists". but nobody's perfect. then we are likely to use it . UK Thanks . Admittedly I was hoping it would be via Bluetooth rather than SMS texting or calling someone (as it would then be free)."Itool" is magic .org/wiki/Information_Technology_Infrastructure_Library I found the podcast because I'm studying for MySQL database certification and have an interest in applying it for business advantage. They realize that there is some bright spark in India/China who will do the job at half the cost! On the best practice library. May 25. whereby you can pay for stuff using your mobile phone. Imran Chaudhry.not tricky is it? Thursday. 2006 Add Comment . Now. When I wrote the book. No. You'll be tickled pink to know that I've deemed it worthy to subscribe :-) Back to the podcast on how to react to this age of offshoring and commoditisation of IT human resource.Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-05-23 12:09 Imran Thanks for the response . it is in fact ITIL and the WikiPedia entry is: http://en. Why am I chuffed? Well. lots of people told me I was talking through my hat.

At that time I was learning to play the guitar and as I can't sing a note in tune. Unplugged Eric Clapton etc.both for buying the book and posting the comment Cheers Peter Taste Yesterday we ran an update event for the European analysts. As some of them are brave enough to admit reading these ramblings .Posted by Greg Michael at 2006-05-25 17:56 Mr. I was born in 1950. . where you predicted payments on hand-held devices -.Bastard. moving on to the Eagles.Rory Gallagher (no relation to those loud-mouthed obnoxious gits as far as I am aware) was a great guitarist.e. and for those I had only ever spoken to on the phone before. and tries to determine my "taste" and make recommendations. great to meet up. Carole King (I was also playing the piano). excellent to put a face to the name. I tended towards the finger-picking style. So when I go into Amazon or whatever to buy a CD/book. What did we talk about? Please watch this space and I will keep you up-to-date on what is going on as it gets announced. I must admit that every now and then it leads me to something interesting and enjoyable I haven't tried or heard before. So why do we frequently run IT (build technology or whatever) as a bunch of independent silos. There was one disappointment. Simon and Garfunkel.Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-05-25 18:40 Many thanks . Which leads me to taste. with no recognition of what I am doing with it / no analysis of what I like and don't like / no attempt to make my experience a more satisfying one? Mmmm .Taste. Still can't play any of them properly. They are trying to give me a fuller. however. We also designed a new political party to replace the current incumbents with a radical new (i. Cream etc. more rounded offering. June 01. where I would pick out the melody instead of just strumming chords. Labi Siffre and others..it's the gift of the magi! You have a very entertaining writing style. but I promised not to do politics on here. So they have understood that things like this make their "service" more interesting. Pentangle. sensible) manifesto. but it has been fun trying. Thursday.Peter's predictions . Bother! And I only used allofmp3 because the Daily Telegraph told me it was legal years ago.. so my musical formative years were the era of the Beatles. saw them in concert in 1967 or 1968 . discussing where the world / IT / BSM is going. This led me to James Taylor. Armstrong. it kindly looks at my previous forays. 2006 . in later years. I am one of the legions who bought your book.thanks for coming. thank you . One of the analysts pointed me at this.

To quote: "MiFID will replace the existing Investment Services Directive (ISD). Fish and Chips is what I want to know. all telling me that I had "osteo-arthritis. who looked surprised when I refused to put your 4-ton carry-on in the overhead locker for you. Same with IT . in particular in relation to their conduct of business and internal organisation.WYSIWYG Strange thing this blogging lark. June 01. but most of the customers I have been talking to have never heard of it. the most significant European Union legislation for investment intermediaries and financial markets since 1995.this service will occasionally be available and the response time will be rubbish. Nothing happens for ages and then suddenly two or three come along at the same time. believe it or not that makes me realise how important rapid root cause analysis is in problem management! Secondly. which is worrying as those affected are meant to be preparing for its inception next year. x-rays. whom I have bored to tears over the years by whittering on about the state of my back/shoulders. I would like a WYSIWIG Service Catalogue . specialists etc. This thought led me to several idle sets of musings. I find it is a bit like waiting for a bus. 2006 Add Comment Baggage . Why am I boring you with this crud? Well. if you can't lift it). Those of you who know me will not be surprised to hear that I think I am a "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWIG) person. My back I have cured by refusing to carry luggage any more. Thursday. Wouldn't that be refreshingly honest? Continuing the theme of telling me what is going on.don't lie to me or patronise me about what I am going to get. in a lime and beer batter with a garnish of the crispest pommes frites.Posted by Edna Skupperthatchet at 2006-06-05 10:36 . and now tell me if they are really good or dripping in nasty old cooking oil. sliced from the finest Maris Piper potatoes you can find". I would like to apologise to all those people.after ten years of MRIs. MiFID extends the coverage of the current ISD regime and introduces new and more extensive requirements to which firms will have to adapt. who has worked out what is wrong with me. keep taking the pain-killers" I have at last ended up with someone. but that's what you get for cutting our budgets to the bone. Perhaps it would help if the European government told us about it rather than wasting its time on the content of my breakfast sausage or whatever it is that they do. Tell me honestly what the service will be and how much I will have to pay for it. in other words a forthright. why is there so much ignorance around MIFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive). opinionated old git. now you know why (please check the bloody thing in. As you can probably guess I don't go much for "Freshly caught succulent deep sea cod. My shoulders . Everything of mine now has wheels and if you are one of those ladies. Firstly. Transpires the top of my shoulder bones are the wrong shape and don't fit in the sockets properly. firing half the staff and not telling us what is important to you. Perhaps I am talking to the wrong people. Sat here the other day with no ideas at all and now my brain is suddenly waking up again.

as about reducing risk and spending the right money on the right things". "It's not about reducing costs so much. He is a very rude young man and he smelt of fish and chips. which was meaningful and interesting to me.I was on a flight the other day and that Mr Armstrong refused to help me put my carry-on baggage into the overhead compartment. and how much it would cost them if that service were not available: neat use of the subjunctive there. I . 2006 Rambling on my mind Been travelling a bit recently so managed to catch up on some reading and movies.Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-06-09 18:38 Young? Note: I have my suspicions about which of my colleagues posted this under such an amusing pseudonym!! Noah's ahead of the rest Cast your mind back a few thousand years and imagine you are Noah. That's why you need the business to tell you what is important. Read Lynne Truss's "Talk to the Hand" (follow-up to her magic book on punctuation "Eats. how much risk they are prepared to take. how's the family?" "Fine. when's book 7 coming out? Saw the remake of the Pink Panther and gave up after half an hour. You nip down the bank for a loan to build your ark. he didn't get the money. can you lend me a few thousand shekels?" "Extending the house? Buying a new wagon?" "No. they had a sport on one of the TVs. Wouldn't it be nice if you could believe the reviews you read of books and films? Sounds like a service catalogue?!? I was sitting in the Outback Steakhouse in Houston (they serve Guinness) and noticed that." Of course. Shoots and Leaves") which bemoans the modern day world of lack of service / lack of manners. Spot on. Reread Harry Potter book 6. hope you're impressed! Saturday. Saw the Da Vinci Code. or the men's pad me up and hurl me at the other side football. I'm going to build an ark and put two of each animal in there 'cos it's going to tip it down with rain and this is my risk avoidance/business continuity scheme. much better than the reviews had led me to believe. "Hello Noah. but he did have the last laugh. tennis from the French Open. awful. June 10. And risk is a word I am hearing more and more often from customers. for the first time in a long time. young? . So as no-one seemed to be watching the women's underarm baseball.

disciplines. Will shout as soon as it is ready.we need to have processes which lead us from one step to the next in as automated a fashion as possible (because that's cheaper). and when you watch the professionals you will see that they go through exactly the same routine every time. Perhaps it's me. who are now racing to write comments about my total ignorance of most things not stopping me before. and I know absolutely nothing about football. They look at the lie. They talk to the caddy. I am doing a podcast in the very near future on F1. The answer is simple. feel free. Toyota. with the correct steps being done at the correct time and being documented (for compliance). Sharapova had a pink dress with bright yellow knickers . Fascinating. Obviously I hope that England does well. why they chose BMC. All of those. 2006 EMPTYS I am sure you are having a good laugh at the fact that I can't spell any more. I then ordered my meal and watched Sharapova throw away a 5-1 lead in the third set.strange combination. but it leads me to my favourite sport . In both cases. and yesterday I was in Germany. So where do I go next with my golf analogy? I think what golfers are looking for is the perfect chip / pitch / drive / putt.golf. I watched them rebuilding Ralf Schumacher's car (an American chap decided to ram him early on obviously been watching too many John Wayne movies). June 14. good service chaps. but I do like people playing tennis to dress predominantly in white. handicap! Saturday.yuck! What's that got to do with ITSM? Nothing. Ditto in ITSM . I try to only talk about stuff I know. England fans should dig out their Leonard Cohen albums now (music to top yourself by). where it is being played this time. and I am an old-fashioned chap. and reduce your I. They consult their yardage charts etc. Check out the link to see how to solve problems across I. They look at the shape of shot they require.T. 2006 The Football World Cup I am sure you are all wondering why I haven't blogged about this World Cup thing.T. June 10. but fear that if it comes to penalty shoot-outs. We are looking for that integration and flow and don't want to spend months / years implementing it ourselves. They judge the wind. So why was I in Germany? To visit the Toyota Formula One factory. They have a process which gets the club in the right place at the right time for them. the slope. Vvvvvvvvvvrrrrrrrrrrooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmm! Wednesday. what they have done with BSM etc. Bear with me. . And why do they have to grunt so much? I have this vision of a Wimbledon final between Gruntalot and Bashitova. Both dressed in multi-colour pyjamas like the cricketers of today . The strange thing is that I was in Tokyo four years ago when the World Cup was on there. As you know I have written papers / done podcast things on the similarities between golf and computers.managed to get the tennis put on the TV in front of me. We take something basically very simple and make it as complex as possible in both cases. I must admit that I went nowhere a match. Excellent.

because people never look at the middle stuff! Anyway. my laptop's not working.." I could rant on here about parents. the questions are all loaded and they never give you the option you really want to answer? I remember my boss at IBM telling me years ago to never answer 2. EMPTYS Perhaps I should start a campaign for restoring old values and call it the EMPTY gesture? Probably get a lot of rude gestures in return? Wednesday. Excuse Me. please?" "Certainly. they don't know how to have a conversation. Thank You." "Thank you.always go for absolutely dreadful or brilliant." Or "What you got then?" "Look at the board you blind git!" Example 2 "Excuse me. aren't very flexible. your fault for using it. not sure why these people always bother with a survey when anyone could have told you the result beforehand? Or when they conduct an end-user satisfaction survey. The article also quite rightly points out that the fault is on both sides. Right. Or they use them. Employers need to recognise this issue and address it as ultimately their customer satisfaction (= revenues) depends heavily on it. don't listen properly and don't know enough about customer relations or even how to be polite to customers. June 15. 2006 Why are the youth of today so rude? Amazingly enough. you plonker!" It is amazing to me how many people omit some of those simple words in English.Example 1 "Can I have a look at the menu." "Sorry. but don't mean them. These attributes. back to the article and why do I care? I quote: "Employers questioned say that graduate recruits lack ''soft'' skills. forgot to tell you the server was down. here it is. 2006 . 3 or 4 . employers say. the title does not come from me.or would be if young people had them. June 14. This is according to some survey or other. lack of discipline (because the teachers are terrified of being beaten up or sued)." Or "Bloody thing's stopped again!" "Well. which make life and service so much more enjoyable. time to start up my EMPTYS course at the local University / college. are more valuable than degrees . schools. Please. Sorry. but I'll hold back. we will have it back for you in ten minutes. idiotic invocations of Human Rights etc. Thursday. sir. but from an article in the Daily Telegraph today.

They feel they deserve "special" treatment. Thank You and Sorry. What I am trying to say. it is not all the youth of today. impatient and just nasty. By the way. That's the grown-ups . when you look at this link. your kids • . lets not always put the blame on youth. This is probably all driven by lawyers looking to earn copious quantities of money from asinine legal cases.e.Add Comment Youth Rudeness . I have been on the customer service side and I am very glad I no longer work in that industry. Once you give a person what they "need" there usually isn't a thank you. It seems more and more often than not. It is currently topping Amazon's Hot 100 Books in the UK. This will also free up bandwidth for important business functions . I very seldom hear people ever say thank you or please. more rounded. some fatuous load of rubbish about health and safety. A book has just come out called "The Dangerous Book for Boys". Which leads me to point one today . and I would like EVERYBODY to use those more often. climbing trees etc. Please. Now the good news.kids should benefit too! It will get your kids off the internet and out into the fresh air. You wonder how many of them are based on the truth? When someone tells you their wondrous new technology does whizzy things. skimming stones. give me or I need. click on the bogus section at the bottom and see how many fabricated cases there have been. except in a specially designated area. In an earlier blog I suggested EMPTYS . Why do I want you all to buy this and stick your children's heads in it? Several reasons: • It will probably make them a much better. especially when they receive good service. interesting person. In this day and age.Posted by Lisa Johnson at 2007-02-17 21:24 Customers need to to learn how to be better customers. Thank you . challenge them to prove it. making paper planes. The reasons given for this are. I just picked that as an example that was quoted in the newspaper.isn't it amazing how many statistics and facts are quoted at us in IT. Unfortunately we seem to think nowadays that children (and adults) should be wrapped in cotton wool and protected from the nasty outside world.Posted by peter armstrong at 2007-02-19 10:46 Lisa Many thanks for your comment (see I say thank you!) You are right. of course. The going words seem to be. Dangerous? Is it me or is the world going totally mad? I read at the weekend that a school in England has banned children from building and flying paper planes.I heard earlier this year that a large amount of the Internet's bandwidth is taken up by peer-to-peer traffic . This is a splendidly old-fashioned book about playing conkers. The youth are not always rude.Excuse Me.g. Many elderly are rude. people do not have manners.

I met a colleague this week who tells me that several German CIOs didn't like my golf analogy. which has come up on several occasions.Posted by jill at 2006-07-12 14:50 I had an order placed for this book from Amazon US but cancelled the order thinking I could find the book locally at Barnes and Noble and look at it before I purchased it." Hence my attempts over the years to come up with analogies to try and get this message across: e. Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any actions arising from your kids reading this book like burning your house down or breaking their legs . • It may make more people think about what is important in life. British heroes etc.) but there's lots of general stuff as well. The latest manifestation of this saga is that I have been having an interesting series of conversations with customers recently. couldn't find the title anywhere. Am reading it now and it is aimed more at a UK market (includes rules of cricket. What is going on?Why is it so hard to find? Has it really been pulled for politically correct reasons here? Where can I order it from? the book .I am told it has just gone through reprint. June 19. my likening computers (trying to get the right data to the right person in the right place at the right time) to golf (trying to get the right ball to the right place at the right time).swapping MP3 files and videos. we invented that. if everybody else in the industry wants to get in on the act.I can't find it on US Amazon.that bit was for the lawyers! Monday. . You do not buy BSM out of the box. they've left home . Barnes and Noble had never heard of it. and realised we must have put together something really quite significant. My first answer is that it is not a set of products. Then I remembered that plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery. not a product set. is "what is BSM?". so I hope no-one will complain when I claim to have been involved with it for some years now. 2006 Add Comment dangerous book . as they don't play golf.Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-07-12 17:33 I ordered it from Amazon UK and got it last week . This is odd since last week I ordered it with no problem and now the title doesn't show up.g.all the others who use the same cable provider). Mostly to see the illustrations and size of type to see if my 9 year old would read it. What is BSM? I was one of the very early pioneers of BSM (Business Service Management) at BMC. My initial reaction when other vendors started using the term was one of annoyance . and now you can't even get it right when you try to copy us". I went back to Amazon today to reorder it and it is nowhere to be found on their site (US)."hey. My broadband connection seems to run like treacle at the weekends when all the kids get on (not mine. The fundamental question. You are right . My somewhat nauseating quote is that "BSM is a mindset.

In addition key business metrics will be collected and used in evaluating the current and projected effect of business changes on the IT environment. Real value and real ROI will be delivered to the business manager as well as the IT manager. As Database and Application management software focus on the performance management and root cause analysis of databases and applications respectively. The golf analogy (which could be football. SLM. and cheaper than last year (which is what I find in the majority of IT shops). BSM will look across multiple applications. service management and root cause analysis of the Business Service. The good news is that we have delivered all that. If you have turned this corner and are on the next lap. key business metrics and many types of relationships. should I use dynamic provisioning for this capacity issue etc.? Finally. So if I have that mindset. handball. Apparently Neil took a piece of Armstrong tartan with him to the moon . I thought I would dig out one of our original design documents from several years ago. or whatever other boring acronym you can think of. once you have turned that on. extensive auto-discovery capabilities will be included. the rest becomes obvious. Saturday. which I shall discuss in future blogs. what IT components are used in a business service. databases etc. good man! . you will find discussions on CMDBs. If you still think that IT is about running Oracle at 99. platforms. if you want to manage it from a business perspective. then my apologies for boring you. You have to establish the basic business SLA before you can start deciding which technical KPIs / OLAs / SLOs. then in my opinion you have missed the point. and he and his colleagues have written a series of papers on what is BSM and the techniques like CMDB that are associated with it. the ballad of Johnie Armstrong. BSM will include a full configuration. and quote a couple of paragraphs: Business Services Management (BSM) provides the ability to manage the IT infrastructure from the viewpoint of relevant Business Services and key business metrics. This is key. BSM will focus on the performance management. and their friendly teatime habits of pillage and plunder. my apologies for not making myself clear. discovery etc. where is the bottleneck if I start this new business initiative. If you follow this series of papers. what failure of a component implies as a percentage degradation in a service etc. I was discussing this whole issue with Dr Thomas Mendel of Forrester. and we are now moving BSM to the next level. All based round the premise that you need to understand what all this infrastructure crud is there for.Gentlemen / ladies. To support this database and keep it current. This is the mindset switch. 2006 Armstrong clan history Had a few people casting doubts upon my stories of the famous Armstrongs of the past. June 24. customers have it in production. in evaluating the performance of a business service and the business services that this service may be a part of. So here are a few links to the history. just for fun. and our castle (in ruins!). where do I go next? Well. What is the business impact of something failing. start making any sense at all. Unique in BMC’s BSM data model is the ability to define not only all types of infrastructure components but also business services. skiing or whatever) starts with the fundamental question "Why do you play golf?".4%.and he plays golf. asset and change management database. For example.

2006 I know I'm old (fashioned) I know I am going to sound old in this blog. it is normally an advert for the nasty effects of junk food and lack of exercise. 2006 Dork of the year award? For those of you. The male of the species seem to think that the colour and make of their underwear is something that should be shared with everybody else. for whom English is not a first language. Well done Mr Architect. sorry to be a boring old fool. Try thinking from the end-user's view? Monday. and the crotch is about knee height. Rolls of flesh hanging over the aforementioned jeans is not a pretty sight. who will be affected and how quickly do I need to react? If we add another 200 machines. you get my first DOTY award. a dork is a stupid. inept. so we end up with a socking great gap in the middle. they look as if they have had a somewhat unpleasant accident. However. I must admit. In fact. can look attractive on a girl with a good figure and a nice tan. That is my SLA. June 26. Some people claim that you only need to measure the end-user experience and . can we cope? To be boring. Get a belt! The female of the species on the other hand. The only problem is that the architects forgot that the Queen is very short. If you have been following the English news recently you will have seen that a new stand has been built at Ascot at a cost of £200 million or so. I seem to remember reading somewhere that this fashion started in US jails. I expect the designer to position it so that the screen is not facing the sun and hence becomes invisible. What level of service is being delivered? If component x goes wrong. but that's OK. is not part of good service to me. Well. this is BSM . No. So when I go to a cash machine. from the rear. but being served by some youth. I have some hang-ups with modern fashion. event handling and enduser experience. where they take your belt away in case you hang yourself or throttle your cell mate. with the result that she couldn't see over the front parapet. June 26. That is what IT should be measuring and reacting to. Hence. because I am old. At least they have stopped displaying their thongs. I don't expect to find the front-end switch on the pavement. whose trousers are about to fall round his ankles like a Brian Rix farce. This. Their trousers are hanging half way down their bums. trousers falling down mean that you are a "hard" person. but that's another story).Monday. they don't seem to be able to afford a top that is long enough. Unfortunately. attached to a bunch of cables disappearing down a manhole cover.the combination of business awareness. foolish person. have a belt to hold up their low-slung jeans (how they can justify paying £150 for a torn piece of denim is also beyond me. and I expect it to give me money within a reasonable timeframe.

this week we have a heatwave.Posted by Kyniek at 2006-07-04 11:37 Yes.-) This is also to say hallo from Poland. . ten-bob notes and quid . 2006 Add Comment guitarists. with their trousers half hanging off and their midriffs exposed . KT Phew! What a scorcher! The tabloid-type headline above refers to the fact that the weather has gone round the other way in England.. He had unfortunately not realised that we had converted from Fahrenheit to Centigrade some time ago!! Now. tanners. today is the first day of Wimbledon. James plays it as usual in A with the capo on the 3rd fret). there was a lovely little story in the Telegraph today about an American gentleman. We had farthings. June 26. proper old money etc. 2006 Rainy Day Man Some of you will recognise the title as a track from James Taylor's Flag album (for guitarists. it's chucking it down. In fact. I expect service to be a complete.you're done. florins. Fortunately that gives me a chance to catch up on all my colleagues' podcasts. pennies. half crowns. Monday. I see in my last entry it was chucking it down. June 26. nineteen shillings and eleven pence). So he put on a wool suit and a cashmere jumper (sweater / pullover or whatever you want to call it) and nearly died of heat. Will check if it's a truth . one guitar player present.I don't want to know.why is that so difficult? Which all leads me to the fact that we are incredibly good at technical obfuscation in IT with a . bobs. Off to California tomorrow for a couple of days (customer briefing in our labs over there). People may be running round like idiots in the background fixing it. feet and inches. Regular readers may remember my telling you that we have a drought order here where I live no hose-pipes etc. ha'pennies. so probably will be quiet on the blog front for the rest of the week (hooray I hear you cry!). so guess what? Yep. enjoyable experience. I never understood why people had problems with £8/19/11 (eight pounds. who heard on the radio that is was going to be 32 degrees yesterday at Wimbledon. Well.. I have told you that I am old-fashioned and hence I rather like Fahrenheit. Monday. threepenny bits. My response to that is "would you be happy with a medical system that only used a thermometer to control your health?" No.

which only works when attached to electronic machines. but not much use otherwise. Andrew Murray walks on to court at Wimbledon with his Ipod. Let's have plain English. I have firmly embraced digital possibilities at home. HD-ready LCD TV etc. In fact. This worries me slightly as I have visions of a generation. Why? Because they give me better quality / greater flexibility etc.plethora of incomprehensible acronyms. they may have a better solution Compulsory sports should be part of the (UK) school curriculum • Wednesday. and an appreciation for the customer. I read the other day that there was an international competition for teams of youngsters competing against one another in some shoot-me-up computer game. I/we don't really understand what they want and as they grow up and deliver the next set of systems. As far as I am aware there are no flesh-eating zombie aliens in the village where I live. good simple service. July 05. because the prerequisites are the same . Now. The youth of today expects to be permanently wired in. Tuesday. or much to your surprise. doesn't make that the right solution Innovation must not be throttled. I would like to state some rules for you all to shoot down: • • • Just because something can be technically done. I have my music all stored on a central server. I had to look them up too!). Wonderful news for doctors specialising in Repetitive Strain Injuries. But I am not going to blindly use technology just for the sake of it. if I want music in another room. No. However. I am toying with calling it the Intensive Care generation. it does raise the point that we have different generations expecting wildly different forms of service. 2006 . 2006 Wired youth I was listening to a podcast (part 3) by the boss of BMC (Bob Beauchamp) yesterday. where he was describing the next generation of computer users. For instance.greed and incompetence! Back to being serious. ditto photos (and am scanning in all old 35mm negs and slides). I am not against all technology. July 04.they may hate it. it does not mean that I am going to install a media centre and wireless speakers. don't get me wrong. hoping that our verisimilitude will disguise our pusillanimity (yes. will they understand what I/we want? For instance. wireless networked PCs. for instance. I simply take my guitar with me and play it! So what should we do with the youth of today? My amusing answer of the day is that they should go into politics or English football. but it must be tempered with business sense Don't force people to do something because it works for you .

Please don't scream Google at me . The point is to understand your audience and let them know enough. Last week was a trip to Monterey in California. I must admit that it is aimed much more at the UK market. 2006 Add Comment Well said . which would have been rather nice. now get 8000 emails telling me all about wondrous bits of software that keep me informed . 98% of which is of no interest to me at all. and secondly you must have a mass of meaningless statistics.no they don't.that is pull. So I am back home now catching up after being on the road for a while. Actually cricket has the latter. who never said a lot. not the sophisticated push I want. but we don't talk nearly as much! There was a wonderful story about an American commentator at Wimbledon listening to the late Dan Maskell. I finished the Dangerous Book for Boys on the plane back from California last week and what a splendid book it is. run) until you watch it on American TV. some nutter decided to leave a bomb in the airport. where they then told us that the flight had been cancelled and the next one was four hours later! Thanks. they will make a fortune. First of all you must have two tedious announcers who can't stop talking. wrong plane. Congratulations to BA though.Posted by Ynema mangum at 2006-07-18 17:12 That's why I like RSS! Time to catch up I was invited to lunch at the House of Lords today. if you had told me a bit earlier I would have hired a car and driven there. . Problem is that it is ridiculously hot in the UK today. back to the terminal". You would think baseball was simple (bash it. but it takes (me) a lot of filtering to find it. whose website kept us posted on flight arrivals and departures throughout and we got home fine. Monday. there was silence. I then tried to take a little hopper plane down to Monterey. who have to commute into London. He asked the BBC boss what they paid Dan for. The boss listened for a minute. Somewhere in the middle of it all is the nugget I need to know. New York or wherever. "That!" he replied. when they turned round and said "sorry. as it covers sensible games like cricket and rugby. I did that when I was younger and am very glad I don't have to do it now. I will.The sounds of silence Well. When someone invents an (IT) system that conforms to these rules. so when I got on the train I nearly died of heat. as opposed to the incredibly jargon-ridden insular sports they have in the USA for instance. no doubt. and gave up. They had us lined up on the tarmac ready to go up the steps to the plane. I spent a couple of days in Dublin . which caused major chaos and concern. July 17. but don't swamp them. Congratulations to all those folks. and the flight over to SF was fine.the Guinness definitely tastes better over there! Unfortunately. they drown me in a wave of gumph.

July 19. so we had to take a bus! The joys of International jet-setting. The Chicago Sun-Times and the Houston Chronicle . not the British Open . I went to Google and searched for the British Open and got hits from the Detroit Free Press. The correct name is The Open Championship.you *@!$£*%s !!!! The only good part was when I rang the Insurance company for her.Off we went to get a car . July 19. Much to my amazement I . 2006 Been a rotten day The day started well. I also got hits for the British Open Showjumping Championship. CMDB etc. Members of itSMF will be able to look at slides and minutes in the itSMF website. for fun. and if you changed it cost-effective the answer was help me explain to the business why I need it and help me justify it in business terms. National etc.say no more. To the people who stole my Mum's new TV and her 50-yearold eternity ring . Yesterday I attended an itSMF meeting in the UK on Change and Configuration and Release Management. which should help you ask you local BMC chap/chapess for a copy.no cars at Avis. For me. The consensus surprised me slightly as it was yes. Wednesday. Now. Lots of good discussion on how to implement Change Management. and then it went rapidly downhill. one of the most interesting discussions was whether you could do effective Change Management without a CMDB. However. Great service chaps. the British Open Squash Championship and the Weetabix British Women's Open. So if someone tells you that they have won the British Open Golf. 2006 The 135th Open Regular readers will know that I could not resist writing about golf during the week of The Open Championship.IT needs to explain to the business why ITIL. Which is why I like golf! Wednesday. Malcolm Fry has written a little book on this "Selling ITIL". For me. it would appear that they have competed on the ladies' tour. Perhaps someone should tell Michelle Wie to go for the British Open. So let's go back to my old hobby horse. and she would be surprised to find she is playing against people of the same sex? What's that got to do with ITSM? Absolutely nothing. Needless to say I didn't even bother with the hopper plane on the way back and simply got a lift from a colleague back to SF. Hertz. this was because the audience was defining effective as not having too many errors. how to set up a CMDB. Got a 'phone call at lunchtime because my mother had just been burgled. will help the business rather than why it will help IT. The fact that you had to chase round 18 different departments to find out the effect of the change was an unfortunate fact of life. the role of compliance etc. when you changed the question to efficient the answer was firmly no. that is the key .to quote the Daily Telegraph today that characteristic American error of referring to the "British Open". how to justify Config Mgmt.

July 19. or do some of them filter into the preproduction world as well? . and you almost feel sorry for them as they battle hypothermia and pneumonia.did not end up talking to some bloke in a far-flung corner of our lost empire. so come and talk to them. and chucking it down. helpful. Where do the ITIL processes start (and end) in your shop? Are they purely in the production world. July 21. Works in over 150 countries round the world it says on the box. No. How early should IT Ops be involved in the App Dev process? For me. the earlier the better as knowledge of the business process and the apps supporting it will ease the building of the service model in the CMDB. who wanted to take me through 300 meaningless questions. because I keep hearing stories of code being dumped across the "wall" and each side blaming the other. continue to annoy me with your rotten service and you'll lose my business (some of you already have). so that you start building up a knowledge base prior to release Management passing the "tested" code across? Let me know how it works in your shop. quite right -South Africa. why I am here? The Gartner ITXpo is running this week and I presented on the future of the data centre yesterday. covering issues like Virtualisation. efficient and reassuring. and before you get jealous this is the only time I have been to South Africa and experienced a 20 degree (Celsius) drop in temperature from the UK! It is cold. breaking down barriers between Operations and Application Development. Well done Zurich. The chap I got was local. The one that has got me most interested at the moment is the handover from App Dev to production. getting IT and business working together etc. Friday. great service and I heartily recommend you to one and all. because my daughter is currently on holiday and she nicked all of my adaptors before she flew off. where should Incident and Problem Management start? Should there be a subset of this happening in the App Dev world. 2006 Vroom Vrrrooommmm The podcast maestros have uploaded my new podcast on Toyota Formula One (I visited the F1 factory recently to get the low-down on the team and how they use BSM) . Similarly. process automation. it makes no sense to me either.enjoy! Some of the Toyota IT guys will be at our BMC Userworld in San Francisco. but you can buy it on the flight down here. SOA. So. You see the smokers go outside to kill themselves with lung cancer. 2006 Cape Town I'm down in Cape Town for the week. The rest of you. Guess which country it doesn't work in? Yes. Wednesday. On the plane down I bought a new "Worldwide" adaptor.

a rare occurrence down here in South Africa. in fact in the UK that's almost pleasant.. 2006 Add Comment Answer to your question somewhere in Finnish joke . +15°C / 59°F .Posted by Mike Reys at 2006-08-02 16:04 Finnish weather explained. August 02.Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-09-05 09:55 agreed. I will explain. August 01. This should be part of every new/updated application hand-over.Peter Tuesday. for every fault category. Ideally. one weather person is quoted as saying it will be "bitterly cold" today. IT says all the servers are working great. perchance to dream . 12 to me is not bitterly cold. Which leads me to a trivial pursuit question for you . Minus 20. the service that actually gets delivered is much more interesting. now that's cold.at what temperature are Fahrenheit and Centigrade the same? Wednesday. to sleep. there is a remediation protocol that 1) allows production to proceed and 2) provides development with diagnostic information. Reading a news report on the web. The temperature then quoted as "bitterly cold" was 12 degrees C. which is why I would like to see the walls between ops and dev start to break down. Interesting how different people view the same thing in totally different ways. and you understand why you are doing it and why it matters. the end users say the service sucks.. Since one must assume that something will go wrong with the application (nothing being perfect) there must be a process for bypassing application components in such a way that other production is not affected.Thanks .Posted by Jim Annis at 2006-09-01 11:11 At the very least the handoff from Dev to Ops needs to include triage and over-ride instructions for all the critical components. Silo monitoring is pretty boring really until it fits into a greater overall picture. which made me laugh. Thanks Peter Snow! I have just been informed that it is snowing up near Johannesburg . for instance. 2006 Add Comment Dev to Ops hand-off .

0°C / 32°F Distilled water freezes. +5°C / 41°F Italian cars won't start. -70°C / -94°F The false Santa moves south.This is as warm as it gets in Finland. The Finns get frustrated since they can't store their Kossu (Koskenkorva vodka) outdoors. -183°C / -297. The Finnish army goes out on winter survival training. -5°C / 23°F People in California almost freeze to death. The Finnish army postpones their winter survival training awaiting real winter weather. -60°C / -76°F Korvatunturi (the home for Santa Claus) freezes. The Finns are cruising in cabriolets. -10°C / 14°F The Brits start the heat in their houses. getting a tan. The Finns are out in the sun. The Finns start drying their laundry indoors. The Finns start using long sleeves. -20°C / -4°F The Aussies flee from Mallorca.4°F . Autumn is here. so we'll start here. People in Spain wears winter-coats and gloves. The water in the Vanda river (in Finland) gets a little thicker. -40°C / -40°F Paris start cracking in the cold. The Finns end their Midsummer celebrations. The Finns have their final barbecue before winter. The Finns stand in line at the "grilli-kioski". The Finns rent a movie and stay indoors. +10°C / 50°F The French are trying in vain to start their central heating. The Finns plant flowers in their gardens. -50°C / -58°F Polar bears start evacuating the North Pole. -30°C / -22°F People in Greece die from the cold and disappear from the face of the earth.

know your blog. Oooh. so C = 9/5*C + 32 Which means C .Posted by Craig S.spot on as always Cheers Peter You're on my blog! Back from Cape Town after a very pleasant week .and that actually IS cold. or Texas! spot on . Whoops. Mullins at 2006-08-04 16:54 The formula conversion between Fahrenheit and Celsius is F = 9/5*C + 32 So. but they're brilliant. Bit like the mistake of saying you are a doctor at a party. They just remind me of the people you get calling service desks: . but sometimes they just bore you to death for 3 hours. Finland wins the Eurovision Song Contest. but life is too short. The interesting thing to me as I travel the world is the reactions you get from people when you tell them that you blog: • • What's a blog? Ah. Yep. -273°C / -459. if both are equal then C = C. it's cold outside today. Don't know how those funny little pills work.9/5*C = 32. Temperatures .the only downside was a mild case of the Immodium war on the way home.Microbes in food don't survive. or -4/5*C = 32. if you say something interesting (the good ones are worth their weight in gold)." -300°C / -508°F Hell freezes over. poor naive fools then get an earful.classic Craig . The Finns start saying "Perkele.4°F All atom-based movement halts. put some decent jokes in it this week will you! • • We could of course spend the next few hours discussing the relative psychological profiles of these people. will I be in it? Yes. the UK. whether you are in South Africa.Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-08-06 16:12 Mike . keep me out of it. and finally C = (-32*5)/4 = -40 So at negative 40 F and C are equal . The Finnish cows complain that the farmers' hands are cold. shan't talk to you.

Suddenly they realise that the CMDB is the key piece in the middle. Be away with you customisation. If this is the first time. that's how the market was a few years back. My problem today is . • • Actually my perfect service desk has no calls because everything works perfectly .I will bore you rigid with details. a rare and dangerous hobby..but then I'd have nothing to blog about. prioritised Incident handling. As I said. where things keep going wrong). could be interesting. Get behind me.. Ah. Monday. If I am going to do that then I really ought to know what my configuration looks like before and after changes.. then they are probably tedious. These people were also typically looking to take some tools / framework or whatever and massage it all around till they got the set of customised processes that they wanted. of course. and you think gosh. and if you're really lucky they have chucked in some Problem Management as well. This one never calls. for operations and auditing and compliance and and.. you are the bane of my life. but related directions: • They want a Service Desk rather than a Help Desk. I'll shout when the paper is live. impressive. However. exploitation of virtualisation. Fair enough. On digging deeper you find that what they really mean is that they have implemented a Help Desk and Incident Management. Business Impact etc. URLs etc. if they call every day. 2006 .try turning it on. They realise that the biggest killer in the world is change and that you need rigidly controlled Change Management. • • Then they start looking at how all this lot fits together and they realise that what they really want is ITIL out-of-the-box. Help Desk smacks of bored people resetting passwords forgotten by bored users. which is. but they are not quite sure how to convince management that they need one.• • I can't get anything to happen . 2006 ITIL be fine? Just been putting a new white paper together on automating and optimising ITIL processes .. Service Desks smack of SLAs related to the business. and of course the most important one . so what I need is something to create and maintain one of those as automagically as possible. I go drinking with this man. A lot of people used to say to me "we've done ITIL". it got me thinking. August 08. you waste of time and money. August 07. a Service Catalogue. I write about all of this in the white paper and show how it leads on to nice things like data centre optimisation. People have spotted that to get maximum value out of ITIL they need to move in several different. when it "goes live". What I call ITIL be all right on the night (for those of you not from the UK this is a terrible pun on the name of a TV programme over here.better service at less cost. Now I find the conversations have changed. Tuesday.

they said no problem. So. rather than looking at the whole issue from the user's point of view.my credit card. However. "Just drive through the EZ-Tag lane. Anyway.dbazine. "What a neat idea". The point of this story is that it is a typical example of silo mentality. and we will bill your credit card later". "Hang on".pythian.Posted by Dave Edwards` at 2006-09-01 14:22 Ask not for whom the toll bills. about a month later I get a letter from the car hire company asking me to send them the money for the tolls.com/blogs/about-log-buffer">Log Buffer</a> . and they would put it on my credit card. and the lady there told me that they have a new system for paying the tolls on the road I am about to take. Dave Edwards. I picked up my hire car at the airport. Let me tell you a little story. 2006 Add Comment Another hideous pun . but one's got lost in the post). Funny story. Looking two fields further.com/blogs/blogcm/craigmullins/blogentry. Wednesday. I cry. where a man was caught speeding and the police sent him a demand for money and a copy of the photo proving he was speeding.Tolled you so! Another hideous pun as will become clear. So he sent back a picture of a $200 note. one for each toll. Ah. the computer was not clever enough to spot that DUUUUUUUUUUUH. and which I use for all my rentals with you?" They look up their records and tell me that because I prepaid the rental (the default option on their website as it happens).. but that's another story. skipping all those tedious queues. and leap out onto the freeway shame they drive on the wrong side.excellent. So I am tempted to send them back a letter saying THIS IS NOT A PAYMENT. <a href="http://www. Why can't you put it on the credit card that you have on record. They displayed admirable humour and sent him back a picture of a pair of handcuffs! Sweet. Craig Mullins mentioned it in <a href="http://www. I cry (lot of crying in this entry). how much did it cost them to send me 6 letters? Each letter says on it in big type THIS IS NOT AN INVOICE. they can see that in fact I prepaid using guess what . my rental was considered to be cash by the computer. A couple of months ago I went to Houston for a meeting. Now. "you said you would put it on my credit card. Sending dollars internationally costs a fortune (a major banking rip-off.. imagine my surprise when I get 5 letters from them this morning (there should be six. August 09. but again that's another story).5336881033">Log Buffer #8</a>. Where have I seen that before? Reminds me of a supposedly true story in New Zealand. I whiz through the toll gates and hit the office faster than ever before .2006-08-31.

No mobile phones. not some boring prat whittering on next to me. I was explaining to some American colleagues yesterday that the British way of travel on planes is to smile politely at the person next to you. as it means the airlines need to provide some decent films and music. See previous bullet. it made me laugh!" The future of air travel Unless you have been lying on a beach ignoring the news for the last couple of days (good for you) you will have no doubt read/heard about all the hassles we have just had over here. Some airlines are way better at this than others.Posted by Alysia Korelc at 2006-09-13 14:50 Peter's travelling and asked me to say on his behalf: "no worries. Hooray! One of the few joys of flying is that you don't have to listen to the incessant banal conversations of tedious fellow travellers.I feel a new blog entry coming on!! Cheers Peter Hmmmm..Posted by Craig Mullins at 2006-09-08 15:42 I didn't really mean to paint you as an old grump. that is only half true . . Give me a screen. • • • • . curmudgeon? . Or give me XP/Office as well. and I just need a big USB stick (which is what I carry most of the time nowadays anyway). No Ipod / MP3 player.Hope all is well with you and yours. Well.NO! NO! NOOOOOOO! I want peace and quiet. I read that some airline wants to introduce mobile phones on a plane . say "Good Morning" or whatever and then avoid all further conversation. Peter. Engaging in meaningless babble to fill time on flights does not go down well with us Brits! No BlackBerry. keyboard and power supply and the only thing I need to carry is a harddrive..I didn't mean to emphasize the "old" part.Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-09-05 10:02 Ah I see young Craig calls me a curmudgeon . By sheer chance I am not flying anywhere for the next couple of weeks and I am very relieved. we all carry ridiculous amounts of junk round the world with us."a crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas" or "an ill-tempered person full of resentment and stubborn notions" . I have just been listening to the possible implications this will all have on future air travel. Hooray! I hate carrying the bloody thing with me and as I have pointed out in earlier entries. No books.curmudgeon? . Hooray! You can't use it on the plane anyway. Ah. • No laptops. bit more worrying this one. Maybe I should've called you a spry. lovable curmudgeon? (At least I didn't use leverage as a verb? .

all in all it would appear that I am going to have to carry less (good for my back). Who cares what time it is. I would be happy to pay a fee for a decent pair. August 17. 2006 Add Comment Air Travel . The only thing that really matters is how long till you land and the screens will show you that. As the Beatles would say. apparently they are talking of banning booze too (it is explosive you know!).joining the pieces together. so air travel will be so boring. I hope you have all heard of Tiger Woods.if you were. I have written a new white paper all about optimising ITIL processes . if the airlines could just recognise this as a service opportunity? Friday.• No headphones? Assume these won't be allowed. Firstly. watch some movies. they are probably playing Solitaire or Sudoku anyway. You can now find it here or link from here and look at the other neat stuff that my colleagues in the Thought Leadership Council are talking and writing about. Now. So. Think of me tomorrow flying to Nice then next week flying to Jo'burg. No watches. automating them. lovely. turn off. Just imagine 12 hours of boredom. no noise cancelling headphones. August 11. who are totally depressed by the fact that they can't take tons of electronic junk on the plane with them and then "work" their way across the skies. go to sleep and not be able to do any work . no laptop for your own DVD (or work!!). exploiting the CMDB etc. • • No doubt. listen to some music. there are hundreds of business-men and women out there. you would have someone to do all that for you. who (I believe) is now . No nice drink. accept the alcoholic drinks they offer me. Thursday. relax and float downstream.. and I must admit I am addicted to my Bose noise-cancelling jobs. you are not that important . the apostrophe is in the right place).sounds like hell! And safer too . No fizzy drinks. not even your favourite book (or teddy bear). but nobody's perfect! However. as they are the only things that enable me to enjoy a bit of peace and actually understand what the frequently badly-spoken actors and actresses are saying in the movies. Great. Hooray! They should all be banned anyway as they are ruining children's health (and yes.say no more. no personal music. and secondly get a life. New white paper As I mentioned recently. 2006 Why does Tiger win? I know some of you probably find watching golf as exciting as watching paint dry.Posted by Ken Turbitt at 2006-08-12 04:30 Peter..

Practice. Total dedication to his goal. of course. even when it is the best in the world. Inclusion of new technology when it makes sense and helps this goal. Course management . e. The fact that it has the correct dimensions according to International regulations appears to be of no interest to them. he won the USPGA tournament at the weekend . I have had to buy myself a new bag to take on the plane. and take the most effective solution becomes vital. There are 4 majors per year.no point in knowing it is going wrong if you can't tell why and how to fix it.it won't always go as planned. This means that my colleagues will no doubt be telling you good stuff about . As an avid golfer I must admit that I feel privileged to be able to watch someone at the height of their powers demonstrate what can be achieved. Measurement of the key underlying metrics as well the end result .that's what he does in the practice rounds. There is no point in trying a shot you have never tried before in your life because you think it might work. so now I have one. 2006 Next week Off to San Francisco for BMC Userworld tomorrow.see you there? Monday. Fine when you practise. so the ability to analyse the situation. I am always looking for an excuse to leave my laptop at home. • • • • • • • • I've seen a few companies. so he knows what is possible. but not in "production". August 21. because the helpful BMC people are setting up a bloggers' room there with spare laptops. go and play the same golf courses. by beating Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 majors. Ah well. Their IT General Manager is coming to talk at our Userworld event in San Francisco next week . An understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.the most popular sports-person in the USA .g. e. be blogging "live" (don't fancy doing it dead) from Userworld. who work like that. For those of you who don't follow golf. your intrepid reporter will. tuning. with continuous improvement as the aim . Analysis of the processes required to reach this goal.be the best golfer on the planet.quite right too. Golfers everywhere can go out and buy the same equipment as Tiger. so that's a pretty amazing performance.his 12th Major victory in ten years as a professional. Why is that some people can squeeze more out of a bunch of equipment than others? I believe there are several lessons we can learn from Tiger: • A clearly defined goal . However.g. as the British Government has helpfully decided that the bag I bought a couple of years ago does not conform to their requirements. the Toyota Formula One factory I visited in Cologne. and what has worked before. change dedicated to this goal. Trying out scenarios where it goes wrong . with no deviations. because you know it can be improved. which is significantly higher. and end up with a score.never being satisfied with what you have.

how many sessions I have attended.not like Alcatraz?! Thursday. Reminded me of many IT systems and pieces of electronic equipment I use. 2006 Various cultural things I have been gathering a few cultural differences over the last couple of days here in the jolly . August 31. cable cars. Friday.? And. of course. Imagine you were stuck in a cell there looking out of the window at SF? You know there is great experience out there. matey. ITIL. fog. you can almost touch it. locks etc. bars. hills. earthquakes. Off now to play the piano at a session I am giving with Malcolm Fry on Orchestrating ITIL. let's try again. on the other hand. Spot on. What do you think of when you hear San Francisco? Golden Gate Bridge.. the number of customers/partners here.) keep you from reaching it."Look. as you know. Now. What do I store in my local CDMB and service model and how does this communicate/federate with the outsourcer's CMDB/Service Model? Fortunately.BSM workflows.are you giving me (the) service (I want) or not. Enough said.. where we hope to combine fun with education . Alcatraz. and I'm looking at one right now. and it got me to thinking. the clever people at BMC are ahead of me and this new Service Modelling Language appears to be going exactly the right way. so here goes: • • • Excellent Several Lots (over 1800) Want I wanted to write about was actually this neat city. ISO 20000 etc. Constructing a complete picture of the IT environment out of a series of reusable building blocks rather than requiring a fully customized description of every service is crucial. 2006 San Francisco I tried to write a blog entry yesterday. and am really only interested in the overall result . The people in charge here at BMC's Userworld want me to tell you all about the event. and yet the interface (warders.. the web browser went into the twilight zone and did a good impression of the parrot in Monty Python . I. I get very bored with techy micro-level crud. so to quote: This common modelling language is an important step in simplifying IT management in multi-vendor environments. but when I hit the save button. I know a dead parrot when I see one. providing a way for information to be shared across diverse tools and applications." Anyway. am currently trying to get my head round the issue of outsourcing (the norm going forwards for me). Went and looked at it from across the bay yesterday. August 25.

I have just been handed some music because a customer wants me to play the piano at the end of her session. Anyway. So here is a quiet heartfelt plug for getting these servers consolidated and using them effectively and doing something for the planet at the same time. most of my colleagues will probably tell you those are understatements (in fact some of . I keep hearing that these things are only running at some ridiculously low level of utilisation. where I spend a month searching for the food on the plate). I know you want me to pay for the new one. Another benefit is that. Bye bye. when a new technology appears. For non-mainframe people. in most aspects. What I really want is cuisine with a bit of finesse . unlike web servers. perhaps that should be thinesse? Which led me to thinking about servers . it is still very popular due to its ease of use and integration into the TV. but I still want to use both.the American school of cuisine insists on giving me appetizers that are enough to feed a family of 10 (I also don't like the nouvelle cuisine style. which as an old mainframe man makes me chuckle. This is relevant during great news events which often block access to the web-pages of major news sites. and we don't reboot it every 30 seconds to put a security patch on it. Craig sweetly refers to me as a curmudgeon. September 01. OK. Friday. I know I have a strange butterfly brain).why don't you have Teletext on your TVs? I wanted to look up some sports results and I haven't got my laptop with me so at home I would simply look it up on Teletext.not in the restaurant. so I thought I would look up a couple of definitions: "An ill-tempered person full of resentment and stubborn notions" "A crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas" Now. So I am off to practise "Two out of three ain't bad" by Meatloaf. people rush to kill off the old one without realising that loads of people still use it.with all the reports on TV about obesity. but I have religiously copied his trackback URL into the space where it appears to go. if you'll excuse me. I have no idea if I have done it right. Now. Anyway.good old US of A. so I shall watch both ends and see what happens. what a hideous waste of electricity. that is not the reason for this entry. • Waste . Often. the mainframe typically runs at over 90% and is designed to keep doing that for ages. so it was a heaven sent opportunity when one of my ex-colleagues Craig Mullins decided to talk about this blog on his. • Teletext . Teletext is a broadcast and thus does not slow down as the number of users increase. technologically inferior to the Internet. but in the data centre (yes. 2006 Curmudgeon I've been meaning to try out these trackback things. To quote Wikipedia: While Teletext is.

Now all I need is a slogan. Mangum at 2006-09-05 11:57 How about "Piano man extraordinaire" ? how kind .them gave me a great book called the Travelling Curmudgeon) . If you want to go to Australia.only when I get bad service from people who don't seem to care Resentment . the mainframe is still the cheapest. most reliable. Last week was excellent. should not be acceptable. Tuesday. been there Irascible .Posted by peter at 2006-09-05 12:06 The keyboard ranter? Last week I have been trying to write a blog about last week's events in San Francisco. I hear you cry? As this is a non-political blog. most secure platform in the world!! Crusty . I rant because annoying people by providing useless service / meaningless gadgets / inane conversation etc. I shan't answer that question.bloody cheek. more frustration Stubborn .yes. Some people have been talking about it here. I don't rant against the world just for the sake of it. and I am due to go there the week after next. Having been involved from early on with BSM. and so many partners who are hooking into it. not far off really. but I am also trying to get a visa for a trip to Russia. September 05.yes.me? Old . can be very Cantankerous . We had over 1800 people there from countries all over the world and about 60 partners. it was a joy to hear from so many customers who are exploiting it. pay them some money and hey . Let me just compare two contrasting visa services. 2006 Add Comment your slogan . being serious. but I would like to correct a couple of things: • • • Ill-tempered . So what's the problem with Russia.oh yes. but accurate • • • • So. But. and if no-one complains they continue to get away with it.Posted by Y.not really. you log on to their website. First the good part. so no need for me to prattle on any more.

credit card number. I can tell you that the better half sounded like one of those grumpy old women on BBC2.Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-09-06 12:28 Gosh.. at the address with previously mentioned postal code). there was. be prepared to a combination of your Russia visa adventure and this story. . go shopping (Knightsbridge. hairdressing appointment. date of birth. Eventually you get the forms.. but very worthwhile once you get there ! that's quick . Oxford street. plan about 5 years in advance.... and on top of that proof of residence (bills in your name. seemed almost to good to be true. and either traipse off to the embassy yourself (never recommended unless you like having toenails individually extracted). you can risk travelling on 'carte de séjour' within the Schengen countries). Btw. First of all. if ever in need of a Vietnam visa. They will promise this about ten times. each time coming back and asking you for more meaningless information.9 out of 10 (would have been 10 if it had been free!) If you want to go to Russia.. Simple. excellent service . And that's the problem when living abroad and renting out your property... but no.. and if you book well enough in advance. political leaning. And people wonder why I rant.. you'd think that people living abroad would even travel more frequently. September 06. They will then promise to facs you a form to apply for a visa... so that when you arrive at the airport and they swipe your passport they find the visa. 2006 Add Comment Renewing UK passport when living abroad. but you have to hand in your current passport which means no travelling (well. thus requiring quick passport replacement. owning property in Twickenham). The embassy (and the other person) now charge you an iniquitous amount of money and still can't tell you when you will get your passport back. grandmother's fifth cousin's middle name and other useful data. by going to the UK for one day! Eurostar is fabulous. which will want to know your inside leg measurement. organise a hotel. Not only does it take 10 days.Eurostar should do a promotion .). or pay someone else to do it for you.presto the visa is stored electronically. Well how annoying is that. you have probably funded all their staff on a two-week holiday in Thailand. but you keep going. impressive .. And it was! Having your passport changed in the UK requires a UK postal code (no prob. By this time. Wednesday. even relatively cheap. 0 out of 10. which is a concern as you are going on holiday in two days' time. When asked if there wasn't a quicker procedure. Hand in passport in the morning. effective.Posted by Mike Reys at 2006-09-06 12:13 -Story of my better halfThe procedure takes 10 days here in the UK embassy in Belgium.

well-read person (with no money)!!! .Posted by Scott Sloan at 2006-09-07 10:27 Peter . September 06.yes. if only the rest of the world would wake up? Wow . not the service you think I want. I'll extend that to when you provide service. not what you want to talk about.what a joy to get great service. My experience with Lands End's Live Chat was shockingly easy and the representative helping me took initiative and contacted their parts department and sent me what I needed for free. and he/she says WOW wrong person. Just been listening to an excellent webinar with Gartner and a CIO. The discussion was around how you get a CIO's attention.Posted by Craig Mullins at 2006-09-08 15:35 While reading your blog I exclaimed "Wow!" I wonder what says about me as a target audience for this blog? wow .Did you see my Land's End posting? I thought about it when I read the last line of this posting. Wednesday. Now. 2006 Add Comment Surprised By Good Service . That's what I want and need because I achieved what I wanted to achieve quickly without a single hassle (aside from my father's dial-up internet connection).Person to person Was a track by the Average White Band from memory.Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-09-07 13:40 Scott . "Person-to-Person" Service to make even the most curmudgeonly smile (like in your picture). you should be talking about what they want to talk about. you should provide the service I need and am willing to pay for. no budget" Or to put it another way.Posted by peter at 2006-10-02 03:24 It says you are an extremely clever. when talking to a CxO. saw your blog . yes . I won't give away all the answers but it reminded me of the best slide I ever saw: "If you are talking to a prospect about the features of your product.

Yeehah. then look no further. September 07. going up to Scotland to check out the family history. but I know there will be loads of great golf. Unfortunately they have a monopoly and argument is not recommended with someone in uniform. Amazing what a difference a bit of friendly service with a nice smile makes. 2006 The Ryder Cup Home again. If you ever want to get .The Armstrongs Off on holiday for a week. Now. I had never visited the Lake District properly before. Bad news is that I will try and gather some suitably stomach-churning tales to share with you on my return! Thursday. and I am travelling to Mexico on Sunday to meet up with the analysts. Just like some websites. which is a beautiful castle in a magic location on the seaside and belongs to Lord Armstrong . Also went to Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland (top right of England). especially when they are carrying a firearm. And so on to next week. Which sounds wonderful. we were bloodthirsty cattle thieves. slower and more blatantly designed to thoroughly annoy the end-user. Some of the other places we visited required about 15 seconds max to make up your mind that you had no desire to do any business with them or ever set foot in their cafe/shop/restaurant again. But as my family was a bunch of notorious thieves and several met untimely. This is why I have cable and an HD TV . September 21. 2006 Home again . ITIL here would stand for Immigration Treats Immigrants Lamentably. and it is beautiful (ignore what I said about immigration and come and visit!) Great granddad came from up there and the hotel I booked transpired to be 200 yards from his grave. Spent first part of the week in Mexico with the analysts. as the Texans might say. If you ever want an example of a total disconnect between the needs of the end-user and the technology that could be employed.for two days! Been to Russia .can I just say that immigration in the vast majority of countries (and I am including the UK and the US in this) is the most brilliant display of how to avoid the intelligent application of technology. well documented deaths. Good news the is that this blog will be quiet for a week. who used to control the lands between England and Scotland. It is difficult to think of how to make something more complex. also been to Scotland and the Lake District tracing the family. it was relatively easy to find Johnie Armstrong's castle and grave (treacherously taken and hanged by James V in 1530) and Alexander Armstrong's memorial (murdered in Heritage Castle in ca.however. they wouldn't give me a discount when I said my name was Armstrong so I was a bit miffed!!! But the sandwiches were excellent and a sensible price. there's a motto for you. but those of you who know me might spot that the Ryder Cup starts tomorrow and ends on Sunday. Moving on. or how to implement a set of processes that are designed to be as slow and manual as possible. 1300).give me what I want and I will happily pay for it. so I hope it's on the TV in the British Airways lounge! I shan't try and predict the result as that would probably scupper our chances totally. Thursday.

and the whole thing reminded us all that there are things in life that are way more important than golf. it certainly felt like we walked that far). because the occasion was also the return of Darren Clarke to golf. but it was fun. and just to be helpful there are no signs telling you where to go. When you look at the European team you see a bunch of people who enjoy one another's company. swap his expression with Monty? Make all your team join a municipal golf course and play foursomes with 28handicappers. Not sure if it is the router or the cable box.he hates relying on anyone else. Then they'll learn how to play real recovery golf. September 29. Hints to next US captain: • • Don't play Tiger in the foursomes .no wonder. stop reading now. Install from scratch. gives me the opportunity to upgrade to G from B or whatever it is.fit. We thrashed them! I shan't gloat (well. If you don't follow golf. just a bit).winning their match for the team. Of course. In fact. so I splashed out on a new router (they are not exactly expensive). 2006 My new router The wireless network in my house has been a bit iffy recently. there is a bi-yearly tournament between the US and Europe. In IT terms. they can't find the way out. The Europeans on the other hand had knocked down the silos and realised they were there to deliver a business service . Fortunately you have kept the ID and password to do . Upgrade from a previous one . when you buy one of these things the instructions are never designed to cater for what you are trying to do. When you look at the American golfers and the American tour you see a lot of very wealthy. very independent people. Give Phil Mickelson a grin transplant . Half way through the install it doesn't work of course (can't find the internet) and you wonder why. I sit here wondering why we now seem to be the stronger team. Make your players play on courses that aren't perfectly manicured. • • Friday. Then you suddenly remember that your cable supplier treats this as a new device and you have to go into their home page to add it.no way.these are rhetorical questions and I have it working. Do I deinstall the previous one? Or do I install the next one under a new name and keep the old one as backup? Does the encryption carry over or do I have to redo all the PCs on the network with a new key? Don't all start writing in . His wife tragically died of cancer only a few weeks ago. the US team for me was a typical IT department with a silo mentality. and tricky lies. It is called the Ryder Cup. Is it asking too much to have a little arrow saying flight connections? From memory Mexico City is one of the most populous in the world . For those of you who don't follow golf. It was played last weekend.that vacant expression is getting on my nerves. and everybody just looked at their own little world. Also. fly through Mexico City. and preferably with the rain sheeting it down and the wind blowing half a gale. The airport is about two miles long (well. fine. So skipping the gloating bit.

Time for a drink not been a good day. Friday. they bloody can't. The cable company always takes hours to answer the phone and they are never there at the weekend (which is invariably when I need them). Congratulations on a bit of intelligence there. I personally would have disqualified Schumacher after Monte Carlo. Now my wife has just come in and told me the TV is still funny in that room. so looks like it was the cable box after all. Anyway. Call the sales line not the service one (you'll always get through) and ask them to transfer you. No. you are charging me 5p a minute to call you to tell you that your service is broken!?!?!?!? Think I'll try again at another time. • The cable box finally decided to call it a day: . Enough said. I tried ringing them on Saturday and got one of those infuriating automatic answering things that takes far too long to tell you that you are in a queue. "The answers to most questions can be found on our website". Weekend was good for Tiger (there's a surprise) but spoilt for me by Schumacher winning the Grand Prix (don't like him as he resorts to cheating unnecessarily and I don't like that). September 29.Posted by Phil Griston at 2006-10-04 21:11 Hi Peter . Monday. The real fun is that as part of the install you have to plug one of your PCs directly into the router with the supplied Ethernet cable. For my English readers Schuhmacher is German for cobblers . But that's not the real fun. Amazing how the authorities appear to have conveniently scuppered Renault along the way and made the championship come down to the wire. The problem is that your PC is miles from the router (that's why you have / wanted wireless in the first place) and the cable they supply is about 2 feet long.I'd try the trick I learned when I moved to CA and experienced US customer service.it works well with DirectTV over here! Nice blog by the way Threes They say bad stuff always come in threes. but there you go. 2006 Continued In the last entry I was talking about my iffy cable box. but excuse me. it eventually tells me that the queue is ca. credit back your payments for the downtime or cancel your contract . 2006 Add Comment Getting through to the Cable company . October 02.enough said.this (lucky!). 30 minutes long.

'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EXPARROT!! So I got hold of the cable company (thanks for the tip in last entry Phil), and they came and replaced it. Fortunately I got someone who spoke the same native language as I do (well he was from Newcastle, but that's close). This meant that he understood what I was talking about, whereas last time I got a person from some part of our previous Empire, who made me repeat every recovery action I had already done (I have done that already. It does not matter, you have to do it again as it says so on my script and I couldn't possibly deviate as that requires intelligence and empathy for the customer). And remember I am paying for the call. For those of you who think putting a help desk somewhere in the back of beyond is great because it saves money, you are right, but I hate you and I am actively working on changing all my services to avoid your penny-pinching abysmal service. It is interesting that many companies in the UK are now advertising that they don't have foreign help desks - so I can't be the only grumpy customer?

Phones don't work very well when you pour water in the base unit - don't ask. So we went in to Epsom today to buy a new one. We found seven shops selling mobile phones, but not one selling normal ones?!?! There is a market opportunity there somewhere? My film and slide scanner decided that scanning was something it didn't fancy doing any more. Worked fine in the morning, decided not to take in the film holders any more in the afternoon. The shop where I bought it say they couldn't repair it (although I don't think they really tried). The manufacturer says the spare parts are too expensive / they can't get hold of them, so I should buy a new one. Excuse me, if you can build new ones, then the parts are still there!!!!!! So, yes I shall buy a new one - BUT NOT ONE OF YOURS AND NOT FROM YOU. Get lost. If anyone out there can mend a Scanwit 2740S scanner or wants to buy one cheap (I think it is just one motor that has gone), then let me know.

But there is good news - Schumacher's engine blew up and Alonso won in Japan. Sorry, Michael, obviously would never have happened if I hadn't my three breakdowns first! Ho, ho. Sunday, October 08, 2006

Fat Nation
It's travel time at present (i.e. it is the seminar season) so blogging has been a bit tricky, because I try to avoid carrying a laptop round the world with me. I know some people are permanently glued to theirs, but I am not in that camp; I would rather read a book or a magazine or listen to some music. Yes, I know you can listen to music from your PC, but it's much easier to carry a little MP3 player. Anyway, whilst listening to the news the other day, I heard that the UK is now the fattest country in Europe. Ouch. I sat there and tried to work out why. I think it is a combination of

factors, which surprise, surprise also apply to IT:

Ignorance. We are all ignorant. That does mean we are stupid, it just means the correct facts have not been supplied to us at the correct time, or we can't find them. Or we get so overwhelmed with data, that we don't know where to start. Laziness. Some of us (many of us?) are lazy. This is often caused by not being able to find what we were looking for and hence going for the easy option. This is particularly true in web commerce - give me something that works and I know I can trust and I will pay a bit more for it, because I am too lazy to search round for alternatives. Note the word trust in there! Impatience. I want it NOW. Fast food exists for a reason. The Internet has led us to being a very impatient band of end-users. Greed. We all demand that our system runs extremely fast, 24x7 even though (frequently) we don't actually need it. Lack of fresh ingredients. Every now and then someone takes some fresh ingredients, mixes them all together and comes up with something new - ebay, Amazon, Google, Youtube etc. I personally cannot understand why Youtube is worth $1.65Bn, but that's not my problem.

So what's the way to stop being fat? Eat less and do more exercise. And that is the common mantra of IT - how do we do more with less? By defining what really matters from a business, not a technical point of view; by understanding why we exist - to provide the appropriate level of service at the appropriate price to the correct people at the correct time. Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Stupid, stupid software
I just wrote an incredibly amusing and inciteful blog about the cultural differences between the US and the UK, with interesting diversions into the origins of rugby, the internationalisation of web applications, Guinness and the meaning of life. I then pressed the Save button. Unfortunately I had chosen a short name for the blog entry index that I had used before, and this sweet piece of software decided to lose everything I had typed in. AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH! Time for lunch. Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Travels
OK, after my recent blogging experiences I have developed a new technique - I enter the short name and title and hit Save. If that works, then I come back and Edit the entry and add these ramblings. I was in Poland last week for the customer event we do each year with our partner out there Compfort Meridian . I don't how they get so many people to come, but the turn-out is always

amazing. Houston this week, South Africa for a customer event next week, Bulgaria after that ..... So I have a lot of thinking time in between frenetic bursts of activity. I am occupying a lot of that thinking time with learning Adobe Photoshop CS2, because I am getting back into photography. When I was younger I was very interested in photography - my brother and I built a darkroom up in the attic, and developed and printed our own films. I then went through the kids growing up and to be honest I spent a lot of time taking what I would call snapshots rather than pictures. Now that the kids have left home and decent digital cameras have become the norm, I am getting back into taking photographs. As I read magazines and an extremely large book on CS2, I am discovering the plethora of editing options available, and on one hand it intrigues me, but on the other it worries me as it could promote an attitude of just click away and you can fix it afterwards. In fact, for me, the skill of photography is trying to capture the photo as accurately as possible in the camera. Composition is vital, getting the exposure correct is something I learnt about ages ago etc. Now I admit there are some situations where the camera simply cannot cope and if you expose correctly for the foreground, then the sky is washed out; if you expose correctly for the sky, the foreground is in deep shadow. So, here I take two RAW exposures and combine them in Photoshop. Yes I use RAW rather than JPEG because quality is important to me. So what's all that got to do with the price of fish? I worry that too many people nowadays are taught what I call casual IT. Malcolm Fry tells a story about one of his granddaughters getting him to fix the printer and telling him that he needed to reboot the PC. Where did you learn that? At school. She is 6 years old! Kids then move on through school and college/University and the whole ethos seems to be CTL-ALT-DEL. Don't worry if it doesn't work first time, you can fix it later. For the old readers out there, do you remember spending hours getting your punched cards right, and then waiting till the morning to see the results of your one overnight run? Now I am not advocating a return to punched cards and one test per day, but it did make us all take a lot more care over what we were doing and trying to get things right the first time. And that is what I would like to see today, people taking a lot more care and resisting casual IT. Casual IT to me equals fat IT, and I don't believe modern agile business can afford fat IT. Thursday, October 19, 2006

(American) football
It has been a pretty good time recently - I realise that no-one has particularly annoyed me for quite a while (that is not a free invitation). There were only a couple of minor quibbles this week:
• •

The bathroom had two hair-driers. Why? One didn't work. The car has those tedious lights that stay on after you lock it. I know that can be handy, but somehow they stay on just long enough to convince you that they are never going to turn off.

I was sitting in the Outback Steakhouse on Monday night (they serve Guinness), and American

football was on the TV. Now, I know nothing about American football as I was raised on rugby, where you are only allowed to pass the ball backwards, and you are only allowed to tackle someone who has the ball. (Un)fortunately for me, my eyesight went when I was about 11, and being tackled by someone you can't see is not a pleasant occupation, so I moved to squash and tennis. As far as I can make out in American football, some flash bloke at the back chucks the ball to some fast flash guy at the front, who is trying not to get annihilated by two 8-ft tall, 6-ft wide opponents. I assume the flash guys are paid ridiculous amounts of money. Are they worth it? Let me know. In the UK, we have a large number of overpaid primadonnas, who occasionally kick a ball around and frequently lose when it matters. We call that the national football (soccer) team, and they are definitely not worth the money. Actually the thing that impressed me most about the American football on the TV was the size of the crowd. Huge (I assume there are copious quantities of food and drink available within 30 seconds of where you are sitting?). Crowds are dwindling in the UK because the prices have gone way up, due to the ridiculous amounts paid to the players - think I've done that one to death (and I don't even follow football and never go to a match or watch one on TV!). It is easy to spend money. The skill is spending it the right way so that the customer is happy and keeps coming back - and spends his/her money with you. Friday, October 20, 2006

Add Comment Ticket Prices/Customer Service - Posted by Mark Armstrong at 2006-10-23 11:12 Let us not forget the crazy prices that you pay to attend a Grand Prix in the UK! All because the promoters of F1 races are charged huge fees by Bernie to host the races in the first place. They have to get their money back somehow and it always hurts the fans in the pocket. Mr E, you have enough money. Time to look after the fans and to have F1 races at sensible times not 1pm which totally stuffs up your Sunday. Alonso won. Michael was runner up - ha! Feel better now. That's my boy! - Posted by peter armstrong at 2006-10-23 11:54 Totally agree - and for the rest of you, this is my son proving he is a very fine chip off the old block!!!!!

Halloween
Halloween is nearly with us, so the folks at BMC thought it was apt that I wrote a piece about some of the horrors I have heard about in IT shops. As Michael Jackson would say: It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark Under the moonlight you see a sight, that almost stops your heart You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before you make it

isn't this exciting . of course. I'm not clever enough to make this stuff up. As he says at the end we cannot afford to be careless with our language. try here. the handle toward my hand? Compare this with the modern guide version: Oooh! Would you look at that. One classic example (with a clever link back to Macbeth up above) he quotes: Take a few original lines from Macbeth: Is this a dagger which I see before me. nothing ever goes wrong here". In fact that trip up to the Borders to trace my family roots prompted me to reread "One Thousand Years of Armstrong History" (a fascinating book sadly let down by very poor punctuation).hence the family name Armstrong we were given by the king. left out all references to customer or location or industry. and then I tell them a story about another customer and they immediately say. so I think I'll go and ring up Harry and ask if he fancies a drink! Now extending the Scottish history bit. please turn to page 5 of yesterday's edition. because if we are careless with our language then we are careless with our world and sooner or later we will be lost for words to describe what we have allowed to happen to it. because I believe in protecting my sources! Enjoy.You start to freeze. Gosh. I have. I had forgotten the part that tells me I am related to the royal families of both England and Scotland. the sharper readers will remember me mentioning it in this entry. Why should you look? Well. we can beat that easily!" These are based on real situations. and let me know if you can do better! Tuesday. "NO. Unfortunately not my part of the Armstrong family though! In fact. October 24. You're paralyzed The intriguing thing is that when you ask IT people if they have had any horror stories. one of my ancestors was sent up to Scotland by Edward the Confessor to get rid of Macbeth and put the rightful king Malcolm on the throne. That is exactly how I feel . For those who don't. The picture they use in the paper is much better. 2006 Tranquility For those of you who read the Daily Telegraph.history was never like this at school! All of which leads me to today's Telegraph and an extract from a new book on language by John Humphrys. apart from the fact that it is a very pretty castle in a lovely location. However. as horror looks you right between the eyes. Malcolm was the one my ancestor saved later on the battlefield by picking him up when he was wounded and riding him to safety . they say. guess who owns it? The Armstrong family. "That's nothing.

and why I bore you all with this blog. Tuesday. They have taken off from nothing to major success in a couple of years . which is a quiet time in other sports. and when it is.watch this space. Met the man in charge of A1 Grand Prix at our customer Forum. to show customers where my head is at (is that still a term I can use or am I showing my age?). some of which are classic): Secondly. that means that other nations join in!!) of Motorsport. 23 nations from memory (including America) competing in identical Formula One race cars from September to April. Firstly I am of the opinion that just because something is technically possible. 2006 Business and IT alignment Down in South Africa last week. money and IT resource: . then check them out. If you know nothing about these chaps. I shared a couple of images at the Forum. I have enormous sympathy with them as I personally believe the ready availability of network bandwidth is a prerequisite to any meaningful IT-based service. fascinating. sometimes things can be done quite well without having to invest a huge amount of time. that is not a sufficient reason for doing it (but check out the comments here. October 24. They are running a World Cup (for Americans. it costs a fortune. friendly lot down there.about service. whose major gripe is that broadband is not very available.

many in this category through no fault of their own.Which all brings me to the whole question of business and IT alignment. "Your IT system sucks. Wave 1 is when people say they are doing ITIL. think Dad's Army. To me wave 2 is just a stepping stone.will shout when available). Now you can throw out the bait and reel the users in. how would you like service level agreements to be business docs and not meaningless technical metrics. How would you like incidents prioritised by business requirements. Wave 3 is the exploitation / consumption of that CMDB and its federated data. A lot of people are not seeing beyond Wave 2 at present (perhaps because they don't have any tools or processes to consume the wondrous beast they have just built). which says we are all doomed (for the Brits. but because the tools to create a CMDB and keep it up-to-date were not available until recently and a manual CMDB is a waste of time and money. played golf (well for a change). but that to me is where the real fun starts. We also proved that my wife and I are either on the cutting . in which I argue that: • You can align business and IT and still have IT chaos . I have just posted a comment there. • In fact. cleared out lots of junk (who needs a PCMCIA storage card?) from the house etc. Anyway. How? By increasing taxes. So wave 2 is getting your CMDB built (Malcolm Fry is just about to publish a book on this . A report came out here the other day. Private Frazer). possibly effective.BSM reduces cost of running IT by 25% according to Forrester). Problem and Service Desk. I think ITIL has 3 waves. Our government. What they actually mean is Incident. what it really means is that the weather was magic. but I know how to save it" "How?" "By giving you less money to run it" ( quick BMC plug . Wave 3 is where you align business and IT.? How would you like your service? Thursday. bless them. Not because they are stupid. which is the subject of a book that some folks I know are writing. and we managed to get lots done in the garden. They will probably have manual. and you get to what I call "Business Aware IT" . how would you like to build capacity plans from business needs rather than keeping techies happy with new technical toys (like dynamic provisioning) etc.BAIT for short.many. have seized (spelt right . 2006 Global Warming Thought I would use a trendy. but almost guaranteed cost-inefficient change. but that does mean that they run IT with a "Business Perspective" You can implement ITIL and still not have business and IT aligned . much-talked-about title for this entry to attract your attention. November 02.it breaks the i before e rule) on this and are set to save the planet.I can think of many companies who are totally reliant on the web.

Anyway. the point is we can all handle slightly delayed response. 2006 New podcast Just a quick entry to say that my latest podcast (the one about IT horror stories) is now available.for instance why do dentists always start asking you questions as they stick some sharp instrument in your mouth and say open wide? However.no. To those who have no idea what I am talking about. so I suggested that we try out this geocaching lark. I generally like some sort of feedback when I am awaiting service. We also managed to prove that you don't always need the latest technology to achieve a result. but alas it was to no avail. So do you need the latest technology? All depends on how often you are going to use it and how much it is worth to you / the customer sound familiar? Monday. it was fun. was it as easy as a GPS device . We don't own a GPS device (except in the car. ignoring that. which is actually the number I had suggested 5-10 minutes previously. For instance. I told the guy the model number of the camera and he then spent several minutes hopping from one screen to another muttering under his breath. published the location (latitude and longitude) on the Internet and you now go and try and find it.no. now. so download quickly so that you have something to fill in those dull moments at the weekend!! Friday. 2006 Feedback There are times when conversation is tricky . I am a nerd). how do you feel? You're waiting to board a plane. so we used Google Earth instead to zoom in on the location and then print a picture of the area. November 06. how do you feel? . you get regular announcements telling you how long the delay will be and why. Would it work as well in the middle of the woods (ours was on a junction of field and wood so easy to locate) . I assume it was invented by manufacturers of GPS devices. You're waiting to board a plane. spare battery). and it's not removable). Eventually he looked at me and said BP511. There are 329804 caches out there. geocaching means that someone has hidden a little cache somewhere. I endeavoured to engage in conversation along the lines of "Are you looking up the battery model number or are you writing a letter to your insurance company?". no-one says anything. different and unexpected ways to deliver a service (yes. so the good news is that I am not alone.edge of technology or a we are a pair of total nerds. if someone tells us what is going on. I was in a shop earlier today buying some bits for my camera (remote control. typing furiously and waiting a lot. Who cares. Clever. we found it. November 10. We wanted to go for a walk up on Epsom Downs. it's late. Now. who were trying to drive up sales. and it made me think of about applying technology in new.

Which leads me to the comment I have heard a lot recently that IT are the cobblers' children. Only problem is that they haven't implemented the software (yet?). I want proactive service. here is a sample quote: "The rest of the book will take you through a day in my/your life and look how the intelligent use of technology.Same with IT systems. a knowledge base of previous problems (searchable by the user and the IT staff). here I am in the lounge at Houston. Try saying that 3 times quickly. of course.). please from a business perspective. Tuesday. Tell me nothing. but he actually works for a software company that sells password software. could make our lives easier and give us time to enjoy our leisure. whether there is an alternative. am also inclined to join in! So. don't respond and I will go elsewhere. root cause analysis. CobIT.time to sort out our own processes. Practical ITIL. Tell me why the thing isn't working. fix them and avoid them happening again in the future. automated recovery where appropriate. not from a technology perspective. The sensible way to handle incidents is to try and discover them before the user. Reactive assumes I can be bothered to call you . I offered to sell him some software to fix his problem. but we are way behind in sorting out our own shop. In other words. Peoplesoft). listening to the chap next to me trying to reset his password. I. which users. as opposed to the technical self-satisfaction approach. All of which. The most expensive way to get incidents into your help desk is to have the user call you. proactively notify the user as to what is going on. 2006 Overheard One of the sad facts of travelling round the world is that you sit in lounges and cannot help overhearing other peoples' conversations. and I can probably live with it. but please. Thursday. an understanding of how all the bits fit together (which business service is actually being impacted. Hence the groundswell of ITIL. Analysts tell me it costs about $20-30 per call and it takes 6 calls to get an incident raised.). not reactive. 2006 Feeling slightly smug Five years ago I wrote a (warning! adult language) book about the intelligent use of technology. of course. ISO2000 and BSM . tools to fix the problem etc. how long it is likely to be offline. . how much is it costing me etc.g. We have spent years sorting out the ERP systems for the business (hence SAP etc. we have sorted out the HR systems (e. really should have proper SLAs in place (which one do I work on first).as my wife read in a book the other day "assume makes an ass out of u and me". November 14. November 16.

dear readers. hey. So why am I feeling slightly smug? My son has just sent me this link ." Those of you who have bought the book (thanks!) or know me. who even blogs on a Sunday.and then flew on to Reno. imagine a canal with gondolas under a false sky in the middle of a hotel. Perhaps it's me. along with thoughts from analysts. and you will find an article written by Alan Cane about the value of the IT department. address. credit card etc. will know that I have been suggesting getting rid of money and credit cards for years and using phones for paying / checking into hotels etc. but for the moment assume that this Personal Identification (PI) system exists and we’ll see how it would change our lives. As you have probably guessed. Wednesday. I went for a wander round the Venetian when I was in Las Vegas. called "Are there benefits to staying inhouse?" This addresses the key areas of what should be offshored / outsourced / the role of IT etc. please buy a copy of the FT today.For the moment. I’ll describe how I think this could work later in the book. 2006 Financial Times 22 Nov If you get a chance.http://news. November 22. and nice man that he is. so who am I to knock it? The one part that I don't like is the fact that everyone smokes as if it is going out of fashion (which it is). imagine that there is a “ring” surrounding you. But. he has quoted many of my thoughts on how IT can move from being perceived as a cost centre to a value centre. where I am now. that I am a totally dedicated professional. but nobody is perfect! Think I shall contact the GSM association and have a chat!! Tuesday. For anyone who hasn't been there. This has been a somewhat surreal week for me.stm. CIOs etc. I talked to Alan the other week. 2006 Surrealist boredom If you look when this blog was posted. Or. More on these later. I am bored out of my tiny little skull. I flew into Las Vegas on Wednesday for the Gartner Data Centre Conference . they are catering for a certain type of end-user and creating a fantasy. for the BMC Annual Performance Conference and CMG. let's talk about the surrealism first.an excellent event with a very large attendance . OK.bbc.co. as I am not into gambling in any way. – chosen and controlled by you) that you can choose to pass on to someone easily and quickly. but I just burst out laughing. November 21. as you may have guessed. you will see. You arrive to check in and have to battle your way through clouds of smoke . that contains your personal details (name. I predicted it would be Bluetooth based.uk/1/hi/technology/6168222.

S. When we designed BSM it was all about this two-way conversation and the exploitation of the business knowledge in all that IT does from application design.across the casino floor.). as I have just read that they are trying to shut down my favourite mp3 site (some interesting comments on people using a service because it is priced correctly shut it down and they go underground). this requires a two-way conversation between IT and the business. Yesterday I went up to Lake Tahoe to take photographs. ski-slopes behind .pass. help desk etc. When you go to eat. I know we have all been talking about this for years and as one of the analysts put it to me. Judging by the very large number of people coming up at the end to ask for a copy of the slides. I think we are. 2006 Travel a lot? Feeling a bit cheesed off. back to the work part. problem. Crystal clear lake in front of you. Today . through end-user experience to capacity planning etc.magic. One of the discussions I was having with one of the analysts is that she believes BSM (business service management) is just about the Service Impact side of things IT's ability to respond to events in the order that is correct for the business. Now. the buffet serves every possible meal at all times of the day.brilliant! Sunday. its capacity plans. P. so that should help. where I tried to explain what was needed to make IT truly effective and turn it from a cost centre to a value generator. On one hand. That is just one part of BSM. So are we actually close now to achieving this dream? Well. So where the biggest challenge at present? The technology is simple (we've cracked that and bolted it all together for you). working on it. I presented on Business Aware IT at Gartner. So I am listening to some sublime Jimi Hendrix to . Personally. Absolutely stunning. As one of the early godfathers of BSM. Just played Pebble Beach on the golf simulator downstairs . Think there is a golf driving range downstairs. As I have stated in previous blogs I think there are 3 waves .the first was getting the basic processes in place (incident. and then next year it was "def" and the year after "ghi" and so on and so on. These pieces are now all available for the first time. December 03. the second is getting a picture of how it all fits together (CMDB service models) and the third wave is exploiting that information to run everything in IT from a purely business point of view. IT has to be able to explain in easy language what is possible and what is not. I appear to have hit the "hot button". Which is why this blog has mentality in its title. not a good service experience and enough to make me turn around and leave. its goals. its required service levels. So. and what the associated costs and risks are. The business has to be able to express its priorities. I can only disagree with that view. this is very helpful if you have jet lag as you can eat what your body craves for. My biggest problem was finding something to do at the weekend as the whole gambling thing leaves me cold. The people and process is the part we all need to work on now. but it is slightly disturbing when you are tucking into your bacon and eggs and some overweight little oik walks past with a socking great ice-cream sundae smothered in some sweet calorific goo and they wonder why they are fat. 3 years ago the answer was "abc". I must admit.

thank you. Look at Vol 7. So I rang up. Can't find me. no nothing. Scream. Write rude email to ABC telling them to get lost. As you may or may not know.cheer me up. Go online.totally useless. Next day get an email saying tell us your name (try reading the signature at the bottom. Reminds me of the story when Lee Trevino checked in 3 bags at Heathrow. Unfortunately. DUUUUH). Friday. Try again. why don't you try again online. Ring current mobile provider. if you do travel a lot. Thank you very much . their systems aren't working. read the email). and said "I would like that one in New York.I would never have even contemplated the ABC/DEF offer if my current . (Capacity management again?) Try sales again .seatguru. Undeliverable. that one in Paris and the clubs in Tokyo please". we can't do that. no confirmation email. your order number (I haven't bloody got one. then you hope you don't lose your luggage. the system doesn't work. it's impossible. DEF is my cable provider at home and they recently wrote to me offering a half-price ABC contract and a free Nokia phone. December 08. who tell me that as I am such a long-standing loyal customer. And." he replied. So I then ring up the help number I was given when I signed up. ABC owns large chunks of DEF. and stayed in all the next day waiting for the promised phone to arrive. the whole thing went belly up at that point.why didn't you offer this to me without my having to threaten to cancel? See below.net. due to their inability to handle the number of people trying to sign up (ever heard of capacity management?). half out customer. Do you travel a lot? Well. you have probably come across the very useful www. Just been sent a link to this.sleepinginairports. "Sorry. Sir. Guess what? No phone. I got one email saying thanks.com. And the wind cries Mary. 2006 Verging on the ridiculous I have removed the names to avoid lawsuits. Can't handle a half in. And now the serious bit ." "No. A quote: "Stop treating your best customers the worst" Spot on . inside leg measurement. Find an email id on the website. and we will work on it for you some time this century. but here is another website that might amuse you www. Get an email back saying undeliverable. eventually got through and said go for it. number 4. how would I like to stay with them and have a monthly rate £10 less than I am paying today.here is someone saying nice stuff about us. Write to them. you moron. boom ! You also hope this doesn't happen on the plane. grandmother's fifth cousin's middle name etc. it isn't. "you did it last week!" Boom.

Friday.tomorrow the WORLD! Seriously. Oh yes. 2006 Christmas Quiz Time for a little quiz I feel. Answers later in the year.it doesn't matter if you get some wrong.the answers are not the easy ones you expect. please check out the new look and let us know what you think. 2006 Add Comment Scary . Fans of QI on BBC2 should get some or all.com They warned me that I was due to appear on www.vendor had been looking after me.com. Warning . the competition was incompetent. • • • • • • • • • • Who invented the telephone? Where is the driest place on earth? What man-made artefacts can be seen from the moon? Where does Chicken Tikka Masala come from? Who invented champagne? How many states are there in the USA? How many legs does a centipede have? Which way does the water go down the plughole? Where was baseball invented? What was James Bond's favourite drink? Who said this blog didn't teach you anything?!?!?!? Monday. They were lucky.Posted by Mike Reys at 2006-12-15 14:05 Your picture on the main page was kind of scary in the beginning.bmc. December 11. but I resisted the close .bmc. December 15. don't forget my Christmas Quiz . December 08. but I hadn't realised I was due to take over the whole thing . If you know all the answers without reference books or Google (and Google isn't always right). Friday. but you can't rely on that. 2006 www. you need to get out more.

or secular practices of your choice. or a new phone." To the Health and Safety people. and the candles burn your house down. Every time I call.makes calls.there were several more.button. Ring mobile provider and am told that it is a fault with the handset. non-addictive.a fact we discover at the weekend when the old card stops working. Just read in the paper that some school has banned saying Happy Christmas because it might offend some religions. Ever heard of Route Cause Analysis? Anyway. Actually we all secretly hope you fall off the ladder when decorating the tree. socially responsible. We try another handset in the shop . Another call to the "(partially)Help(ful) Desk".Posted by Dmitry Baryshnikov at 2006-12-20 06:19 Come on. OK. same problem.guess what? You got it. What they fail to tell us is that they are going to cut off the old one when they send out the new one . with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others. need to get myself in the right mood for this rant. who get upset when we can't say Happy Christmas. you must need a new SIM card as yours is an old one. so we'll skip that bit. receives messages . "Please accept with no obligation. and I must say that the BMC corporate website looks better than ever! My Father's Picture . from another phone and are chargeable . practised within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice.if the old card still worked it would be a free call. but this is the season of goodwill.Posted by Mark Armstrong at 2006-12-19 11:13 Very scary indeed I would say! Actually I had better be polite and wait until after Christmas to be rude! Peter Armstrong picture . I am sure you will enjoy your totally safe but also totally boring Christmas. or their choice not to practise religious or secular traditions at all. Put in the SIM card from the old phone . which will take 2 or 3 days. low stress. very nice picture! (for the Englishman indeed:) Immobile design OK. The current mobile provider told me I could have £10 off a month. I get a message telling me to dial 150 from my mobile phone .can't send messages. Ring mobile provider again. receives calls. implied or implicit. the continuing saga of getting my wife's mobile phone upgraded. The new phone was worth about £30. Oh. The people you upset are people like me. getting there . Now. who ruin all our lives by taking away all the fun. gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday. What rubbish. so here we go. but I couldn't work out how to keep them clean. our best wishes for an environmentally conscious. and went to a local shop to get a new phone. of course. they say they will send us a new SIM card. Why the hell can't they get me to ring when the new one arrives to activate it? All the calls I am currently making are. who confirm that this is normal. so I went for the £10 off.I can't you .

. looks at the new phone and says "Well. I turn on my phone and she gets a beep and a report to say the message has been delivered.Posted by Dmitry Baryshnikov at 2006-12-22 04:35 Thank you for your post. I completely agree with you about your feelings. Hey Presto. And though I'm slightly less than 30. they are a total waste of space and time. As soon as I land. but to boring old cranks like us (who have quality MP3 players and high quality cameras and taste in music). she knows I am safe and sound. it's got no MP3 player.can we please have a Grumpy Old Men/Women option on new devices. The new phone makes no beep and the delivery report disappears after about two nanoseconds on the screen. for over 200 years. because it doesn't bloody work. embraced that notion. all this political correctness. I do think that all these universal devices are total crap. no video. my daughter (bless!) comes round. This country was colonized by people seeking freedom of religious expression and we have. "We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable. Absolutely bloody useless. Especially when we're talking about the stereo amplifiers and a/v receivers. it just so happens a huge percentage of our free world population celebrates it. Peter? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family and friends! Christmas and immobile mobile . still exercising our very basic freedom of expression withheld in our own Constitution." to "We hold these truths to be selfevident. Manufactures . when Christmas. :) And you know what. Since medieval times. Anyone want a new phone for Christmas? Wednesday. even promoted Christmas as a season of joy and celebration with community. than why can't I congratulate my friends and relatives with this holiday by its natural name? Ah.Posted by Alysia Korelc at 2006-12-22 10:58 During the drafting of our American Declaration of Independence. because frankly they may be of interest to anyone under the age of 30. December 20. She found it strange that we purposely chose a phone without these features. the higher the quality of the function (service?). basically just an upgraded model) does not have the one feature that made the old phone really useful.one box. 2006 Add Comment Marry Christmas! . The heavier the box. When I am travelling my wife sends me a text message whilst I am in the air. it doesn't take pictures. Peter. indeed.moron. we have become a litigious society of self-serving special interests. Christmas is a birthday. in fact.. If we have the holiday that is called Christmas for 2000 years. That the rest of the world appears to have followed suit is very sad. the ring-tones are boring and and and". However. Good grief. In the meantime. 'getting right down to it.. because of your crap process. even turning it into a season of rampant commercialism and conspicuous spending. Ben Franklin changed the phrase." in pursuit of generic appeal and to avoid religious overtones. and seem to have turned tables on ourselves. which skips the crap and gives us what we actually want? Now the SIM card has arrived and we discover that the new phone (same make as previous one. like yuck. One function .

indeed! Alysia :) P. Imagine playing against a person with a different ethnic background and hitting just a couple of centimetres past the ball . we've battled on fields and printing presses over the holiday. getting back to my opening statement .S. was associated with monarchy.in order to avoid religious overtones.ergo Christianity. this I do know: it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.. Being a Dane I barely dare play football any more. It's beginning to look a lot like another minority rule is in the works to try to change a 'sacred and undeniable' holiday celebrated by the majority of the free world .Posted by Jan Flodin at 2006-12-28 10:48 Funny I should read your blog just the day after I read a story in a local newspaper about a rerun of the old Pippi Longstocking series on Norwegian TV.when the Pilgrims landed on this continent. Perhaps she'll find a nice surprise under the tree .I wonder what Ben Franklin would have to say about that.. Hmm. they were the minority rule that drove the foundation of this country. and here's wishing you and your family a very happy one. But. In the new translation her father has been changed from being a "negro king from the South Sea" to being "a South Sea king".next day's headline story on Al Jazeera will be "Dane kicks Muslims!" . But. So not only Christmas but also our childhoods fairy tales has to watch out for political correctness.that even your daughter will declare as 'cool?' Political correctness . Sorry about your wife's immobile mobile phone.

Part 3 Did you really test this? .

Apologies for lack of service Regular (avid?) readers will have noticed the complete lack of entries in recent times. we have turned delivery reports on. . Antonio Meucci invented it in 1871. I get a message sent.Posted by Dmitry Baryshnikov at 2007-01-16 09:49 Hello. Sorry about that. but not at the time) is that my wife's old phone got stolen. 2007 Add Comment SMS Delivery Reporting in mobile phones . because no-one asks the users what they want. which no-one wants or uses. when you send an SMS text do you: • • Get a report back in your inbox when the person the other end receives it? Get an audible (I mean loud. Anyway. So you're always aware. Nice to see you back! You know. I am trying to work out if it is the phone or the network. five years before Bell's patent. Ah. Quiz Answers Got the book ( The Book of General Ignorance) back from my neighbour. but nothing to confirm when the person receives it and opens it. You get the delivery report like a message on the screen (and it beeps if the sound is on). but the new one makes a futile beep and no report. which is what I am looking for). I am getting back into the swing of blogging!!! Monday. so here are the answers: • Who invented the telephone? Not Bell. but it won't disappear until the user presses "OK". answers to Christmas quiz will come as soon as I get the book back from my neighbour! The funniest thing that happened over the holidays (well. Sony Ericsson added the SMS delivery report feature some new functionality in their recent models. but that doesn't seem to help. My wife's ancient Nokia (on T-mobile) had this feature. And yes. January 15. so she is now having to learn to use the new one (see previous blog entry for full story of our immobile problems)! To all UK readers. Yes. funny now. what phone and what network are you on? • I am on O2 with a Nokia 6230 and get absolutely nothing (OK. not a silent little apology of a beep) alert when this report arrives? If so. was away with no laptop and discovered that trying to write a blog entry using a BlackBerry is totally useless. Peter. this is a typical example of a useful feature being there in version 1 and then disappearing in version 2. Instead they jam modern devices full of technorubbish.

(From memory the only ball-games invented in the USA are basketball and lacrosse. and then make the mistake of teaching the rest of the world how to play them. but are in fact totally wrong. (So the old schoolboy joke about "What goes 99 bonk? A centipede with a wooden leg" is wrong. Britain exports Chicken Tikka Masala to India (to keep the help desk people happy?) Who invented champagne? Champagne is an English invention. Monday. How many legs does a centipede have? They have never found one with 100. this system is better / cheaper / more secure / what the user wants etc. Where was baseball invented? England. January 22. Virginia.) next time. Parts of the continent have seen no rain for two million years. 2007 Gone Caching Can't remember if I have talked about this before. firstly it is a great way to get kids to go for a walk. invent good games.) Which way does water go down the plughole? Depends on the shape. but I have got into geocaching. and are perpetuated in educational establishments. on average. You can see some from space (starts only 60 miles up). so that guarantees that an American team wins!) What was James Bond's favourite drink? A painstaking study at www. rather than play some mindless . They call it the World Series.atomicmartinis. Ask someone to prove it (e. Now. Why? Well.com has shown that James Bond consumed a drink. Where does Chicken Tikka Masala come from? Glasgow. The French picked it up and perfected it in 1876. His favourite is whisky. all round the world. • • • • • • • • Hope you enjoyed that. adopts a different system. Many myths exist. people are hiding caches. on the other hand.g. the caches do not contain money or anything valuable. etc. Then we get thrashed. the nearest is 96.• Where is the driest place on earth? Antartica. before you get excited. We started it in 1662. Basically. They contain a log book to record your visit and some cheap plastic toys for kids to swap (put one in. and then publishing their location (longitude and latitude) on the Internet. of course. We. How many states are there in the USA? 46. but not from a quarter of a million miles away. how it was filled etc. They may also contain trackable items that travel the world. Your mission (if you accept it) is to find them. As you can see most of us think we know the answer to many things. but don't let the rest of the world take part. America. What man-made artefacts can be seen from the moon? None. take one out). You also log your visit on the Internet. The theory that it changes from northern to southern hemisphere due to the Coriolis force is a load of rubbish. Same in IT. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are all officially Commonwealths. Kentucky. every 7 pages.

or sit in front of some reality TV junk (if I ran the country. if you've never been. so at least they score on customer service. last. For BMC people there is a cache about 50 yards from our campus. There is. it is a way to see parts of the world I am visiting. So I have now looked up Slingboxes (don't want one as I don't like watching TV on a PC. flickr (knew about it but have been using Photobox for printing. so did some geocaches and visited the British Museum . flickr looks much better for sharing. which has been used by such people as Marx.000 caches in the UK. one of my Christmas presents was a GPS device. I have another one that I will be placing in a cache in Houston next week. So where am I going with all this. What differentiates them is when they check if . rather than buying some pointless gift that never gets used. Gandhi. You see. over 16. Signing up to these various services illustrated brilliantly the way that some people think about the user and others just offer a boring standard interface. please go and visit the famous Reading Room. but we shall rise above that). So. For me. I will upload some of my stuff and point you all at it!).game on their console. and then provide it. Having said all that. Wilde.ous (started using this morning). and we have been all over the place having pretty walks and finding stuff. who have graduated from trainspotting? Well. Why not? It's only a bloody Y/N flag in a database!!! Of course. Lenin etc. the old one had filled up. January 22. Lunch with James is always interesting as he is 20 years younger than I and keeps me up-todate with things happening in the IT / Internet world. which you try to keep the same as other sites as you can't remember all the names and passwords you use (so you store them somewhere which rather defeats the whole object of security. That's a lot of nerds! I placed a travel bug (a trackable thing designed to travel the world) in a cache on Saturday and it has already moved on. and have lunch / catch up with James Governor of Redmonk. rather than guessing what they want and cheesing them off with a load of rubbish. of course. as I travel in countries that don't like one another's stamps in your passport (sad) and one of these got stolen. del. Monday.ici. The reason I can do geocaching is because my wife and I are now of the age where we ask one another what we want for Christmas. is this just a group of nerds. anyone appearing on. Hence.000 in Texas etc. rather than sit in a hotel room getting bored. there are over 15. 2007 Trying to keep up-to-date Had a day up in London yesterday as I had to get a new passport. Had a couple of hours to kill. but can see the attraction). I run two passports. the answer is that they want you to part with £108 for a new one (higher than usual fee as I required it same day). Shaw. the whole point is to ask someone what they want. The police actually found it and returned it. no user-friendly service of adding some pages. In fact. but the passport people would not reinstate it. they were very helpful and it all worked. Why the passport? Well. or watching Celebrity Big Brother would be exiled or shot).fm (which is installing a plug-in to scrobble my music tastes!) and some more I have forgotten. You have to get a new one as Gordon Brown needs more money to fund something or other. On all of them you have to choose a name for yourself. much to my amazement.

Posted by Jesús at 2007-01-29 06:32 It's nice to know when my two(*) favorite bloggers have a meeting in the "real world".the name has already been used. In my case.not many people can claim to have Jesus reading their blog!!! Will take a look at your link. and we agree that the one thing that frustrates us is how few of you lob comments in . (It's an expression. let me know of any other neat services on the web I have missed / neat things you have found / ones that really cheese you off or whatever. and the winner checks it as you go along and gives you little ticks to say it's OK.seen the ankle biter walking! Have also joined dorktunes . 2007 Add Comment cheers mate . last. I am violently anti-smoking!) Both James and I are active bloggers. have looked at a few pics on flickr.Have looked at your photos on flickr . Thanks. Wednesday.flickr.. disappear for a think. January 24. very nice. try www. I am already on it! have you joined the dorktunes group yet? please do and fire over your last.fm .Posted by James Governor at 2007-01-24 12:23 great to see you as ever. but do join in.. Excuse me now.I am parmstro. The bad sites let you fill in all the fields. Favourite blogs .fm id flickr.two oh . Try a visit but it's mostly writen in catalan :( thanks . if anyone wants to look at the photos that occasionally go along with this blog. but I can't find out how to sort them!) They want to knock down 5 houses in the middle of our village and build 49 retirement flats . Cheers Peter Unrealistic planning As an aside.we both get lots of offline emails.cat. (*)Excluding a domestic one: www. I have to fire up some obscure music (Curved Air will do for a start) on the other PC so my scrobbling plug-in has something to chew over.caballe.Posted by peter armstrong at 2007-01-29 11:03 Many thanks . for which we are extremely grateful.com\photos\parmstro (best ones are on page 2. regarding the identity thing thats one reason I like flickr so much. but give those sites a big cigar. come back and tell you bad luck and wipe out half the data you just entered GRRRRRRRRHHHH! The medium ones let you hit a validate button before typing the rest in. Simple.Posted by Peter Armstrong at 2007-01-25 03:45 Ta .

January 30. .) The good news is that we had a meeting in the village hall. Imagine my surprise when I suddenly started hitting the ball right to left! The first few rounds were a disaster. refuse lorries etc. Works on the driving range. That's what you get when a bean counter looks at a cost equation rather than the bigger picture.consistent performance. Tuesday. There are 19 parking spaces for 49 apartments There is no supporting infrastructure (doctors etc. 200 From TV to golf There are a couple of adverts on UK TV at present. Now. The managers (and young trainee) are on a golf course in the sun "blue-skying" ideas like Spain. but you can't get at them. graphic something or others and a lot of other tosh. they have a different interface and they have insufficient bandwidth and storage to be useful. but the point is that if you tell a customer about the features of your product and he/she says "wow". they are not attached to any other systems. I was sad enough to equate this to unrealistic IT projects. Bermuda. As I stood there (all the seats were taken. I have been working on shaping the ball for ages and trying to get it move the other way. who had come to the wrong meeting. but never out on the course. rather than throwing technology at me in the hope that I will be impressed. "We've bought 49 new servers. which highlight some of the daft thinking prevalent in the world. surprise. on a bad day a socking great slice. Big articles in the UK press this week about companies moving centres back to UK as people in foreign countries have difficulty understanding the customers and their culture. Now. there are a few reasons why this is not a particularly clever idea: • • • • It is totally out of character with the rest of the village There is very limited / no access for things like fire engines. all violently against it. of course. but now I am getting some control and consistency. The first one is for a place that sells PCs and stuff. Who pays your wages? The customer! Which amazingly enough leads me to golf. then you have the wrong person and they have no money. surprise. The assistant is telling the customer all about the Hokey-Kokey 47 ZX2 turbo with twin widgets."and this means you can run two big applications at the same time". Second one is for a bank that is deciding where they should put their call centre. where the people were asked whether they supported the scheme or not. Apart from one lady. I thought. which hopefully improves over time. this was a big event in our village). a fade. to go and ask the users what they really want. For years my ball flight has been left to right. we were. forgive me if I think a decent operating system should be able to run two things at once rather than having to have some hardware feature (and we all know that the operating systems on most laptops are totally incapable of such a simple feat). Eastern Europe.for the elderly (I can say that as I am old enough to qualify for one if I want). Eventually he gets to the point . On a good day." How nice. as I had no idea which way it was going to fly off. And that is what customers want . Delhi and the young trainee says what about locally? Give the lad a bonus.

it hit a lorry. Just thought I would let you know. Warning . February 07.looked at it on the home pc Cheers Peter (currently in -15 finland!) Nice one! . Clearly this article was too funny to be read at work and the good web washer as deployed by us stops it from being seen (in the UK at least).Posted by peter at 2007-02-12 12:33 . comes back to the clubhouse to find the police there. Here is how one end-user shows his dislike for cold-calling. Finishes the round. Nigel PS thanks for a very entertaining (and useful) presentation in Houston last week in probably the hardest slot of the week as we were not a pretty bunch following the graduation dinner! true . 2007 Payback time Every now and then you come across a classic. I had that as well . Wednesday. let's finish with an old golfing story. I think if I move my hands round and use a stronger grip. sometimes software end-users get their own back too: http://www. it should cure the slice". Bother! 3 off the tee. Tuesday.Posted by peter at 2007-02-09 01:13 Yep.Posted by Nigel Heney at 2007-02-08 08:29 Peter. 2007 Add Comment Too naughty for the web police .youtube.So.com/watch?v=54ypt_FzRAk PS .Posted by Phil Griston at 2007-02-09 19:52 Of course. smashed the windscreen. but you will have got the gist long before then. Enjoy.do you think this is Lance Osborne? He denies it. caused an accident and 2 people are now in hospital ." "Well. "Did you slice your first tee shot over the fence on to the road?" "Yes. no surprises . Man on first tee hits socking great slice over the fence and on to the road.it does get a bit politically incorrect at the end.what are you going to do about it?" "Good question. February 06.

projects) and those who are oriented around things (hardware and software technology. The BMC Churn Index is an independent study we commissioned to find out how often people change supplier (insurance. then please go to BBC breakfast (email breakfast. they tend to lack respect for many of the imperatives that matter to the business. so while it’s not universally viewed as a positive term. and the fundamental cause is not actually money. I will write much more about this later in the week. but frankly I could have told you most of what would happen without seeing the video. If you hate poor service.) across Europe and why. You knew it was doomed when you saw how his laptop was placed. being ignored.uk) and let them know. Enjoy! Monday. who doesn't think Windows is an operating system. People are fed up with poor service. Because of this group’s focus. 2007 On the BBC . data). this is costing the UK £5 billion. business. 1. The term geek is usually attached to the hardware-software group. having to repeat their complete history to the next person who doesn't know them.the BMC Churn Index Have just seen myself on BBC breakfast news (click watch button on right)! They interviewed me.As I speak German I sat through part 1 of this video. Windows upgrade . being kept in the dark etc. Spot on. (I've just been struck by a Windows logo flying through the window as I typed that!!!!) Managing Geeks Colleague pointed me at this excellent article on managing geeks. costing Europe £48 billion. Why take so long to tell me? 3. gas. we use it here to describe the IT staffers who are more interested in technology than the business drivers to use it. documents. Thanks . but then I am on old cynic.oxymoron? I suppose I am meant to feel sorry. February 12. because we have just released the BMC Churn Index. Here's the start of it: Hopefully most readers will agree that people working in IT can be broadly categorized into two groups: those who are oriented around action (process.tv@bbc. 2. phone etc. but for the moment.co.

Peter Tuesday. but frankly it's pretty awful. 2007 BMC Churn Index To every season. I will answer the question . there's a churn. churn (that should be vaguely amusing to the older amongst you). Some of the messages coming out: • • The pace of switching is increasing – up 60% in the last six months alone People may move for money but the primary triggers for switching come from business services that are failing the end customer Competition may be good for business but churn isn’t. and the results have been endorsed by an expert on the subject of Churn – Professor Robert East of London University's Kingston Business School. The BMC Churn Index shows that getting new customers by giving them discounts is inherently flawed since this teaches established customers to switch Businesses targeting the young are in for a rough ride – 21-34 year olds switching 28% more often than 45-55’s Banks beware. As promised some more detail. February 13. I've put the link to the BBC newsclip on the first churn entry if you missed it and are bored enough! I'm ."so what do we (IT) about it?" Wednesday. We commissioned an independent research company to survey over 12000 people in 12 countries across Europe. February 14. but wanted to understand why. if consumers feel valued by their supplier Offering consumers incentives to switch is a false economy if when they arrive they don’t find a service environment that is set up to deliver the expected service experience. Churn is simply indicative of business processes that are failing customer expectations and not delivering the right customer experience Consumers would be more loyal (96%) if they were rewarded for staying. The research was analysed by an experienced researcher at the London School of Economics to uncover statistically valid trends. We knew that people churn. churn. The awful NPS scores says there is pent up demand to churn • • • • • • • Tomorrow. Although people are learning the churning habit there is a strong preference not to churn (96%). 2007 If you churn enough. do you get bitter? Title was meant to be a cunning wordplay on butter.

Send your staff out to the front office to see how the systems are used in practise.. Have sufficient capacity to run the important customer-facing systems. Have people info in the CMDB.l. our systems are down / broken. Try using your own systems like a customer. for instance.. This is ludicrous and it's no wonder people will go through a lot of hassle to switch.. February 15. So how do we stop the churn? Obviously there are the business decisions about incentives for new users vs current ones.. Unfortunately we tend to introduce change without utilising the existing infrastructure and processes.. Understand what business services you have. Understand who is using what... and responsive. Problem Management and Knowledge Management.. Make sure there are incentives to reduce the number of incidents and improve the service.. • • • • • • • • • I'm sure I've forgotten a few.... 2007 Add Comment The "Service" Desk . and dissatisfied customers who normally have to write in to cancel their contract because they can't reach anyone on the phone). Something that is helpful. Don't just ship it all to somewhere cheaper. Using.y that you forget why you started. and how important they are...... But if the supplier could just realise that a happy customer equals higher margins and a greater likelihood of up-sell to new services this phenomenon might change. proactive. Incident Management... Nothing cheeses a customer off quicker than a system that doesn't work / works s. but that's beyond the scope of this blog so I'll stick to what IT can do.Posted by Blair Kantolinna at 2007-02-21 08:15 Hi Peter I've had several friends pick up on this report and their comments are interesting.. They keep writing to me offering me additional services (which I already have) and telling me how great this new whiz-bang system is. Implement a self-service request system / self-service fix it system.. • Help Desk.w..o. it seems that every UK based Telco has at least 3 numbers for ISP support (new customers who get a fast response. For example.. Let me know... Understand how they relate to the infrastructure so you can work out who is affected when something goes wrong. Don't want one! I want a Service Desk.. All I want is a single point of contact and a person or website . you try to become a customer and the person on the phone says sorry. Thursday.only on for a few seconds. As a customer I have seen this with my TV/Phone/Broadband supplier.o s.l. existing customers who get limited response. The main frustration seems to be most organisations' desire to prevent helpful transactions with their customers. rather than meaningless metrics of how the server/dbms/os/app is running... so don't panic. Or as with me the other day. Measure your systems end-to-end and from the user's point of view.

If your Majesty would take the new railway. now on to the positive side of this entry . who sit between business and IT and try to get the 2 sides talking a common language to each other and avoid cheesed off customers (internally and externally). We have a group discussion on the fact that most people have more software licences than they need and hence need to apply the principles of asset management to software just like they do to hardware. your Majesty arrives at Windsor at twelve. So. there were 37 people itching to take my luggage away from me and give it back to me (hopefully) a few minutes later. been a bit busy travelling round the world. There are 3 parts: • Nicholas Carr talks about the switch from profligate to frugal computing. due to the problems of electricity. March 08. Same thing when you hit the airport security and end up in a line that switches back and forth like the queues at Disneyland. Thursday. dated 7th March. When that isn't available I naturally assume that the competitor's service can't be any worse and move supplier. Spot on . 2007 Understand the customer Sweet story from a colleague: Advisor: “When your Majesty leaves Buckingham Palace by coach at eight in the morning.spot on. your Majesty would be at Windsor at nine!” . DUUUUH! What impression does that give the customer? To me it said (greed combined with) total lack of capacity management.where I can input information and get answers. but what really got me was the fact that when I arrived at the hotel. what you are telling me is that you can't afford enough staff and machines to handle the workload and you don't care if you cheese off the customers? Anyway.Posted by Peter Armstrong at 2007-02-21 11:16 Blair . cooling etc.I did a podcast with the Financial Times recently. so blog has been quiet. I was in Palm Springs for the last few days (it's a hard life). Ignorance is *iss? . Thanks – Peter FT Podcast Sorry. I talk about Business Liaison Officers. The conference was all good stuff. but at the check-in desk there was one person. which has just been released in the Digital Business section. • • Hope you enjoy them. at a big CIO bash organised by Computerworld.server consolidation is the order of the day.

2007 Some customer quotes Believe it or not. March 08. March 21.King: “Why on earth would I want to be in Windsor at nine in the morning?” Thursday. OPPOSITE SEX What do you think? Wednesday.Posted by Craig Mullins at 2007-03-23 15:05 Judging by the photo you haven't gotten any better looking Peter. which show that messages we are not aware of can leave a mark on the brain. Got any better ones? Thursday. 2007 Add Comment Don't Think So . who actually lied about the results. so the subliminal advertising . these come from customers: Bronze Medal – "Do users contact you directly? Not unless they want a slap" Silver Medal – "You have to have guts to raise a major incident. BMC PRODUCTS MAKE YOU The phrase was coined in 1957 by some bloke in the US. 2007 Subliminal? First a little joke: There are two types of expert: • • Those who don't know and Those who don't know they don't know I read an article the other day that says that subliminal advertising really does work. March 08. you can expect to get a good kicking" Gold Medal – "Sometimes we leave off the names of approvers who might try to block the Request For Change" Sweet. MORE ATTRACTIVE TO THE But they have now conducted new tests.

. Computers tend to have this strange idea of using timestamps to record the order in which things happen. I did say opposite sex. get lost. Friday. until they realised how many days / weekends etc. Wednesday. I reply. Time is an arbitrary logical concept applied by man. April 13. Rubbish. to make sure things get recorded in the right order. How some plonker (English word for idiot) or group of plonkers in Congress came to the idea that moving the clocks out of sync with everyone else in the world would be a neat idea is beyond my comprehension. so if I continue to be unattractive to members of the same sex. what I am suffering from is a pain in the back and left leg . Brilliant .in your blog must not be truthful.Posted by Craig Mullins at 2007-03-30 15:18 Touche! Pain in the neck Actually.too many hours spent in planes I think. I believe Arizona and Utah (?) don't ever change their clocks. So if you can read this I have had success and will proceed to write some interesting stuff.. Anyway. that is a result for me! ! .many people ask me whether I am worried about flying? No. enough of the violins! Reminds me . and going backwards suddenly throws them up the twist. 2007 Can you blog with a BlackBerry? This is an experiment. hardware etc. It is also obvious that none of the plonkers in Congress have never worked in computers. So now I keep missing appointments with the US because Outlook is one hour out DUUUUUUUUH.let's all move there. I had been ignoring my blog as I have been on road with no laptop and then I thought I would give it a whirl on this stupid bberry thing.Posted by peter armstrong at 2007-03-26 09:43 Very good! But. ho ho . The length of the day remains the same. where changing the clocks has been a nightmare for years. you have just applied a different logical window on top of it. March 21. it's landing at the wrong time and place that worries me! So what else is a pain in the neck? Changing the clocks. I am sure someone will tell me it saves electricity. flying is good. 2007 . My friends and neighbours used to be jealous of my lifestyle. Hence all sorts of wondrous code. Changing the clock from 6 to 5 does not make the sun rise earlier or set later.

. • • • Is writing a blog entry on the BBerry a good idea? No. 2007 Who wants to be a CIO? Just been reading this article.Add Comment Re: if you can read this . It reminds me of those old cartoons showing what the original idea was.Posted by peter at 2007-05-06 04:37 Ho bloody ho!! Having come to the conclusion that blogging on a BB is about as sensible as painting the golden gate bridge with a toothbrush. which is good news. In fact.. :-) blog it . I have done a podcast on this churn index I have been telling you about. which for me sums up a lot of what is wrong in the world of IT today. let me talk about blogging on the wrong device. was because I wanted to tell you about a new podcast I have done. Monday. Will I do it again? No. or having your legs waxed (I'm guessing on this one). People have really picked up on this. listening to French pop music (the definition of the word oxymoron I feel). April 16. I gave up on the whole idea!! Cheers Peter Yet another podcast The reason I tried writing a blog on the BlackBerry.Posted by jim at 2007-05-05 13:46 it's been since april. before I launch into some boring self promotion. one of the major UK mobile phone companies rang me about it last week. it was about as much fun as watching reality TV. Was it a pain in the neck? Yes. as the vast majority of companies seem to be coming to the view that giving people a cheap introductory offer and then cheesing them off with miserable service is not a long-term business plan. In fact. were is the interesting stuff?? Blog it dude! ho .Posted by Kyniek at 2007-04-16 07:07 Yes! Please. Anyway. However. what marketing .

thinks, what R&D produces etc.
• • •

Ask a CEO to design the IT system, and you get a BlackBerry Ask a CFO to design the IT system, and you get a large spreadsheet Ask a CIO to design the IT system, and you get dual nuclear bunkers

OK, I am exaggerating to make a point, and the point is that they are all wrong, because none of them efficiently and effectively combines the business requirements with the technical capabilities that exist. One of the major problems is that business and IT simply speak totally different languages. To an outsider, they may both appear to be speaking English (or French, German, Chinese or whatever) but to the CEO an IT person is as eloquent as a gorilla grunting and vice versa. Hence the influx of business background people in the CIO role, but we still have the same issue - these new CIOs need to be able to have a gruntless conversation with the IT staff, most of whom can't put together a sentence without at least one acronym in it. So the world desperately needs that new breed of person who can understand business requirements and can also cut through technical jargon and ask for understandable input. That person needs to show what can be done in the way of revenue generation, cost reduction and risk mitigation in terms that both sides can understand. For me the starting point is actually defining the overall company strategy - are you a pile-emhigh sell-em-cheap company with poor service, or do you give me a glass of champagne as I walk in and attend to my every whim? Excellent companies are not excellent at everything, they tend to excel at one thing and make that their core principle. What is the model that your company is trying to run? Service, quality, price, access, experience or what? You can design IT for any of these, but IT needs to know what you want. Now each time business and IT look at a project together, they can ask the two vital questions why are we doing this and what's it worth? If you can't answer these in terms of increased revenue (the innovation officer) or decreased costs (the technology officer) or reduced risk (the compliance officer), then in my opinion you shouldn't do it. Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Breaking down the silos
Every now and then you read an article (http://www.itbusinessedge.com/item/?ci=26851) and you just scream "YES, YES, YES". Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Customer contact
Been thinking - dangerous and stupid I know, and most of you will probably say DUUUH, obvious when I tell you what I have been thinking about, but here goes.

In the (good?) old days, contact with the customer was predominantly of a personal nature. You met people face to face and spoke to them. You could see what their reaction was, what their mood was, you could see whether they needed service straight away or wanted to browse etc. Some people got to be very good at this, and others were awful, and that often depended on where you worked / what the company ethos was. Customers voted rapidly with their feet if they weren't happy. Then we went to the world of the telephone and tried to work out how to deal with customers at the end of a piece of string. Again, some people do this well and others are terrible. People have experimented with making us talk to their staff in far-flung parts of the world using strange scripts designed to annoy us intensely. Customer backlash is gradually driving companies to get it right / better. And then came the internet and we don't talk to customers any more. We offer them an electronic experience. Sometimes this is good and frequently it is awful. However, now we don't talk to them to find out if they like it. We don't look at it from their point of view to see if it is working. We don't log on to our own systems and pretend to be a customer and see what it is like. We don't send people from the IT department into the front office to work alongside the people there and see whether the systems are up-to-scratch. We don't ask the business managers if they are happy - we just tell them that the servers are running at 99% availability and 15% utilisation. We don't start by asking the business exactly what they want and how much they are prepared to spend to get it. If you have just read that and screamed - "oh yes we do" - then congratulations, you are the (wonderful) minority. Please send me your URL. Thursday, April 19, 2007

A pedant? Moi!
Those who know me will know that I am a bit of a boring old pedant ("only a bit?" I hear you cry!). For example, the incorrect use of the apostrophe drives me mad:
• • •

The book and it's cover Potato's for sale Three weeks notice

If you don't see anything wrong with any of those, then I suggest a career where correctly spoken English doesn't really matter - e.g. US president or contestant on a reality TV show. So what prompted me to remember my pedant's background? Well, I was sitting next to a chap on the plane last night, who was reading a book called Globalization. It's probably just me, but I wanted to rip the book up and shout at the author - it's spelt GLOBALISATION you prat!!! I've just searched on amazon.co.uk using Globalisation. First book, spelt with a "z" is written by Joseph E. Stiglitz - must be American with a name like that. Second one spelt with an "s" is written by Philippe Legrain - French I assume, but at least he can spell. Number 3 is Joseph again, and number 4 is Manfred B. Steger - well you know where he comes from. The next 12 are all spelt with an "s" - hooray - with some splendid English names like Jeremy, Eric and Giles, but also a Wayne, a Dermot, a Yang Yao, as well as Sylvain, Benedicte and Desmond.

So come on America, the rest of the world has got the hang of this English language lark when are you going to catch up? Now for the serious bit. When you design your "global" systems, are they really global? Can I enter my name and address? Can I order from you if I live in another country? Do you have someone I can talk to in my language if I need help? Will that be a local call or will I have to pay a fortune to call your country (in which case, forget it)? Can I easily find your local office/agent? etc. Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Google classic
Just heard about this from my son - an absolute classic. Go into Google, click on Maps. Now in the search enter "Dublin to New York" and hit search maps. Look at the route - especially step 46. Enjoy! Tuesday, April 24, 2007 Add Comment But it takes longer ... - Posted by Chris Loosley at 2007-05-03 18:38 I just saw this, but a day too late. If my daughter had known your son, we could have saved over $800 on a ticket between San Francisco and Aberystwyth. But I see that the travel time is longer -- 31 days and 8 hours (one way), in our case. Interesting that the Boston-Le Havre transatlantic route is used between US and Europe, no matter what your origin and destination. I guess that's the only route approved for transatlantic swimmers! aberystwyth - Posted by peter armstrong at 2007-05-04 04:34 Ah, I know Aberystwyth well. It will take a reasonable time to get from SF to London and then about 5 days to drive to the other side of Wales!!!

What's in a name?
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." Bill Shakespeare Just been reading this article. As part of it, a chapess from HP suggests that the name IT is dead, and we should be moving to something new like Business Technology. Well, knock me

down with a feather! Had she only read my blog in March 2006! As I said way back then, I totally agree that IT is a boring old name well past its sell-by date. It smacks of people with dubious social habits appearing like Hobbits out of a cave when something goes wrong. However, I am not too sold on Business Technology either. To me that smacks of desperately earnest young chaps with the latest techy gizmo, frantically clicking away when they should be listening. Q.How do you ignore a BlackBerry? A.Turn the bloody thing off when I'm talking to you!!! Anyway, what I would really like to ask you all today is what should we call IT? What name truly gives the correct impression of an intrinsic part of the company and its business services, without which the company couldn't survive? Business Service Provider? Any suggestions Tuesday, May 01, 2007 Add Comment IT is dead . or is it just HP who has been for a decade? - Posted by Jan Flodin at 2007-0510 09:53 "The intent, according to Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research, is part of a shift by HP away from selling products to providing technology solutions to solving business problems. HP also wants to standardise and pre-package its offerings to improve customer efficiency, he said." Well, to me it sounds like some HP sales executive just attended a course and heard you shall sell solutions and not products. But most of the class he was asleep so he never heard that solution and product selling are two different sales approaches - not a matter of packaging your products and call them solutions, which by the way will be product bundles. The real interesting thing is that HP even backs the new campaign with newspaper adds stating that now is the time where the business shall decide the IT spendings. I know it haven't been like that in all companies, but why common sense suddenly can be a major shift calling for big campaigns, I can't understand, and the companies who tries to do so in my eyes most of all exposes themselves as companies who for the last couple of decades have been acting completely irresponsible with themselves and their customers - and why should I ever consider to do business with such laggards ? Solution selling - Posted by Peter Armstrong at 2007-05-11 08:47 Seem to remember teaching people all about this in the South of France many years ago - that was a neat job / location. Cheers Peter

Hobbies
Had a chat today with the lovely lady in charge of all this blogging and podcast lark. She was asking me about hobbies outside work (must have been bored), and we shared some mutually interesting websites. Doesn't that show you how the world has moved on? We used to swap physical photos, telephone numbers, real addresses - now you point someone at your facebook, flickr or whatever. Does, of course, mean that the sites have to be useful and responsive, which is one of the reasons I don't bother with youtube as it takes ages to watch anything. Yes, I have broadband, Yes, I have the VPN turned off. And frankly most of what I have seen is sad spotty youths boring me rigid - must be an age thing. Well, if you go here, you will see that flickr knows about me and one of my hobbies geocaching, which I've bored you about before. I don't often get excited about technology but every now and then someone gets it right from the consumer's point of view, e.g.

Digital cameras and Photoshop - all the power of the darkroom and more. Has got me back into photography and am now entering competitions. Google / Wikipedia - may not be 100% accurate, but used intelligently they are marvellous. ebay - who remembers Exchange and Mart (UK users only)? Google Earth - incredible and for geocaching there is a really neat plugin that shows you all the caches near where you are. Online photo sharing and printing - the quality of the site I use (photobox) is excellent and the service is fast and efficient. MP3 players. I don't know if you have ever read Negroponte's book "Being Digital" which predicted all this digital stuff - highly recommended, and remember it was written in 1995. last.fm - personalised radio GPS - because men never stop to ask for directions

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I know there are more, but that's a good start - lob in any other key ones you fancy. And then, of course, there are the ones that annoy me.

Changing the shape of the TV picture so that I have to buy a new one - I was happy with the old shape. ebooks - sorry never going to read a book on a screen. The BlackBerry - brilliant idea with a totally crap implementation. Combining 47 devices into one so that is almost guaranteed to go wrong. Telephones, which do more than calls and SMS. I am never going to watch TV on a phone or play a game on it. Annoying ring-tones. The people who have them. People who shout down the phone. (These all tend to come together). Any device with stupid buttons. A DVD rewinder.

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but we have to decide how to work with it. prune it. there are lots more . Then we went upstairs to the little train station for the link to the car rental place. Wednesday. 2007 The Technology Garden I have been sent an early copy of a book due to be published next week.lob in your own ideas. A classic example of this was when I arrived at San Francisco airport yesterday. and is written by Jon Collins. I'll give you a full report when I finish it. which may not be perfect or exactly what we want. weed it etc. Good analogy. Good flight. you morons. but I love the general idea." Friday.thanks chaps. if you all stood back. May 04. and it all went downhill. luggage came through quickly (by the way. so good."there is a delay. how to maintain it. 2007 The definition of momentarily? As a "Brit". exit to arrivals hall not blocked by crowds of idiots greeting one another and blocking the way out for everyone else. first in line at immigration. I haven't had the time to read it all yet (will do that on the flight to US on Sunday). May 02. It's all about the alignment between business and IT. Most of us inherit a garden with a house. We have to feed it. how to get it. not something you build. It's called "The Technology Garden" (ISBN 978-0-470-05969-2).• Any website that asks me to type in information I have already given it before. Dale Vile and Neil Ward-Dutton . we could all see more!). Again. which is that IT departments tend to be like gardens.some faceless voice told us every few minutes. Neil Macehiter. The train was not working properly . or it ends up in chaos. the train will start again momentarily" . So far. I find the word momentarily ugly and overused. Momentarily moved through the following: • • • • • • soon in a few minutes some time in the next hour perhaps this afternoon before Christmas in my lifetime . but in the meantime here is a class quote from it: "It's vital to remember that a service is something you experience.

Monday. some of which actually understand the English language).. charging me for it and then saying I can't have a refund because I must have asked for it is not a great customer service scheme. etc. Friday. 2007 Great minds think alike? Just discovered that our CEO does geocaching too. but my save didn't work and I lost a lot of typing.. They had also failed to give me the rate they promised me.they didn't. which meant there were huge queues and enormous numbers of extremely frustrated taxi drivers. So we all went to the taxi rank and took taxis to the car rental place. We shall manage to annoy all of you momentarily.• before the next Ice Age I may have missed some of the stages.there wasn't one. I'm just off to paint my nails and pluck my eyebrows. et bloody cetera. We're sending a shuttle . knew he was basically sound!!! Monday. 2007 A mini saga I was going to write a long vitriolic attack about the chronic incompetence of my cable provider and their particular ability to get almost every bill wrong. May 11. May 07. When I quietly pointed out that it appeared when they took off the extra settop box (which they also failed to come and collect as promised) and was no doubt due to some prat typing in the wrong code. because we were also given (at extremely infrequent intervals) inaccurate and misleading information as to where we should go. sent me the wrong broadband bill . who were driving people 10 minutes down the road.. so here is a short vitriolic attack! Suffice it to say that adding an item to my bill that I never asked for. 2007 ... Nice chap.. I get this email (sent to Peter Armstrong): The online community for today's over 50s Dear Mrs Armstrong Why don't you join us and discover a world of like-minded friends and easily stay in touch? Excuse me. Can anyone recommend a good cable/TV/broadband supplier in the UK? And then just as I finish my conversation with them (5 different departments. etc. Downstairs for a shuttle bus . Fortunately I am flying out of San Jose. May 07.. they admitted it was their fault and gave me my money back. always liked him.

A. you swat flies with a tennis racket type thing) Recycle! and lots more . I must admit that a lot of these management and technical books bore me rigid. Anyway.oh what fun.B.?) Anwyay. when you admit your own mistakes: .The Technology Garden As promised.com's " What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7" lined up next! (This para only for Potter fans .a good read / reference.Is Snape good or evil? Is Harry a Horcrux? Who is R. I am of course amused by what you get when you search for "The Technology Garden" on Amazon: • • • • • • • • Estimating Cost Guides to Landscaping Duracell AA Ultra 4 pack batteries (don't ask. The Technology Garden . 2007 A Microsoft Classic Always a step forwards. that's computers for you!) Lawnmower Manual Brickwork and Paving The Dishwasher Manual Electrical Bug Racket (great fun. I have finished reading the book I was sent . and even more amazing when you realise that I had mugglenet.the gardening analogy for IT continues with lots of great practical advice and is littered with a plethora of meaningful customer quotes. Being a sad git. as the authors trot out their "brilliant" theory 27 times (they only have one bit of info so they have to repeat it a lot to fill up the pages). Monday. and with a scorecard at the end so you can see how well business and IT are aligned in your company. Well done chaps. ignore the rest and home in on this rather splendid book. So what joy to have one that starts with a great hook . May 14.The Technology Garden. I even read the whole thing (which trust me is rare for a non-Harry Potter book for me). I could be here for hours.

are secure. I know this is not true as I have seen the stats and surprising numbers of you actually seem to like these rants. Which leads me to number 3 . I know people do as they actually have clubs now where readers of my blog can go for counselling. 2007 Where does my cable/pipe go? I have been mulling over a few things. As I told you the other day. I also asked you to tell me if you know of any good cable/TV/broadband suppliers in the UK. I want one that works with people who understand what the hell I am talking about when I get them (hopefully rapidly) on the 'phone. what actually happened? Is there a little man living under my street who switches my gas pipe from ABC Gas . and people rush to embrace you and help you.churn. May 15. Oh I am sure there are various offerings. Tuesday. my cable supplier is getting on my nerves and every month starts with a call to complain about the inaccuracy of their bills. phone and broadband. you shuffle in looking embarrassed. mutter the words "I read Peter's blog". • • Which brings me back to the subject I have talked about before . all of that leads me to the title of this blog. I was brought up on proper systems. I have a cable into the house which pipes in TV. do they use the same cable or do I have to have another one? When I changed gas and electricity suppliers a few years ago. have extremely high availability and are designed to do more than one thing at a time). but as they fall over themselves to give you a wondrous price. Is that asking too much? Anyway. one day. you find their service stinks. I don't want the cheapest offering.Who knows. they may even manage to write a production Operating System? (Remember. Once again. The results have been absolute silence. No-one in the UK reads this rubbish. This proves one of 3 things: • No-one reads this rubbish.there is no decent offering out there. which is probably true. • • If I change suppliers. that work.

which is good news as I don't drink coffee and I don't like their tea-bags.. is that I had two blissful weeks without a laptop. but I did find this quote: Customer rating – Who gives the most satisfaction Yes.and attaches it to XYZ Power or what? Or does it all come down some big communal pipe and the companies squirt supplies in? I have just looked on uswitch. Short digression . zoom into maps. They send you "your inbox is full. Mobile devices will become vaguely useful. or if you go to the US. • Dream on..) and I wanted to work on my golf swing. the whole thing is all rather stupid. What that meant. 2007 . so I don't have to go and find a Starbucks in the middle of the Mongolian desert in order to do email / write a blog. and as deleted items still seem to count. execute Java etc. 2007 All quiet for a while So why haven't I been blogging recently? Simple answer . Spot on. we found a great new course. they don't seem to understand the concept of boiling water and their milk seems to come from a chemical factory. Long game was ace.com for the answer to this. They will have an interface where you can search Google (already happened). Tuesday. of course. June 05. money is important. will be able to look at Google Earth. It was my birthday (happy birthday to me .say no more. Another example of software designed by people who never actually get to use it. write blogs.I have been on holiday. so obviously no-one in the US ever has a holiday longer than 10 days – tough! I have this strange dream that certain things will happen going forwards: • Wireless will be available everywhere. but can't find anything. which of course make it fuller. but most of us don’t mind paying a little more for better service. Selecting this option orders your results with the supplier with the highest customer rating being shown first. clear it" friendly messages. Oh well. Tuesday. short game was crap. In the US they have Lipton Yellow Label .you can't get a decent cup of tea once you pass Calais. May 15. They also send you "change your password in the next 10 days or you will be locked out" messages. On the continent. Being sad I took the BlackBerry as I find it easier to delete all the crud as you go along and save having 8000 emails in your inbox when you get home. How was the golf? Thank you for asking.

Dear Sir. faceless entity which your bank has become. My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. but will arrive at your bank by cheque. but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me. From now on. overcharging. To make an appointment to see me. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Solicitor. pending the attention of my automated answering service. an arrangement which. Pure magic. prerecorded. the contact will then be put on hold. I admit.A gem A very old lady. As they say. imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. and the mandatory details of his/ her financial situation (income. again. To query a missing payment. like you. I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. I refer. involve a lengthy wait. wrote this to her bank. I am sorry it runs to eight pages. Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete. . of course. three 'nanoseconds' must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it. choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. To leave a message on my computer (a password to access my computer is required. 7. I am confronted by the impersonal. addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 89-. 2. By my calculations. I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters. A password will be communicated to you at a later date to the Authorised Contact. 6. assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof. When you call me. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there. Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping. In due course. I. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature. Let me level the playing field even further. My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic. I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. and also for debiting my account £30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but. to the automatic monthly deposit of my Pension. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home. has been in place for only eight years. when I try to contact you. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity. apparently. debts. 5. on occasion. 4. While this may. there is no alternative. 3.) 8.To make a general complaint or inquiry. press buttons as follows: 1.

John Tabeart of PROfutura. B as in bee. but if IT doesn't show the true value of what they have achieved.. sir.found this researching/confirming the previous entry . if ever so slightly less prosperous. E as in eye. I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement. but not always going back afterwards and • • • Seeing what the return really was Ensuring that they are getting everything possible out of the project Showing the business the benefits of the investment There are often very valid reasons why this doesn't happen . Regrettably. June 08.uplifting music will play for the duration of the call. May I wish you a happy.time and workload being classic examples.. . ." "Just a minute.. Y as in you. Friday. but I used to work with him years ago) colleague yesterday . June 08. but again following your example. I think IT is now moving from the days of having to prove everything saves money into the days of showing how they can provide innovation and help drive the business forwards." "Would you spell that. New Year. 2007 And a bonus for Friday I love Google . so anyone who can help IT along this path gets my vote.. please?" "Certainly. John shares my frustration of IT getting better at producing business justifications for new ESM investments.abbeytelecom.uk/telephone_jokes. 2007 Add Comment There are more telephone jokes here . I'll connect you with my supervisor. 188188? I need the number of the Abbey Telecom. B as in bee.htm What's it worth? Had a very interesting chat with an old (well younger than I." Friday.read it aloud! "Hello. http://www. A as in aye. then it is more difficult to go back to the business next time.Posted by John Preston at 2007-07-17 17:18 There are a few more of those telephone jokes here .co.

Now. I was intrigued by this animal jumping up chairs / across the table / onto another chair / onto the garden umbrella and then trying to launch itself across a gap on the slide down. Now work out what your company does and how to do business with them. 2007 The Squirrel Awards I write this stuff and people tell me things aren't as bad as I make out. rather than thinking with a service mentality and making life easier for us. If I login to their UK website. Was told in the accompanying note "The ticket usually counts as the invoice". don't punish me. If I login to the French website. If you want an interesting study. try logging on to your own website. Why? Because it couldn't get to the bird table by any other route. They know all about me. June 20. it would have got my lob wedge up its ****). I joined up with them when I lived in France for a while. ignoring the fact that I think grey squirrels are nasty little tree rats and should be shot on sight. Well. but let me hereby announce the first set of Squirrel Awards. which made me happy (if it had got on my bird table. June 20. get an email with details/ cost etc. Fortunately it failed. A certain airline. • A certain car hire company. I hear you cry?! Well it reminded me of how awkward many websites are . but I seem to go around 14 corners to get there. 2007 Squirrels I was watching a squirrel in my garden this morning. you morons.that is part of true integration. I don't have it to hand! Just because you are too lazy to implement a decent indexing system. Not with e-tickets it doesn't. Why then do you ask me for my credit card details and address every time I buy a ticket? As one European CIO quite rightly said to me years ago (about our products) "Peter. and pretend you know nothing about your company. If I then try to link my existing details to an online account. These are given to companies. I am sure you can lob in a few of your own. the latter part is true.Wednesday. So what. I expect you to remember it and exploit it in all your software . I will give you data once and never again. Change the ticket. there's nothing on there about the • • • . it tells me I am already in the system and won't continue. who make their customers go through complicated mechanisms to do business with them. Another car hire company. I login with my id and password and it asks me for the reservation number! WHY? You know what it is. Book tickets online. I have phoned / facsed and emailed them. but I can't find anywhere to change my profile. it tells me that my id and password are invalid. where I book tickets online. According to their system I still live there. I'm just a grumpy old fossil. so feel free to join in. Wednesday. I am a longterm customer. I have a reservation and I want to change it. it knows all about me." Same airline. No change.I am sure the answer is there somewhere. get nothing to confirm the fee I have just paid and need to call someone to send me a receipt so that I can claim it.

We've also heard of folks being routed via stupid places on long duration flights A to B via Z to save the odd buck. a hotel chain I use. I should call yet another (low-cost) number. Automated Call Centre systems . Some folks now resort to finding the route they want then feeding that back into the OTR system. throw the dice again hoping for a ladder. because the line is dead. Now what? Is it a voice response .Posted by Ynema Mangum at 2007-06-29 16:00 I once gave up eating at a restaurant because they stopped carrying the salad dressing I prefer. They forget that the five hours on the extra sectors takes it's toll on the passenger. receipts and a clip-board. Sign the receipt and you're done.but that's not on the "authorised" accommodation list. Wonderful. shows me the hotels I have stayed at before so I can rebook etc. I thought about finding a campsite to pitch my tent . told him or her where you were going. Voice tells me to call a high-priced mobile number instead. when you were going and when you were coming back. voice tells me (after 2 minutes of blathering) that to report a problem. 20 minutes on the phone answering all the questions. Travel . I avoid the top two companies. The last question was "what sort of car?" "A Porsche" "We don't insure them!" Could you start with that question? And now to be positive. your turn now! By the way.Posted by Dougie Lawson at 2007-07-04 15:49 Just be thankful you're not having to use the Online Travel Reservation system at your previous employer.. Call that number. Now we have an OTR system. Down the big snake.price paid! • Colleague getting a quote for car insurance. 2007 Add Comment Let me tell you about loyalty! . Friday. • OK. No business can forget it. June 29. Next day there'd be a courier in reception with your tickets. open world we live in. It used to be so much easier when you phoned a warm body. Login to their website and it shows me all the reservations I currently have.Why wouldn't I stop visiting a site or buying certain services from companies that don't ask my opinion if they are going to make a major change? It's a social. Last time I tried to book a hotel in Mainz they were all booked out.. only use the airline if I have to and always book that hotel chain if I can. New voice tells me to "give me" my customer number. does this affect my loyalty? Yes.Posted by Ron Preedy at 2007-07-06 04:23 My favourite: Call the 0800 number of my fixed-line telephone provider on my mobile. grumble.

voice tells me to hang on for a few millennia till a human can speak to me.com</a> Another squirrel award I have a PC at home.Posted by Dustin Puryear at 2007-07-11 09:45 Good find! I commented on the article myself: http://www.puryear-it. I would have cancelled immediately. <a href='http://www." GAAAAAAH! If I didn't know that the main competitor was even worse (that's why I changed).com'>http://www.do you rigidly control everything that gets installed or do you allow the trendy young things joining your company to put on Facebook. -Dustin Puryear Author. Now I type it in. wonderful. I use this one. because it has a nice big screen. you can guess what happens "I didn't understand your response.com/gary_beach/large_it_shops_branded_regressive_and_poisonous. July 10. Google desktop.com/pubs/ebooks/linux-unix-best-practices'>"Best Practices for Managing Linux and UNIX Servers"</a> <a href='http://www.. . Youtube and all those others I have never heard of? What if someone wants Mozilla or OpenOffice (which I run on this machine. Regressive and Poisonous? A colleague pointed me at this article http://advice. so I can see what I am doing. 2007 Add Comment Good find. Please try again".puryear-it. Mozilla and all my music on it. and have . No prizes for guessing the first question he asks. so I can just say the number? Or do they want me to tap it in on the phone keyboard? I try the voice. Correct: "please give me your customer number. as it my personal home one) and your company standard is Microsoft? How do we bridge the gap between innovation and control? Tuesday.cio. An interesting dilemma .puryear-it.techevangelism. which I am using to write this blog entry. IM.com/2007/07/11/are-it-departments-slowing-down-technology/ Thanks Peter.system.

Cale today) at the same time.J. it's the course I want to see. not the clubhouse!" . so I thought I would buy a second one to put in. Step 2. then these drives will fit". I would never have thought of that.seems apt. and most people on help desks don't.I know certain ignorant people (including Scottish golfers like Mrs Doubtfire) have dropped into the annoying habit of calling it the British Open. that would be helpful. Format it. so you have to look through each drive seeing what models it would work in. I find an accessories button.Padraig Harrington. 2007 Travel-o-pity? I realise I have been very quiet on here for a while. Show it to friendly technician. Step 4. they would know who I am and what model I bought from them. but the world is far from perfect so you grope your way round the floor looking at the back of the case whilst trying to conduct a conversation with a chap who doesn't understand a blind word you are saying. at least. in a perfect world. where do I find that?" "On the PC" "Well. Now. not the every day conversational English I consider to be my patois. Anyway. but gave up as the poor chap's script only extended to "You can't put a second drive in that model. Call the "help" desk. but I can't find the PC I bought from them not long ago. I can just about handle this. Install drive. and a dead nice (non-American for a change) chap won it . Now the fun starts. What can I say .J. • • J."I'll change my shoes in the car park. according to the "help" desk. Several reasons for this: • The Open was on .Cale has just played "Lies" . Walk out 5 minutes later with a nice new hard drive. Wednesday. I thought you wanted a hard drive?" • • Anyway. but unfortunately nothing as helpful as "if you have this model of PC. Gosh no. "What is your model number. Go back home. However.I speak English. the hard-drive is starting to fill up. • Step 1. a STA cable to attach it and full instructions on how to install it. Magic. I tried explaining this. as I have lots of music and also lots of pictures on here. Move music and pictures across. but as I have pointed out before. where on the PC?" "Why do you want a fish.soothing background stuff (J. which did surprise me as I can see a hollow slot for it to go in and a spare plug on the mother board. a cracking tournament with the Barry Burn playing a major role again. July 11. slap me with a wet fish. have you noticed that the ladies are being allowed to play their Open at St Andrews this year for the first time ever? Laura Davies made a classic comment . I look on the website for the PC manufacturer and find loads of drives. Go to the local friendly local PC shop with PC under my arm. but it seems that all I can buy for my PC is a new keyboard or mouse. that's wrong. By the way. Mr Armstrong?" "No idea. you can't put a second hard drive in my PC. so on we go." Step 3.

So you decide to use the meet and greet parking service. If you're that stupid. is more fool you for missing out. If you use the short-term car park. (in fact. you arrive back at your home airport. so you can't get anywhere near the terminal buildings now. belt.B. shoes. Fortunately you are a gold-card holder and hence can go to a shorter queue for your bags. I haven't been travelling as much recently. which is about big enough to hold a book and not much else. Well. Have these people never travelled before? They must have. the queues for this seem to grow longer every week. So you now stand in a queue for hours waiting to check your bag in. Give me strength. the man in front of you takes 14 goes to get the machine to work. don't bother to come back.how could you?" etc. You've checked in online to save time. Being clever. but could we have two things please? 1. which means I am in a better mood as I have less to complain about than usual! It starts with parking the car. unfortunately. Only problem is that some nutters tried to ram a car into an airport terminal over here recently and blow it up. • . Only problem is that due to the aforementioned nutters' friends. you can only take one piece of luggage on the plane with you. but then you have the joys of the security check. although the one I came across in Amsterdam airport the other day was an absolute stinker as well. over here. all I can say. Oh dear. The people in front of them are still trying to understand the concept that the seats are numbered A. you have had your eyes scanned so that you can go through the special IRIS recognition channel to skip the passport queue. Even if you do it right. Now. I have nothing against security. After your scintillating business meeting and two nights in a hotel room with only local language channels and CNN for company. Infinitely better for them than sitting in front of their PSPs and XBoxes or whatever the bloody things are called. because they do this on the flight home too! Again. why not make us strip to our underwear and sort out who really needs to travel?) Well. • Travel is basically a right pain nowadays: • • • • You are boarding the plane and the people in front of you are shattered that the seats start with 1 at the front and the fact that they have seat 47E and F probably means they are towards the back. you need to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.C etc. going across the plane. Anyway. don't bother to come back from your holiday. as the country won't miss you. If you use the long-term car park you wait hours for the bus. where you drive up to the terminal and someone takes the car away and meets you when you come back. who will turn up their noses and say "I don't read such rubbish" or "A children's book . and don't knock someone who has brought millions of children worldwide back to the joys of reading. and you will have to take off your jacket. put your laptop in a tray etc. Could the airports please employ enough staff and machines? 2. I am sure there are many out there. in fact I am all for it. your average moron gets to the front of the queue and then stands there like some brainless statue and starts asking what he/she has to do. it is such a slow laborious process that you wonder why you bothered in the first place.• Harry Potter book 7 came out. Could the moronic public try taking their brains with them when they travel rather than packing them with their thongs? There are about 8427 notices telling you that this is a security line. more of HP in the next entry.

threw in a pinch of floo powder and shouted “Hermione!” The cauldron seethed and bubbled and then asked him in a deep voice: “Name?” “Harry Potter” “Password?” “Voldermort” Harry knew his password was safe as no-one else would dare to speak the name of the evil Lord Voldermort aloud. However. Students who pass their end-of-year exams will receive the title of Solutions Architect. but he wanted to equip himself for any nasty surprises. There was a tremendous flash and a bang and Hermione’s face appeared in the chimney. 2007 Harry Potter and the secret of BSM A little something for you to read on holiday. Certain subjects could not be avoided. As the sun shone over the back gardens of Privet Drive. Enjoy your holidays.• You've forgotten where you parked the car. Harry hauled his cauldron over to the fireplace. “Hello Harry. Professor Snape’s Potions class had to be taken by all students. I forgot the access procedure” . Harry had no intention of missing the classes. Harry Potter was fretting over the choice of subjects he should take next year at Hogwarts. “If only Ron and Hermione were here. matters were not nearly as sunny. Hermione. He had also used Tom Riddle and Draco Malfoy – basically anyone he didn’t like.” he thought. Professor Snape had laid out his agenda in the joining instructions. “This year you will learn how to move from a simple Potions mixer. as much as he would have liked to.” So that one was a definite. you would have thought that all was well with the world. I hope some UK travel company reads this and realises that they could make a killing by providing an escort service for arrival and departure. but it looked a lot more interesting this year. It's raining. upstairs in the smallest bedroom of the house. Tuesday. July 31. as he was more likely than anyone he knew to need the skills they taught. to a fully fledged Solutions expert. I thought you had forgotten how to make your portal work?” “Sorry. It had been a very good lunch. Mr Dursley’s ample stomach was stretched out in a deck chair and was rising and falling slowly with his gentle snoring. I have been so busy working out what subjects I should do next year. The problem was that no-one knew who the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher was going to be. Suddenly his brain went into overdrive and he remembered the new system that Hermione had taught him to use – WWW – the World Wizard Web.

try again next year.” said Harry. and Hermione is playing around with WSL (Wizard Scripting Language) on her WIZIX (Wizard Intermediates and Experts) cauldron.“Well. “It’s called BSM. About 30 seconds later it came back into focus and they could hear him again. “There’s always Howler Prevention.” Ron and Hermione nodded their heads vigorously. you went all funny?” “Sorry.” said Harry.” said Hermione. so I thought I would join in. but wizards knew the truth behind the name and always had a good laugh at the Muggles. Harry had come upon the secret diary of Tom Riddle and in there he had unlocked the secret of Tivolin. “all this new stuff is not as good as people make it out to be – I know some people who swear that the old WIZ/390 is still the best and most reliable. it’s this rubbish WOS (Wizard Operating System) on this cauldron – I know you have upgraded to WIZOWS (Wizard and Owl System) Harry.” said Hermione.” Just thinking about it sent a shiver down their spines.” Ron’s father had told them that the company existed in both the Muggle and the Wizard world. “but I’m worried about Defence Against the Dark Arts. so he also discovered that Tivolin was an acronym for “This is Voldermort’s Inheritance. “I tried looking up some of their stuff on their wiziweb site and everything came up as Not Available Yet. We all have to try and become Solutions Architects.” said Ron. In the Muggle world. the company pretended that the letters stood for the names of the 3 founders of the company. It sounds really neat.” At that moment Ron’s face went all fuzzy and his voice went up and down like a yoyo. which reacts to the danger you are in and prioritises which spell to use to save yourself.” . “They confuse me as they seem to have three versions of everything. and looked distinctly sick. In their last year at Hogwarts. Just as Tom Marvolo Riddle was an anagram of “I am Lord Voldermort”. Cauldrons Anonymous have some neat looking stuff.” “Forget it. They also swapped some good WRLs (Wizard Resource Locators) they had found on the WWW. “Don’t panic Ron.” The three friends dropped into a long discussion on when and where they would meet next week. what was that. it’s very lucky for you that you can set your own password and it's a single system signon.” “We were just discussing the subjects for next year.” Hermione and Ron both nodded agreement. “Ron. I saw you were in an online wiz-chat.” “Fair enough. because I am fed up with losing at the duelling club when I deal with the wrong threat first. and I’m not convinced they really are focussed on what I need to be a fully fledged wizard. “I have been looking at some of the equipment we can buy next week in Diagon Alley. but I’m still on this old thing”. or we would never get hold of you! What subjects are you taking?” Suddenly there was another tremendous flash and bang as Ron’s face appeared next to Hermione’s. “Hello you two. “I am really interested in this new offering they have.” said Ron. It is a simple extension to your existing wand. “Back to Dark Arts. “So I assume you two have come to the same conclusion as I have and think that the Best Muggle Company is the one to look at next week. which means Best Spell Management. including an article from the famous wizard William Gates about his plans for digitising Quidditch matches so that everybody could watch it from their cauldron portal. and I am not at all keen on those Tivolin people as you know.

the Wikipedia entry for The Open at Carnoustie got the yardage of the course totally wrong .com/podcasts/podcast-armstrong) has been added to our ever growing list of golf resources. Tuesday. of course. like me. August 21.cfm Recognition at last.it's working. now I feel it is time you got back to work. 2007 Federated CMDB spec If. It even works with this stupid old broken wand of mine – I may not need to get a new one next week. who is heavily involved in making it all happen. raise several very serious issues. • Congratulations to the climate protesters at Heathrow Airport . July 31. Now. talks about it on his blog.bmc. 2007 .uk//golf-information/resources/golf-software. August 21.what more can I say? • • It does. Tuesday. sounds like that's the one that will keep you safe at Hogwarts.” “Well Harry.” said Hermione with a smile on her face. miserable and wet. 2007 Fame at last? I've been quiet for a while because I assumed you were on holiday dear reader. and can be found on this page: http://www. you spend the occasional sleepless night wondering how on earth a series of CMDBs might speak to one another. However. according to a new tracing program.standrews-golf. Tuesday. cold. And this email as well: "People using CIA and FBI computers have edited entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. What is correct out there / who is editing the entries / who controls the content / does self-regulation work etc.“And. My colleague Van Wiles.org. so some thoughts to get you gently back into the right frame of mind. then you probably want to have a look at this." Well. etc. please go home and let me drive my car round the garden 47 times so I get some sunshine! Just got this email: Fellow golf enthusiast! Your site (http://talk. on topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo prison. I've just been outside and it is grey. it knows what spells you can do already by reading your wand.

whose lack of proper respect for the older generation is matched only by his laziness and lack of motivation to better himself."We are focusing on what the end result is rather than hardware products". People will tell you that virtualisation will save the world. Just because you can do something technically does not necessarily mean it makes business sense. incredibly secure box that no-one talks about. so is not high on my list of intended dinner guests. never goes wrong. and it will definitely help.if you can't control a relatively static environment. but still runs lots of the important stuff and grows every year! But I'm just chronologically challenged and old-fashioned! Wednesday. and people are beginning to cotton on to the idea that loads of underutilised electricity-guzzling servers is not a great idea. so a colleague just sent me a link to a certain new advertising campaign. rarely heard today outside of movies. I hear you cry. According to Wikipedia she is a "fashion trendsetter". I looked up who Gwen Stefani is I had vaguely heard of her. (Gwen probably thinks that a new style at Jimmy Choo . you can't just bung workloads together any old way. The whole debate about green data centres is getting bigger and bigger over here. So. how it all hangs together. old. leave the girl alone. The definition rather reminded me of the modern young computer "experts" and their disrespect for that boring. However. So what. A splendid old English word: "Whippersnapper" is a somewhat archaic term. you can't afford to simply • • .whippersnapper. and then usually from the mouth of a character portrayed as chronologically-challenged and hopelessly old-fashioned to boot. A "whippersnapper" is an impertinent young person. quick as a flash. how important the different workloads are.stop it Armstrong!). A rigid Change and Configuration Management process . when you can make changes to them. usually a young man. • A knowledge of how it all hangs together from a business point of view. August 29. but it has certain prereqs. but about why you would spend a ton of money on an advertising campaign that encourages people to waste paper (and hence give the planet another kicking)? There is a great quote in the article . does most of the work in half the time.bring back capacity management. Focusing on the end result is what CxOs do and I don't see them queueing up for a Gwen Stefani paper doll .somehow I think they would rather hear about reducing their carbon footprint. you need to know what runs where. and you're right this entry is not about her. but she's never invited me out for a drink. unfortunately. non-strategic.Whippersnappers I found myself using a word the other day that I hadn't used for a long time . I beg to differ. then how are you going to manage a dynamic one? A predictive capability . which I interpret as meaning that she would cause a few heads to turn in my local pub. and hope that it's all going to work. what their future capacity requirements are etc. No. what trends they have. 2007 Paperless office? I always like to keep on the cutting edge of yoof and fashion.

fill the car etc.buy a bunch of new servers any more. Sensible combinations. September 05. pay the bill. . By the way.that would be sweet. I am having a cynical day today. Pass. What intrigued me was Patch Tuesday: Microsoft regularly issues patches that may cause Windows computers to reboot. I know there are several initiatives running on this round the world. is it just me. 2007 Do you Skype? Or perhaps you couldn't when you wanted to? 'Twould appear that the combination of high traffic and Microsoft patches is being blamed. No doubt." Remind me to play golf on Tuesdays. however. Microsoft releases software updates on the second Tuesday of each month. Wednesday. so do I care? Well.. and it all appears to be an American issue. a day known to systems administrators as "patch Tuesday. 2007 Cracked iPhone I was intrigued to read that someone had to crack the iPhone to work with any SIM card on any network.Posted by Dawn Naidoo at 2007-09-06 02:50 try this . which reduce the number of rechargers I lug round the world great. August 29. "Hey. Please prove me wrong!! Wednesday. 2007 Add Comment a toy you would like. Perhaps it's me. . soaks up batteries in a few hours. let's announce a phone that doesn't work for most people who want it. but I think that's more important than making a paper doll. Now if someone could do something sensible with the phone like let me check into a hotel. As you can probably gather I am not the world's greatest fan of convergence for convergence's sake.I'm too old to get excited. without me having to pay extra . Yes. September 05. only inasmuch as this appears to be yet another device that combines several things together that I don't necessarily want combined together with the result that it is bound to go wrong. and is insecure.." No doubt I have misunderstood something or other. they will all be different and incompatible. or do you think Phil Mickelson looks (and walks) as if he should be in the cast of the Waltons? Wednesday.. Toys .

in fact I would like one of these in every hotel room. Due to the fact that the world unfortunately contains some nutters. 2007 Special airport edition For those of you who haven't flown through a UK airport recently. airport lounge.. office etc. a couple of facts. I head to click on the link that you so kindly provided to realize that you were talking about network security.I won't be able to look at an iphone the same way ever again!!! Do you speak English? Been in a bit of an inspirational wasteland recently as far as blogging is concerned. thanks peter Insecure iPhone? . like it. you are restricted to one piece of hand-luggage." From a cartoon in the paper: "Sorry.I said it comes with a 2.. read the paper.0 GHz.coolest-gadgets. Intel Cored duo 8x double layer super drive and ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128 MB memory" Amazing how often you hear IT people speak to business like that! Monday. that is way too sensible and useful and user-friendly to ever catch on (that's english irony!)..Posted by Craig S.http://www. October 01.Posted by peter at 2007-10-10 14:55 Sweet . who want to kill other people. had to do something to stop me thinking about the fact that I was hideously uncomfortable and bored to tears.Posted by peter armstrong at 2007-09-10 02:52 Dawn.com/20060912/splash-power-the-wireless-gadget-charger/ much too sensible . neat. do you speak English?" "I am speaking English . As marketing would put it "Use this incredible opportunity to get away from the daily grind and let your creative juices flow". insecure? .. 1. Mullins at 2007-10-10 14:19 When I read your comment that the iPhone is insecure I just couldn't get the image of an iPhone asking "Does this battery make me look fat?" out of my head. or as I would put it "Finished my book. no liquids etc. This often . Then I sat in a metal tube and hurtled across the sky and had several ideas.

light versions that could easily be put in your hand luggage." "How do you know?" "I have the right one here on my screen". British airports sell "special airport editions" of new books. the CE of the Australian Rugby Union. and he was then cast out to the wilderness for a year. always looking for what the customer wants" "You can have the best packaging in the world. They are bigger and heavier. Some quotes from the BA inflight magazine: "You should have antennae twitching like the ears of a deer.throws people on connecting flights as they get on board in e. 2.. "we all hate losing to . Oh no. In fact. or misinterpretation of it) jaunt at present: Reading the paper on the plane.g. Monday. but by no means least.". Now you would think in light of the above. and at that point the cashier swivels the screen round and shows the woman what the signature should look like!! Love it. despite the fact that his girlfriend (wife?) is American and that wasn't what he said/meant anyway. Perhaps I'm meant to buy one for self-defence? Monday. A woman goes into the bank to get some money out and hands over her signed slip. "sorry. In both cases I believe they meant to say. that's not your signature. 2007 Some quotes Network performance at home is reminiscent of wading through treacle with concrete boots on. Oh. John O'Neill. USA with two bags and suddenly find they are only allowed one on the next flight. The cashier says.. ever go forward with an idea without trying it on the customer first" Is convergence a good idea? Will we end up with useful devices or a set of features we don't want and batteries that only last a few hours? And last. ." How kind. October 01. "we all hate the Americans". I remember Paul Casey being quoted just before the Ryder Cup as saying. so I'll combine my last few thoughts in this entry. 2007 We all hate England? I'm on a communications (or lack of it. they could probably be used as a weapon to smack someone over the head. for standardisation across the world . "we all hate England.dream on. that these would be small. which does rather change the whole thing from an insult to an accurate and wholly understandable point of view. a wonderful story from Poland about security. much too sensible. but people need to try the product" "Never. was quoted as saying. October 01.

"yah boo sucks"! For those of you. Now. where amongst other things I will be chatting to Dr Thomas Mendel of Forrester on stage about where the world of business and IT are going. Tuesday. 2007 Service Automation and Emprisa Do you get fed up with doing the same old thing time after time? Do you find that so-called modern computer systems are actually a pain in the neck and take hours to configure? Do you still have too many people worrying about widgets when they should be worrying about service? Does it take 6 of you to get something finished end-to-end? Are you bored with the word compliance? Do you wish end-users could just get on with it and stop pestering you with their requests? Do you want to know the meaning of life? . 2007 A message to my Australian reader(s?) In reference to my recent blog entry .Monday. Items include ITIL V3. SW1P 3AA. • This year's annual Remedy UK User Group is on 10th October at One Great George Street. • Tuesday. we just need Lewis Hamilton to hold it all together in Brazil and life will be sweet. October 09. October 01. much to everyone's surprise. where the ball is not allowed to be thrown forwards). October 02. London. BMC's Userworld is in Vancouver at the end of this month / beginning of November. That one is organised by the customers and BMC are invited to participate. who mistakenly do not follow Rugby (the proper game invented by us. we beat the Australians at the weekend. 2007 RUG and UW Quick bit of advertising. Service Management futures etc. Hope to see you there. ITSM 7 migration.

Immigration the most inefficient process in the world.BMC Service Automation and the associated acquisition of Emprisa Networks.what a hideous thought. as you have just heard from the captain. October 26.how about telling people what they really need to know rather than presenting them with a load of meaningless metrics? Friday.actually I've just been outside and it's bloody cold. "Please do not turn on your phone yet. "Please return your seat to the upright position.. did a podcast yesterday about the joys of BSM and the wonders of BMC Userworld..ah something useful at last "And the local time is ." ..I don't care as long as it's higher than anything between Moscow and London and nothing else is cruising at the same height nearby. I'm not going out there... but flying home from Russia reminded me.what you really are saying is that there is a two-mile hike the other end followed by an hour's wait in the immigration queue. October 09. tell me something new. that could be so quick and simple if anyone (apart from the passengers) cared. every bloody member of the crew has to have their 30 seconds of fame on the microphone: • "Ladies and gentlemen. maybe not the last one. we are about to land" I know. • • • So what is the point of all this? Well. I will be surrounded by the brain dead shouting down their mobiles about meaningless dross ..glad to hear we've got one. Tuesday.shut up and let me watch the movie. but you may have spotted that we announced the next stage of our BSM strategy yesterday ." .also good "Thank you for . • • • • Then as you are about to land and are frantically trying to watch the last 5 minutes of the movie that has been running for 3 hours.. moron. Enjoy! . "Please use the lavatories now" . this is your pilot" . Anyway.who cares..OK. 2007 Yet another podcast! Here I am on the sun-baked slopes of Vancouver . "We are cruising at 36000 feet" . dufus" . would be worried if we hadn't... • • "Hello.my vision of hell." . "The temperature outside is -38 degrees" .I heard recently that some airlines want to allow mobile phones during the flight . fasten your safety belt and turn off all electrical devices" . 2007 Pilot talk I may have mentioned some of this before. simple really .fair enough. "The weather in London is ..

but actually another couple of geocachers. ITIL V3. I did hit the stage for a short time. November 01. they were very good. October 31. Thursday. Today I was on stage with Dr Thomas Mendel of Forrester. not by the Beatles? But who cares. to see the BMC vision turn into reality and then have people stand up and tell you how they have saved millions of dollars using it makes it all rather worthwhile. and I have also found 4 geocaches nearby so far! Wednesday. Oh yes. BSM.if I find a link I will publish it later. We all went to a venue last night to listen to "American English".no. with fellow members of the Thought Leadership Council. .Tuesday. October 30. I have heard so many conversations this year about how "many millions of CIs we have in our CMDB" that I think there will soon be a who has the biggest CMDB prize? Also just met two customers at lunch. Yesterday was our Executive Summit. after a splendid week's education and entertainment. which is in Miami in October from memory. I know that sounds like an oxymoron to some of my readers. not members of the drink the European wine lake dry club. and I got to pick their brains on a range of subjects round BSM today and tomorrow. 2007 Userworld 3 Nearly time to go home. the future of the big 4 vendors etc. 2007 Userworld 1 They asked me to do some "live" blogging from BMC Userworld here in Vancouver. My only confusion was that their final song was "Live and Let Die". which was by Wings. 2007 Userworld 2 Interesting just listening to what people are talking about round you. but they were actually an extremely good Beatles tribute band. who wandered up and said "I think we have something in common" . Think I'll set up a cache meeting and a couple of caches at next year's Userworld. As I have said in this blog before. which is always enjoyable for me as I get to sit back and listen to customers talk about our stuff rather than having to stand up and talk about it myself. I know they were filming the sessions . so here goes. having a fireside chat about business and IT. of course.

My laptop is performing like a dog. Friday. Why doesn't it do it the first time? "Sorry. To those in Europe who couldn't make it over here. Sunday. Everybody Loves Raymond . Wanted some amusement so tried the comedy stuff. anyone who had ever been on a reality TV programme and Posh Spice (unless she promised never to sing again). Till Death .excellent and so true . Classic. I came up with an idea for a TV programme a while back. Tried out some of the TV channels on the flight home. Basically each week the country would vote for the top 10 people who should be chucked out (virtually chucked out. but I do believe we should be able to say what we think. November 02. Everybody Hates Chris . the next European Userworld is May 19th to 22nd in Lisbon.true. Defrag comes back and says it can do no more. What happened to decent comedy? Please don't tell me I should watch The Office .hopefully very soon. 2007 Some questions 1. because I get very confused? What if someone says the performance of IT stinks? What if they say the service desk is a pile of ****? Will they get forced to leave the company? Hopefully not! I never actively set out to offend people (some may be surprised by that!).and discussed the meaning of many of the terms and acronyms we use every day. so I have removed large quantities of junk and strange temporary files that Windows seems incapable of tidying up itself (does Windows actually understand the concept of GETMAIN and FREEMAIN?). I know I can actually help you. Hope to see you there. My list started with Tony Blair.no they don't.Britney Spears trying to recite the alphabet. 2.or Little Britain .Then this morning a highly entertaining speaker who showed us the wrong way to use Powerpoint ." Sounds like some customer un-help desks I know. The name was Eviction. November 04. Must be getting old. so you run it again and it gets better. Anyone else want to join in with their list? By the way the idea is documented and registered with my lawyers so you can't steal it. not really chucked out unfortunately). The business lounge at the airport used to be a quiet haven. It may be that we pick up certain • • . but I can't be bothered unless you kick me again. 2007 More questions Been spending too much time in aeroplanes.even worse. Now it is a sea of tedious people shouting down their mobile phones.any intelligent person would have shot the boss after 20 seconds . My favourite was CMDB . and then run defrag. which gives me time to think! • Who decides what is correct/incorrect nowadays? Is there a handy website listing words I can't use. Alastair Campbell.

2007 X and my laptop No connection between the two parts of the title . getting hold of me immediately and blocking the card. 2007 Identity Theft Regular readers will know that I was recently the victim of identity theft. That is good service. but it's not exactly the way to gain respect is it? So your reaction. the machine to take your ticket and credit card is excellent. . Appears I am the victim somehow of identity theft. but there certainly are some accents that grate and seem to stand out. and do something with his life that his mother/country would be proud of. and take ages to answer the bloody thing. Oh yes. is to tell X to get off his ****.wish people over here had as much respect for others round them. Now . what's that got to with Service Management? Well. at an appropriate cost. I am guessing. does not have a lot of brain cells. You are told that X is young. This is just a quick public thanks to the splendid IS people we have. who have got the whole thing running at a much faster rate of knots . November 08. comes from a dysfunctional family. no to others. Mr Armstrong did you make the following purchases? Yes to some.here's a hypothetical situation . I was in South Africa last week and discovered that their banking systems are light-years ahead of ours in the UK. which means you can't get at it!! Do these people never try their designs out? And finally some good news/bad news. Now if they could just give me the address of the ****** who stole my number so I can go round there with a large baseball bat for a chat? • Thursday.just saves writing two blogs! As reported a couple of entries ago. the person who designed it thought that receipt might get wet / blown away so he/she makes it come out in a little enclosed plastic hood. Tuesday. and the loudest people have the most annoying ring-tones too.every time you pick up the paper you are greeted with a picture of X falling out of a nightclub having spent some ridiculous amount on alcohol (hopefully not my tax money). In the Far East people tend to put their hand over the phone and their mouth and talk quietly . when you come to pay at the exit.it is about delivering a worthwhile service to those that have signed up (and probably paid) for it. As I landed in Poland on Monday I got a phone call from Goldfish (one of my credit cards). my laptop was performing like a dog. • Anyone parked at Pink Elephant at Heathrow? Apart from being a rip-off. I think those in positions of responsibility in commerce or public life or whatever should have SLAs. Right. To me an SLA is not about whether a lump of boring hardware is working . November 13.intonations more rapidly than others. Well done Goldfish for catching on straight away. has pots of money and is bored rigid. has no parental control. and to me X (and many others) are frequently if not permanently missing their targets. However.brilliant.

2007 Barbados Just had a wondrous week in Barbados recharging the batteries. November 20. In today's world of computers and the Internet. how we can combine forces to give better service etc. as opposed to the 3-5 days it takes to move money between banks here in the UK. it really is crazy that it takes days to clear a transaction between banks. Link is here.One of the really neat things they offer is an SMS or email to you every time your credit card gets used. one with exquisite food but rubbish service. And there's a white-paper I wrote to go with it. November 19. how we can exploit 30 years of experience in running production systems through best practices like ITIL. the food. • • Has any other country got anything like this? Why can't we have this in the UK please? They also have real-time banking. • • How long do inter-bank transactions take where you live? Can you easily transfer to a foreign account in a different currency? Time to rise up and kick the banks I think.short for rabbit and pork.if you had two restaurants. Hope you enjoy it. What a lovely place . elegant.should be a simple online option. who think WINDOWS operating system is an oxymoron. rhymes with talk. November 29. it reminded me that it really is the whole experience that matters. Tuesday. a sensible pace of life. Also here in the UK I cannot transfer money to a foreign account without paying extortionate fees and filling out boring forms . and one that where the food wasn't quite as good. The location.beautiful beaches. 2007 . the wine. Anyway. the person you're with. friendly people. the service etc. but the service was magic. so rabbiting means talking a lot). As we sat in one of the restaurants overlooking the beach and the gentle waves. Neat. Monday. This time about give and take between the trendy young things who think WINDOWS is an operating systems and us old folk. So here's my question today . the serious point is about what we can learn from each other. then you probably need a holiday! Thursday. simple. No wonder Tiger got married there. 2007 Give and take I've been rabbiting on again (rabbit = cockney rhyming slang . what we can do about us all getting older. which one would you go for? Or do I have to tell you the price as well? If you can't see a connection between that and BSM.

Obviously security is a major concern. which people actually enjoy . how we decided who takes the solo etc. Tuesday. normally associated with some activity that I would normally pay not to do Number 4 may seem a bit harsh and I am sure there is the occasional team-building thing.couldn't sing first time round. 200 Phrases you don't want to hear There are certain phrases. your average end-user has no idea how much work goes into getting an IT system to work properly. December 18.at long last they are trialling the concept of paying for stuff here in the UK using your mobile phone. Any Leonard Cohen track . 2007 Add Comment The gig . and I don't really need a team of psychologists to tell me that "working together is the solution" – DUUUUH. What's all that got to do with service management? Well if you are an end-user do you care how many times we practised. Anyway. or do you only care about the whole thing working together in a production environment? Just as our audience will basically assume that we just wander on stage and play (so would you if you heard us!). but there are ways of fixing that. Blindingly bloody obvious that you don't do it alone. where you are meant to hang off a cliff-face relying on your colleagues or similar. November 29. how many times we changed the key and the tempo.Pay by phone There was a news item on the TV last night .some load of psychobabble. contact me offline if you want to know where. a series of cleverly presented lies. I have actually spent my evenings in the last couple of weeks practising for my first live appearance with a band and that is what I see as a proper team-building experience. I am talking about the ones.see below.music to top yourself by 4. and every now and then we even get to all play the same tune at the same time. Oh yes . where did I read about an idea like that years ago? Thursday. Team Building Exercise . Spice Girls Reunion . which immediately make me reach for the vomit receptacle: 1. designed to make you vote for them .Posted by Ronald at 2008-01-07 11:46 .hence most of us just turn them off or make a cup of tea) 2. way better as a group than individually. Party political broadcast (for non-UK people. spare me 3. As far as I can see the phone will act as a virtual cash card that you can swipe over readers and can also be used in place of a credit card. Now.this Friday. Tremendous fun.

Posted by Ronald X at 2008-01-08 13:55 7 beers <-> 6 sticks of dynamite.ho ho!! Actually the gig went very well and I have been invited back amazing how well things go if the audience has more alcohol than the band!! Only 7 beers? Cheers Peter Spicegirls . :-) But I won't be that rude as I am sure your musical abilities far outstrip mine ..first year in school I was kicked out of music class for noise pollution.. BTW: The spice girls are a seven beer band.Some people might say they would pay not to hear the performance. the gig .how kind . same effect? BTW: What are the Spicegirls doing when they are standing shoulder to shoulder on stage? Answer: Wind tunnel testing. .Posted by peter at 2008-01-07 13:32 Ronald .

Part 4 – 2008 Another year older. but probably no wiser? .

A large number of people were unable to complete their order since a negative total came up for payment. Not sure where the golf is at . All these orders are registered as “incomplete” on our system – meaning that we do have details of the order and the time it was placed. so couldn't do any blogging. 2008 A new year's sport Well the New Year's sport has kicked off with the Australian Open tennis.Sorry. Well. Anyway.links. I could rabbit on for hours here about whether the new equipment is good or bad .personally think that the finesse has gone out of both games especially in golf and it all seems to be down to power nowadays. but here's a cracker to start the year. January 15. Please note that we have received well order 1000 orders and so it will take some time to process all of these. For me it is interesting to watch tennis players on an unfamiliar surface . can you try again? Happy New Year one and all . Smackitova and Thumpitova. We will be in touch with all customers who placed a completed or an incompleted order during the course of the next few days and all stocks will be allocated to customers – as advised on the site – on a first come. For those of you. The final will probably be won by someone ending in Ova.and golf players on a proper golf course . Over 100. first serve basis. A colleague of mine passed on this wonderful email .grass . I sit here wondering whether people get too excited about new technology and simply replace things for the sake of it. Bashitova.I have removed the company name to protect the guilty: Dear Customer. The men's final will probably be won by Federer.000 people logged onto our site at the same time this morning. who grunts a lot. who don't follow tennis let me explain. An Due to the high volume of orders we have had to turn the sale off and will advise you when and if we are in a position to relaunch the sale. The women's championship has lots of people called Gruntalot.haven't watched any recently. Beltitova. rather than seriously considering the merits of new vs old? . Thank you to all of you who participated in the xxx January Sale. unprecedented number for which we could not prepare. Reason for mentioning both sports is that they have changed dramatically in recent years due to the introduction of new technology. Kind Regards Tuesday. Thank you for your understanding and thank you for visiting our website this morning.I have been in BlackBerry land for a while. what has all that got to do with computing.

but can I just say I can't think of a single politician I would willingly vote for. . January 17. 2008 Add Comment Sequels . Ken Turbitt. Basically. when you are tagged by another blogger. The way it works. I had already digitised all my music.Posted by Ronald at 2008-01-17 01:58 Updated versions of technology products are like movie sequels. 2008 Add Comment . which is slowly but surely spreading round the blogosphere. so time to do the photos I thought! I use Photoshop with various plugins. and it will be a thriller with codes and puzzles along the way. and have one keyboard. Tom Bishop and Atwell Williams. Thursday. with 5 things that others might not know.load of tosh). Ynema Mangum. but the original one says 5! So here goes: • You know I play golf and music. The travel.Wednesday. I use Band-in-the-Box and Cubase mainly. now to tag some people I respect: James Governor. I actually compose and arrange music. I shoot exclusivley in RAW. January 16.can we bring back peace. and Photomatix Pro for HDR as my basic setup. In a room nearby are two guitars and a Midi Guitar Synth. religion and politics on here. The plot is mapped out. Blog-tagging It would appear that I have just been blog-tagged by a nice chap I used to work with called Craig Mullins. and I feel religion has lost its way . Craig says 8. . especially the long-haul flights was doing my body no good. I have got back into photography again and am scanning every negative I own. you have to write a blog posting about yourself. Photovista Panorama for guess what panoramas. moving on to slides hopefully later this year. always disappointing and worse than the original. in fact the only happy person was the chiropractor! I normally avoid talking about sex. When Canon announce the EOS 50D I will upgrade my camera! I only work 3 days a week now. • • • • OK. 3 synthesizers and two music PCs within 6 feet of me as I write this. and then tag 5 other bloggers. love and harmony please? I can go on about both of these at length! I am planning to write a novel based round some of my hobbies. blog-tagging is a harmless chain letter (unlike those ones that promise you untold wealth and health unless you stop them .

There have also been some programs looking at the basic excuses that people come up with .Posted by Ynema Mangum at 2008-01-17 11:17 I'll put it in my next post! I'd love to read your thriller when it's published. it will come as no surprise to you. with IT and systems management. However. In fact. because you haven't explained how they would know that / haven't established that character or whatever. lots of fruit and veg. of course." Atrium . when you are running around like a headless chicken trying to solve each problem as it pops up. or the whole plot falls apart. You can't expect someone to appear with a magic wand.I have the fat gene. an apology. I also ride the exercise bike every day. ~Y The Novel Well I have started work on the novel. that I have discovered you have got to have a rock-solid foundation in place. you can't do that.that would be a remake of Batman or Harry Potter! Same thing. I think you also have to be realistic and realise that your processes may not be 100% perfect first time round. there is a worldwide problem with obesity. I know I overindulged over Christmas and New Year and am now having a few weeks with no alcohol. That's why we designed this whole BSM thing with the central Atrium architecture. "hang on. Peace. 2008 Obesity First.not sure our marketing people will go for that? Wednesday. there have been some very good programs on the TV in the UK in recent weeks showing us just how much crap there is in processed food. Most of us are probably overweight. love and harmony. Then I started writing. and regularly go for long walks because of my strange geocaching hobby. so that everything hangs together and makes sense. January 23. and it is amazing how you get half way down a page and then suddenly say to yourself. my Thyroid doesn't work properly. and it's an enlightening experience. I've tried . I am probably going to upset some people in this blog entry. I had done my planning in advance . but we want to keep that tinkering to a minimum. worked out who the major characters are. As my Dad used to say "time spent on recce is seldom wasted. it is not a fantasy novel and hence I can't suddenly pull magical apparatus out of the air to save my hero/heroine . The amounts of sugar. so you may have to go back and tinker with them.Thanks for the tag! . no snacks. but it's all in a good cause! As we all hopefully know. Unfortunately for me." Fundamentally.mapped out the plot. salt and fat that sneak in under the radar screen are terrifying and the amount of junk food that some people eat just staggers me.the magic wand of BSM . planned some of the puzzles that would be used along the way etc.

2008 The novel ." The crux of the problem. these people simply eat too much / the wrong food and don't exercise enough. where we are terrified to allow children to do anything that might harm them. If we bring up a generation of mollycoddled children. I believe sensible regulations will survive. These useless individuals probably started with some good intentions. I gave a draft to my wife.an update Well the book is coming along. The UK is now run by a bunch of mindless morons. Get real.any of that sound familiar?!? Enjoy your lunch. water/liquid cooling. This also means that we cannot afford to continue with the obese data centres that we have now. so get on with it and teach them real life. socially inept kids who resort to alcohol and drugs for entertainment and whose sole skill is the ability to play computer games or name every "celebrity" in Big Brother. laziness and the inadequacy of the so-called operating systems that now prevail. who are bored out of their brains.caused IMHO by a naive belief that technology can solve anything. and how difficult is it to run round a pitch blowing a whistle? "They might hurt themselves. as we are then deemed to be paedophiles. so that's a pretty good start! I then asked some questions like: .the other tedious bunch are called Human Rights. which to anyone who remembers mainframes does not come as a big shock. I don't know what it is like in your country." Total rubbish ." They had the time in my day. which are singularly ill-equipped to run multiple workloads. but here in the UK organised sport at school seems unfortunately to be dying out. What I personally would also like to see is the little ankle biters running round doing some sport. The amount of wasted power in the IT industry is frightening . called Health and Safety .everything etc. it is bad for them. It is also interesting to see that a lot of fat kids have fat parents what a surprise! I am glad to see some people really trying to address the issue. I have written over 50 pages now and it still hangs together. January 23. You hear totally fatuous excuses like: • "You can't have a child losing. but have now reduced us all to a state. capacity planning. "We don't have the time or the training. I didn't sue my parents when I fell out of a tree or fell off my bike or got knocked sideways on the rugby pitch . Centralised computing. • • In the world of computing stupid ideas and regulations fortunately tend to fall by the wayside. Hence the rise of virtualisation and VMWare etc. In the vast majority of cases.hooray.it was my own stupid fault and I learnt how to do it right next time. hence the rise of COBIT and ITIL as the de facto standards round the world and the release of ISO 20000.. daughter and a couple of friends to read and no-one set fire to it or suggested using it to line the bottom of the parrot cage.they've got to learn some day. mixed workloads . for instance I saw on the News yesterday that they want to teach children how to cook proper food . and if they are hurt we are of course not allowed to touch them. don't be surprised if you end up with a load of fat. Wednesday. high utilisation.

. That's why business has no idea what IT are talking about most of the time.............. didn't watch it as it was on very late and I don't understand a game where they chuck the ball the wrong way!! Anyway..and quarterback Tom Brady was sacked five times strange.. who seems very competent. you overpaid prat" as one of the first phrases to master? Today is super Tuesday in the US.. he apologised for his English and promised he would learn it in four weeks... the point is imagine an IT system which went. You poor things....... the US has its next day in the run-up to the Presidential election. so time for a catch-up: • The Americans had a sporting event at the weekend... I've just read the BBC website for the result and it says Manning was named MVP . In the UK it is pancake day. of course. We..... Let's have constructive criticism in life...... badly.. February 04..... over here are so incompetent that we can't even find an Englishman to run the English football team. However....... of course.. but I get so bored with the build up to all these things on TV that I want to get a Leonard Cohen (Richard Ashcroft for younger readers) album out and slit my wrists........ if I hadn't written it? Do you want to read more? Would you pay for it as a book? Would you recommend it to others? We often tell people their service is lovely... when we actually think it's crap. Now don't get me wrong... Anyway........ The first time he was interviewed...... enough politics...... is that jargon that is meaningful to you may be totally incomprehensible to the person you are talking to... months and months of this stuff. and then the service will probably improve. yes it's $42 including post and packing! How long would you put up with that? • • .... over here you get sacked once from a job? The point I am making.. Also... well done the Giants... Let's have election campaigns round the world with zero budget.. Think I prefer ours...... "and the answer is ... or their system works really well......... Apparently it is the most watched sporting event in the world. electing a President is mega important... that I haven't really concentrated on what's going on in the world........ Monday. 2008 Catching Up I have been so absorbed in my hobbies (and other boring stuff like work) recently......... Anyway.. ..... but they also pointed out some areas that were weak and some bits where I hadn't got the emotions of the characters right . that shouldn't be too tricky! Can I suggest "Learn how to take a penalty.all good constructive criticism.... which I believe is in November..• • • • Would you read it........... Fortunately my family and friends know I would rather hear it's crap... as opposed to some well-meant but useless praise.......Most Valued Player? ..... I........ I'm glad to say they liked it... We had the Swede with the bad teeth... wait for it .............. as some of our players probably only have a vocabulary of 10 words.......... and now we have an Italian chap...

see below. • • • . February 19. Service delivery processes MUST be capable of exceeding customer expectations if they are to deliver a sustainable and growing business.php? from=rss_News&set_id=1&click_id=79&art_id=nw20080205183029774C503459 Do you think that version Red Tape 2.as Piers Morgan so sweetly put it recently. Again pretty bloody obvious .co. Most PCs .Tuesday.iol. Well.treat us badly and we go elsewhere. Pretty obvious really. 2008 Add Comment Ooops. he wakes up next to Cherie every morning. a hint of sense in here as well! Hell: • Dinner with Tony and Cherie Blair . then you are correct. sorry Pancake day is cancelled! . Being in. but I was wondering what would be my versions of heaven and hell (or whatever your religious equivalents are). it is probably negative! However in marked contrast. February 05. Tuesday. What they also sent me for review includes the findings from recent research by Nielsen Global. and unfortunately it tells the same story . watching. a service failure may not just lose a customer. the research also shows that consumers trust each other and that therefore personal recommendations (or word of mouth) are of vital importance. Tony has been punished enough. If you think these are flippant.za/index. In my case.0 will include a type of virtualisation? Churn is everywhere! About this time last year I was entertaining you all with my diatribes on the subject of churn.amazing how many people choose to ignore it though. anything to do with reality TV. but there is. What this research shows is that trust in marketing messages declines with age to the point that it is negligible by the age of 40.Posted by Ronald at 2008-02-05 13:19 http://www. Poor service. my colleagues in Asia Pacific have just run the latest survey. as always. but can also significantly impact the recommendability of your organisation. In other words. 2008 Heaven and hell Don't ask me why.

.Posted by Ronald at 2008-02-20 09:24 My wife had some things to add to your list but I can't seem to remember what they are. ABBOTT: Your computer? COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. COSTELLO CALLS TO BUY A COMPUTER FROM ABBOTT ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Thank you. Broadband that goes at the speed they sold you. Sensibly priced music downloads. A better golf swing.. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer. A PC that has a sensible operating system . the name's Lou.. Good health. Please.. . The ability to remember that your wife told you to do this morning. February 20. my name's Lou. Can I help you? COSTELLO: Thanks. Heaven: • • • • • • • Feel free to add your own. Want to buy a PC? Old but very valid. Wednesday. ABBOTT: Mac? COSTELLO: I told you. 2008 Add Comment My wife told me. ABBOTT: Mac? COSTELLO: No. I want to buy one. .so that's goodbye to WINDOWS (and most of the others).• Impolite people.

COSTELLO: Yes. COSTELLO: For my office? ABBOTT: Yes. I need a computer and software. What will I see when I look at the windows? ABBOTT: Wallpaper. COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows? ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W". COSTELLO:! Yeah. What do I need? ABBOTT: Word. COSTELLO: You just did what? ABBOTT: Recommend something. Can you recommend anything? ABBOTT: I just did. COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. ABBOTT: Software for Windows? COSTELLO: No. for my office.ABBOTT: What about Windows? COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here? ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows? COSTELLO: I don't know. let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK. COSTELLO: What word? ABBOTT: Word in Office. what did you recommend for my office? ABBOTT: Office. COSTELLO: The only word in office is office. What do you have? ABBOTT: Office. COSTELLO: OK. COSTELLO: You recommended something? ABBOTT: Yes. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals. COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. for my office! ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows. ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows. . What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with? ABBOT T: Money. track expenses and run my business.

but I have been running round in circles. 2008 Serendipity Serendipity . • .making fortunate discoveries by accident. as several things have come together recently.. COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer? ABBOTT: Yes. COSTELLO: I need money to track my money? ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer. written by the founder of Lonely Planet... apologies for lack of blogging recently.even if it does clash with my birthday! Hope to see you there.. which is why we have included tracks on best practices and industry focus. key areas like virtualisation and data centre automation as well as tracks dealing with "the normal agenda items" you would expect.COSTELLO: That's right. We are putting together an agenda driven by customers.. Friday. which annoyed me intensely. Can I help you? COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off? ABBOTT: Click on "START".. I am reading a fascinating book called Bad Lands. Seems apt. He visits places like Afghanistan.. COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money? ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT! (A few days later) ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Firstly.. February 22. Iraq and North Korea as a tourist. COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money? ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money. so am looking forwards to this one . COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much? ABBOTT: One copy. No extra charge... and blows away many of your misconceptions on parts of the world. I missed last year's in Prague. about which most of us are woefully ignorant. • I am helping put together the agenda for our Userworld in Lisbon. COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer? ABBOTT: Money.. What do you have? ABBOTT: Money..

My take is that virtualisation is going to happen in a big way. and last but not least it should all be driven from a business point of view rather than a love-in with the latest whizzy piece of technology. one of these V+ boxes (Tivo in US I think is what you call it . managed to get someone on the end of the 'phone. I thought I would hardly use it as we haven't recorded anything on the old VCR in years. broadband. If you are going to work towards the data centre of the future with a dynamic infrastructure responding to demand. You will find it very worthwhile. In fact. The V+ box is magic. I used to live down there in a little village called Valbonne. Of course.why the hell didn't they contact me and tell me? That would be proactive customer service promoting loyalty! Anyway. there is no such thing as free. Amazing what a simple user interface will do to change your mind. Anyway. please venture away for the coast and explore the countryside. which combined 'phone. etc. culture. March 06. but let's just say "at no additional charge". TV. and above all control. Then IBM announced the z10 with 4000 virtual Linux servers. then you had better have a thorough understanding of how it all hangs together. Beautiful part of the world. St Paul de Vence etc.hence servers running at 10-15% Space Disaster Recovery etc. rigid change and configuration processes.someone has to do it. as it is such a pain.• I was in the South of France last week .a staggeringly big event with over 4000 people attending to discuss the wonders of virtualisation. and if you ever go there. with ultra-thin clients. who spoke English and I signed up for the new combo as it gives me much faster broadband.even does it for you automatically on the one you are . • • • • • • However. a high degree of automation. Now if the mainframe just ran virtual Windows servers? Thursday. so I checked the supplier's website and found they had a new package. 2008 TV+ I wanted to upgrade my broadband at home. the sports and movie channels I have and a few other things. a resurrection of correct capacity management. with some stunning landscapes like the Gorges du Verdun. for all sorts of reasons Cost savings Green IT Unix and Windows are rubbish at running multiple workloads . Gourdon. Reminded me of the book I talked about up above and trying to remove peoples' misconceptions.anyway a hard disk recorder thing) and a second set-top box for upstairs for "free". a lot of people were talking to me about server consolidation in a centralised data centre. Sounded very familiar. Recording is a doddle . we were there for the first VMWorld in Europe . the move to mission-critical production doesn't seem to be happening yet because of concerns over licensing. First question .

but should be compulsory viewing for anyone working in a company that has a service desk. it asks for our PIN number. You will find the agenda here and the session catalog here . All too predictable I am afraid. it's for my annoyance I replied. In the Far East I have noticed that they put their hand over the phone and try not to disturb you. and have a large number of customer presentations lined up so that you can learn about the practical application of our solutions as well as catching up on the latest information. but as the person on the phone this time did not understand irony or English. who spends the whole time shouting down his phone.I could put a whole string of product names in there. Guess what. which you can search via focus area.Phone Rage .watching so you can go back and check out bits you didn't hear properly or whatever. March 13. although they probably wouldn't work in jail) on aeroplanes. How kind. Rest of my time is taken up at present by running round trying to get all the sessions in place for UserWorld. there is of course one strange thing about it. 2008 UserWorld Well that was a strange weekend. which ruined any chance of golf. . if your service is rubbish. track. Gosh a piece of technology designed with the end-user in mind . Balderdash.all about call centres and how / how not to run them.stuck for ten hours next to some tedious git . ITIL discipline etc. Now that is my vision of hell . On Monday it had all gone and I had 10 pars. Hope to see you there! Wednesday. On Sunday we had quite a lot of snow. plus 6 bogeys and 2 lash-ups. that was rather wasted on them. nobody's perfect! The swing is coming back slowly. which we have already paid for. Over here. It is for your security they said. which disturb me somewhat.amazing! Thursday. let me know. if you think something is missing. the customer hates you and goes elsewhere . WHY? I called them and asked. but frankly that's a bit boring! We are trying to make the whole event very customer focused. Every time we want to watch one of the movie channels. March 26.can it really be true? Well. Neat. let me know . Ignoring the fact that 98% of what you read in the papers is probably untrue and/or inaccurate. Which leads me to the programme I recorded last week . • Apparently they are getting very close now to allowing the use of mobile phones (what you Americans call cell phones. If there is something else you want to search on. at last. Again. let's go for that little 2% kernel. Please have a look at what we have got in store for you. 2008 Nomophobia I've read a couple of things in the papers this week.

I don't understand who you are talking about. Nope. just lean out the window . which means you can't stand to be without your mobile phone. 13 million Britons fear being out of mobile phone reach. Hey. wrong. Monday.unfortunately it seems to be a desperate bid to annoy as many people as possible with inane useless conversations." "Sir. March 31. they are our opening hours. Just shows how stupid and selfish you are. Sit back and think about your life and decide." Tuesday. Now. 2008 Call centre classics Apologies if you have heard some of these before. Might change the way people view you if you get your priorities right. but they are classic. 2008 Call centre classics part 2 As promised.you'll hear the other bloke shouting anyway! One in ten say they need to be contactable at all times because of their jobs. some more crackers: Caller: "Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am travelling in Australia?" . April 08. that are meant to show me how important you are." Caller: "On page 1. of the user guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the faxmachine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning. family and health come way ahead of anything else (except perhaps my golf swing?) Now do the same thing for your business services. section 5. sir. In my case. I will do one or two a day to make you laugh. • There is also apparently a new disease called Nomophobia.get real. The rest . can you give me the number for Jack?" Operator: "I think you mean the telephone point on the wall. This is true of a few truly important people. can "Where did you get that number from. Which all raises the question in my mind about what is actually important and what isn't. Customer: you help?" Operator: Customer: Operator: AND: Caller: Operator: "Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?" "I'm sorry." "I've been ringing 0700 2300 for two days and can't get through to enquiries. sir?" "It was on the door to the Travel Centre.

In the bottom left hand side of the screen.enjoy ---------------------------------------------------------------------On another occasion.the finale The last few . Woven in Scotland. Is the spelling correct?" Caller: "Well. so I'm steaming up the window to write the number on.Operator: “Doesn't the product give you a clue?" ---------------------------------------------------------------------Caller (enquiring about legal requirements while travelling in France )"If I register my car in France ." ---------------------------------------------------------------------Then there was the caller who asked for a knitwear company in Woven. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?" Customer: "Sure. 2008 Call Centre Classics . there's no listing. a man making heavy breathing sounds from a phone box told a worried operator:"I haven't got a pen." ---------------------------------------------------------------------Tech Support: "OK." Customer: "OK." Tech Support: "OK. 2008 . Operator: "Woven? Are you sure?" Caller: "Yes. You told me to write 'click' and I wrote 'click'. sir." Tech Support: "Did you get a pop-up menu?" Customer: "No." Operator: "I'm sorry. April 09. How can you see my screen from there?" ---------------------------------------------------------------------Caller: "I deleted a file from my PC last week and I have just realised that I need it. Do you see a pop-up menu?" Customer: "No. If I turn my system clock back two weeks will I have my file back again?" ---------------------------------------------------------------------Thursday." Tech Support: "OK. That's what it says on the label. Right-Click again. it used to be called the Bargoed Fish Bar but the 'B' fell off. do I have to change the steering wheel to the other side of the car? ---------------------------------------------------------------------Directory Enquiries Caller: "I'd like the number of the Argoed Fish Bar in Cardiff please. April 10." ---------------------------------------------------------------------Magic Wednesday. can you see the 'OK' button displayed?" Customer: "Wow." ---------------------------------------------------------------------Tech Support: "I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop.

April 22.only joking. I throttled the children on screen 4 .Posted by Phil Griston at 2008-04-22 17:38 Hi Peter . Anyone know an agent? The book as I have said before is based round geocaching. . Turn the sound on and give it a whirl. so I am contacting publishers and agents to see if I have any luck. I have seen this one passing my RSS reader now for some time and the more I see it the more I think that this is the way it should work!!! :-) Rob.Add Comment Comment . where you try to persuade other people that they should invest in it. If I turn my system clock back two weeks will I have my file back again?" you know.here is a fun little ITIL game to show how good you are at ITIL processes. and then when I found one there was a fight to see who could find the next one! Reminds me of that first ITIL project! Tuesday. yippee and all that sort of stuff! I have finished writing my first novel. I don't think they quite believed that a grown man walked round the streets looking for little plastic boxes.that's the easy bit over :-) If you're up for an agent based in the US you could look at http://www.com/ Andy is my wife's cousin so I have an family interest but his site does have a lot of great advice for the budding author and his blog is an interesting insight into the literary world. I am sure they are sweet little ankle-biters!! Monday. Now comes that part of the project we all know. a hobby to which I introduced some of our Bulgarian partners last week. 2008 I've finished the book! Yeehah. 2008 Add Comment Agent .congrats on finishing the book .zackcompany. A fun LITIL game Apologies for the hideous pun in the title .Posted by Rob van der Burg at 2008-06-11 07:08 Caller: "I deleted a file from my PC last week and I have just realised that I need it. April 14.

DUUUUUH! In fact. T5 has been a bit beyond that so I took hand luggage only on this trip.be warned. The surprise was that it was actually two buildings joined by a little transit train. You can find the podcast here.seems a fundamental design flaw to me. We have now run the Index in the Asia Pacific region. Again. and in this podcast you will hear me discussing the results with Professor Adrian Payne from the Australian School of Business at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. I assume that planes will be delayed. Well. April 22. For those of you. i. phone. 2008 Terminal 5 I did my first flight from the new Terminal 5 last week. The classic cock-up came on the return journey. which we ran in Europe a while ago. The index demonstrated very clearly that whilst financial incentives may be attractive in the short term. utilities etc. 2008 UserWorld Update Not long now till the fun of UserWorld in Lisbon. some brilliant spark has done exactly the same on the payment machines for the car park . I cannot see any joy in trying to compose a picture by staring at a screen. or to put it accurately a shopping mall with planes attached.He also has quite a good sense of humo(u)r for a Yank so your style may appeal to him! Another podcast? Some of you may remember a thing called the BMC Churn Index. I detest compact digital cameras with just a screen on the back and no viewfinder. which must be a record and the lounge was very comfortable.e. who have spent the last few weeks in Outer Mongolia. April 22. which you can't see in daylight . luggage will go missing etc.you insert your ticket and are then presented with a screen. The Terminal itself is frankly a terminal. As an aside. for those of you. Hope you enjoy it. which means it takes ages to get to your gate . security was amazingly fast and I was through in two minutes. every time a car drives out. why did they change their suppliers for banking. Being positive. they were definitely not the correct way to build a long-term viable business model with customer retention. this is the new terminal at Heathrow. which cost enormous amounts of money and opened with a series of glitches. and treat it as a bonus when things actually go right! However. which appears to have black text on a dark grey background . someone comes out to help! Now there's a brilliant use of technology. Tuesday. It was a study to see why customers "churned". Tuesday. delayed flights and lost luggage. Being an experienced traveller. who have spent the last few months on the Northern slopes of Mount .

or do I simply assume that because I am such an incredibly engaging.this is England) and it shows me where they are on the map. What am I doing wrong? Or rather what are the manufacturers doing wrong? Last but not least.tell me where I am and let me enter some coordinates of a place I want to go to.Everest. If I set up synchronisation to Outlook I get a message about the appointment. I am almost impressed. Looking at the options. Hope to see you there. I asked it to tell me where I was and it was spot on. we run a big event for our users twice a year . which I thought was a bit rude. Wednesday. Our intention is for you to hear from your peers about the business issues they had and how they went about solving them. phones. being a geocacher I actually want to put in some coordinates and be directed to that place. We have now got the vast majority of the sessions sorted out for you.namely you would click on one option and it would jump to a different one. When I choose wireless BB sync. 2008 BlackBerry time again My old BlackBerry started developing some interesting new habits . May 06. They also. plus sessions on burning issues like Virtualisation. and of course the latest details of the solutions you have kindly bought from us. and our tea in the harbour. just read an article about people using BBs. with an opportunity to meet the guys who designed them and wrote them. so I have investigated bits of GPS software for exploiting the built-in GPS. Gosh.once in the land we colonised across the pond many moons ago (and then you chucked us out. lack that nice simple function . useful. there was a "local search". laptops etc. Shout if there is anything you'd like to know. please let me know. as far as I can make out. Data Centre Automation. deleted emails rather than reading them and other enormous fun. intelligent. Should this be banned. when someone is presenting. it came back with a list of the ten nearest (seven within less than a mile . fantastic speaker than the problem won't arise?! Tuesday. but appointments are useless. so I typed in "pub" not expecting it to be intelligent enough to recognise anything quite so useful. and all sorts of other features that you will never use. The other problem is that it doesn't work! Emails are fine. Green IT. Unfortunately the ones I have found so far assume that I live in the colony the other side of the pond. so that you can plan your schedule. 2008 . now I've worked out how it works. Actually the GPS is rather clever. Doesn't seem a lot to ask? If anyone knows of a simple. April 23. got a whizzy new one now with GPS (neat). non-monthly subscription piece of GPS/geocaching software for the BB. and I am very glad to say that we have 3 times the number of customer sessions we had in Prague last year (up from 11 to 33) and the number of external speakers has also gone up from 17 to 42. Anyway. Best Practices like ITIL. but no option to accept/decline/tentative or whatever and it only synchronises when I attach it to the laptop useless. I get the entries in the diary but no invites and option to accept/decline etc. This meant that it constantly wanted to make an emergency call rather than unlock. CobIT and ISO 20000. Of course. and frankly your teabags have been pretty rubbish ever since!) and once over the other side of the Channel in a place they call Europe.

May 19. immediately found me a load of Internet sites selling built-in ovens. you normally have to ring up several different people and get things coordinated (never works) or do it yourself. Fitting a washingmachine is easy. and pointed me at them. when our washing-machine decided to wash the floor rather than the clothes in it. our oven decided to shuffle off its mortal coil . May 13. but as I delved deeper I realised the total cost was much higher. which of course I am celebrating in wonderful style by attending BMC UserWorld in Lisbon . deliver the new one and fit it. Lifting a bloody great oven into the cupboard is not something I particularly fancy doing with a dodgy back. Down in Spain.no. but a darned sight more convenient . You see. or written by a celebrity Anything non-alcoholic! Hope to see you here at UserWorld over the next few days! Monday. take it away. that's what I mean by a service mentality . Preferably all in one go. the local electrical goods company delivered the new one and refused to leave until they had fitted it and proved it was working.all of it. 2008 . if you didn't study Shakespeare or Monty Python! My daughter.yes. The initial prices looked attractive. rather than the usual five visits you have to organise. here is a list of the things I definitely do not want: • • • • • A copy of Cherie Blair's book A copy of John Prescott's book A copy of Lord Levy's book Anything endorsed by.The Complete Package After many years of faithful service.that means it died. Now.ho ho! First off. So. which has organised everything and actually works out a wee bit more expensive. The local shop. I want someone to remove the old one (it's heavy and wired in). of course. to help you with your choice of suitable present for me. Tuesday. because no-one can ever tell you when something is going to be delivered.look at what the end-user wants and deliver it . what was the solution? The cheapo internet option plus assorted phone calls . Here in the UK. 2008 My birthday Tomorrow is my birthday.

peter . and the parlous state of modern operating systems and then I realised they are still wonderful. and what the replacement would cost of course. but Gilmour still plays sublime guitar. Sinatra was painful at the end.will watch out for next issue . May 19. Awful.ouch. but then I looked at what is going in the world of IT with virtualisation. Tuneless. Etcetera. or is it time for them to retire gracefully? All depends on whether they still do a good job or not. and this issue deals with Green IT. and he has made an album where Heather gets all the royalties! Why doesn't someone tell the old wrinklies that they can't sing any more. You're right. I still love mainframes. saving energy is a very green thing to do. the replacement costs are an important factor. Made me think about old bits of hardware and software you have lying around. thanks . New machines tend to consume less energy than old ones. If you're interested. Then again. is to look at the energy that the old machine uses. but a new machine might save you money in the long run. and I asked myself whether this was nostalgia or stupidity. I can only assume that this is part of the divorce settlement. Elton John .Posted by peter at 2008-05-23 07:24 Niek Many thanks for the comment .com. and he can't sing any more IMHO. I expect the new content to be published in a few weeks. you can take a look at www. 2008 Add Comment Green factors . Until then. the importance of nostalgia should not be underestimated either :) Regards. etcetera.The old ones aren't always the best Listened to Paul McCartneys' new album on the way to the airport (it was given away free in the Sunday Mail). Pink Floyd . Monday. Should we keep using them. so they are forgiven.Posted by Niek Steenhuis at 2008-05-22 04:07 One thing that might be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to keep old hardware. And obviously. and definitely have a vital role to play in today's data centre.never could sing in the first place.topdeskmagazine. Niek Steenhuis Editor TOPdesk Magazine PS We are currently finishing the latest edition of our service management magazine. as the money you save on energy might exceed the one-off investment you make for a new machine. there's other content that might be interesting to you too.

and hence you can't check in yet.trimbleoutdoors. SMS. sorry. So.S. And there's no restriction to the U. phone calls and GPS. quite a few) going out over the next few weeks / months and has a "Check in now" button against each of them. Anyway. DOOH! A CIO of a large Insurance company once said to me "Peter. why give me the option then you idiots? I also buy tickets on this website every month. you can subscribe to Geocache Navigator either monthly ($6. So you click on the "Departing in next 24 hours? Click here to check in" button and you would think it was intelligent enough to look up which flight you had booked with them in the next 24 hours and take you there.shame.com/search?w=geocache&x=0&y=0 Enjoy! geocache navigator . First few page were fine.Posted by peter at 2008-05-23 07:35 Many thanks . I thought I would try checking in for my flight back to the UK from Lisbon.peter . calendar. but it still asks me every time what my address is. it actually gives you a list of every flight you have booked (in my case. and what my credit card details are. Clicking on any of these apart form the flight you want gives you a message saying that it is longer than 24 hours away.have been trying it out this week and it looks really neat . The airline I fly with allows me to check in 24 hours before departure.Check-in on a BlackBerry? I have to admit that this new BlackBerry is a great improvement on the old one. You can try a 60 day trial here: http://www." Spot on. May 22. Now that I have actually got it working.99) or annually ($39.I expect your systems to remember it.com/rim/ Or purchase the subscription here: http://handmark.resultspage. So I went to the nearest laptop in the Internet Cafe here at UserWorld and checked in there. as it also appears to support Java. Thursday. it is doing email. NO. but it appears to be only for monthly subscription on US-based contracts .geocachers all around the world use the application.Posted by Sundevil at 2008-05-22 12:57 Peter. I found a neat bit of geocaching software called Geocache Navigator. 2008 Add Comment Geocache Navigator . but then unfortunately when I clicked the "check in now" box it just died completely. . I will give you data once and never again .99).

namely a lack of decently working standards. let's talk about the really important stuff in life . could you embed RFID chips in the golf balls to increase your chances of finding them? What about an auto discovery solution which plots your progress on a topology view of the course? rfid chips .com. it really does not strike me as particularly difficult to come up with a design that works. please let me know. Not only will many people buy for their own usage. and I can get back to my golf now!! Ho ho. One thing is that it will be a week later . I also bought a golf bag from the same company as my old one was falling apart (the zips always break . but you can always spot ways that you can improve things next time round .. 2008 Add Comment Golf. Now go and have some fun.and hence won't clash with my birthday.Posted by peter armstrong at 2008-07-01 06:52 .Back to golf So UserWorld has been and gone. June 03. Being serious.golf. IT and business . The bad zippers are most likely the only way for golf bag producers to have you buy a new bag every second year .week of 25th May . but maybe as more and more women starts playing? Finally your idea with golf balls must be a sure hit. but I'm sure it will be "the gift for the man who has everything" ..fashion alone will not make a true golfer change his bag.Posted by Matthew Burrows at 2008-06-25 02:41 Peter.which in fact most golfers have so the market is perfectly addressed.Posted by Jan Flodin at 2008-06-06 09:11 The problem you have by fitting the golf bag on the trolley to me seems like the problems IT industry have with fitting anything together . a box of the Gordon Browns. If you couldn't attend for some reason we can change. I am thinking of starting up a company called Golf bags that actually fit properly on golf trolleys. As an engineer. You send us a picture of the person you most hate via the Internet and we send you back a dozen balls with their picture printed on them. I'll take a box of the Blairs (they come in mixed his and hers). please contact me via this blog or direct via email (peter_armstrong@bmc. a box of the Mugabes. so there's a major step forwards! If you attended UserWorld and have some comments on what was good / what was bad.com). Anyone want to join in my new venture? The other thing we would sell is personalised golf balls. a box of the . I was very happy with many parts of UserWorld and think the whole thing went well. Now. Wallows around like a jelly (jello for US readers I think).another complaint) and I had naively assumed that the bag would fit on the trolley. or didn't think the agenda was right or whatever. Tuesday. Nope. Do you need an investor? Golf balls .. Why? I have a golf trolley from a very well-known company..which is planned to be May next year in Nice.

opera mini .am downloading now Many thanks Peter Catch up Been all over the place recently talking to lots of people. However.Posted by YourFace5150 at 2008-07-29 10:10 Opera Mini for Blackberry.the rfid chips wouldn't be allowed in competition as it is deemed to help you find the ball .Posted by peter at 2008-07-30 04:50 Ah . Normal service should be resumed soon (unless I decide golf is more important!!) Wednesday. 2008 Add Comment Solution . In other words. so getting to blog has been tricky sorry about that. • Went to a thing called the Eden Project down in Cornwall. and you can get handheld GPS devices to show you yardages etc.Matthew . The plotting with GPS is also available on the TV broadcasts. just like most IT systems from the business point of view.the company is called radargolf. and could I have the reports in a language I understand please? Had dinner/lunch with CIOs in Brussels. Here's a summary of some of the thoughts I have gathered.am on road sans laptop and writing entries on this raspberry is a total pain in the ****. because we recently • . June 25.that looks neat . Warsaw and Frankfurt. Basically a bunch of gardeners have taken a barren. We talked about issues like Time to Market and Aligning IT and business. but rules is rules!!! Apologies Apologies for lack of blog and lack of replies . but no-one told me what was going on / the only explanations were in such small writing and such detail that you couldn't be bothered to read them.com from memory. bloody clever but what's it do. exhausted china clay pit and created a mega "garden" with two massive Biomes (one of which is the biggest greenhouse in the world) and millions of plants. beware the rules of golf (sarbanes oxley?) .personally think anything that speeds up the game is a good idea. Technically brilliant.that technology actually exists .

whereas the US culture is a little more towards technology being the solution to everything in the world. and where is the cable? • The bar and restaurant were excellent. which was full of loud drunks.the arrivals hall at the airport / resort is a bar. and the executive lounge was a delightful haven. the desk was big enough for my laptop with a plug and free wireless internet connection. so I had to persuade a taxi driver to take me the two miles after he had been in the queue for half an hour and he bloody nearly killed me.now it's a deferred success! Try that one with your boss / the business / the customer!! • Tuesday. The shuttle bus wasn't running. smoking their brains out. • • Your special check-in was fast and efficient . Agree / disagree? • Great new word I learnt . This week. Last week in the your hotel in Warsaw you invited me to the Executive Lounge as I am a silver/golf/platinum member. The restaurant was totally dead and the menu was about as appealing as a vasectomy . 20€ a day for an Internet connection is daylight robbery.commissioned a couple of independent reports. The TV is set at such an awkward angle that you can't watch it comfortably from either the chair or the bed. I thought I would give you a handy little entry.hopeless. I've always been of the opinion that European IT managers try to squeeze every last drop out of their investments. and as you arrive they serve you a drink and whisk your luggage off to the room) I had to stand in line for bloody hours waiting for you to take a set of information from me that you already know . 2008 How was your stay? For those of you who travel. I'll stick the URL in for the other one when it's finalised. I don't know how you managed to design a room with 10 lights and still everywhere is too dark to read. Here's one of them. July 01. How was your stay? • Excellent thanks Dreadful The limo picked me up at the airport and delivered me very smoothly. rotten service etc. In my case Big Brother.emetophobia . I read that failure is incorrect .just what I needed after a long hard day. They are all based on personal experience. Then you can simply highlight the relevant parts when asked this tedious question at checkout. you tell me I can't use it!?!? So I wandered down to your bar. which you can print out. and by the way it doesn't work. • The room was beautifully furnished. and we wanted to see customers' reactions. (Actually the best ever was Dunk Island .sufferers will go to any length to avoid encountering something that might cause them to be sick. any TV soap. For instance. I get very confused nowadays by what is politically correct and what isn't.

its dictionary is a little basic virtualisation comes out as fertilisation. Strangely enough. accompanied by an air-conditioning unit that was gasping its last breath didn't lead to a good night's sleep. Checkout . whilst on the road and the GPS works too! The thing that amuses me though is the spell-check. A smelly little box room with a broken bike .yuck. which are running hundreds/thousands of underutilised servers . listening to to the couple next door have a flaming row. as we all know!) but we are getting there. July 01. I am afraid. for which you wanted to charge me an unmitigated fortune when all I wanted was a cup of tea and a roll. • A modern gym. the operating systems are just useless at running multiple workloads. In fact it made me think of a rather neat analogy. if the lifts worked.but at least you can do email. so excuses for bad spelling are gone now. where IT is likened to a garden . miles from any mirror .not their fault. so that you couldn't turn it on without getting covered in ice-cold water. I talked about the Technology Garden book a while back. because it appears to be beyond your comprehension that lots of people will want to check out at the same time. There are still some options missing . The shower was designed by an idiot. Made me think about most data centres nowadays. People still can't punctuate (and Americans can't spell. 2008 Fertilisation I was sending an email to someone the other day on my whizzy new blackberry thing. • A beautiful bathroom with everything I needed. There would be even more of us standing in the queue here. did it from my room and am already on my way. I object to some rude git asking me for a tip every time I appear.magic. The shampoo and soap were impossible to open with wet hands and the shower poured all over the floor of the bathroom.perfect.bright. a swimming pool and a golf course . A sad collection of unappetising food. • • Tuesday. I have to grudgingly admit that they have come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Did anyone ever try the room out? • One of the best breakfast buffets I have ever seen. However. • The bedroom was beautifully quiet and I slept like a log.you need to fertilise some parts. I'm still standing here waiting to throw this at you. The pillow appears to have been stuffed with ball bearings. SMS.especially in Calendar . diary etc. Bit like having a garden with . Where was the hairdrier? Oh yes. prune others etc. there is a spell-check. The shaving mirror? Designed for extremely vertically challenged people. Yes. which I rather like.reversal. The staff were extremely courteous and helpful.

and when you come to leave you simply insert this ticket and it knows you have paid. "Sorry. spotting the error. Not terribly tricky. So where's the problem? Ah. each flower-bed. Hope to see you there Wednesday. I drove round to the office and asked if they could exchange the ticket for an accurate one. that almost works and could be really useful if they just went that little bit further? No? Lucky you! I was flying from Heathrow the other week. Unfortunately you still have to weed. but this was when the people and process part. 2008 Almost there! You know when you come across a piece of technology.I did this to save time?" etc. etc. I wonder if that means the speed cameras are reading my number plate wrong? No chance! Wednesday. fertilise etc. and actually ended up with a registration that is not even possible on a UK car . We have an event next week in London. but the basic answer is because they never thought of this possibility. 2008 . where we will be looking at how to get to the herbaceous border as quickly. or the bloke hadn't been trained how to do it.hundreds of flower-beds. I had the paperwork with me to prove I had paid. safely and "greenly" as possible. you pay in advance and when you arrive it reads your number plate and knows who you are. "Just come to this window when you return and we will sort you out. mistake number one is not putting some intelligence into the program to work out what a valid number plate would be. The ticket it give you has your number plate on it. Now. when what you actually wanted in the first place was a herbaceous border. So. etc. so that I could drive out easily when I returned from my trip. So. the problem is that it read my number plate wrong! It read the W as 11. edge. July 02. I can't think of any country where the combination it produced would be valid. each one of which has one plant in it. July 02. System is quite neat. fell apart. we can't do that. rather than the technology part. and being a good corporate citizen I booked my long-term parking in advance to save the company money." "Why can't you sort it now .in fact." "Why not?" No logical reason came forwards.

He only pretended to be. like President Tony Blair? No. but no one stood against him. he has been President for some nine months now. like. Chad . again. but on the grounds that politicians really ought to be providing a service to the people. So Norman Brown was elected leader of the Labour Party? Negative. some time. Norman Brown doesn't really like anyone being given the chance to vote on anything. That's just the way it works in Englandland. with the House of Fayed directly behind me So what can you tell us about Norman Brown Well. He did raise money and have a leadership campaign. Chad . Someone must have voted for him. President Blair wasn't a Conservative. Chad . Chad . How can you change Presidents without having an election? I mean. yes. nothing? Affirmative. there wasn't an election. He used to be Chancellor. Norman Brown. I'm standing in the world-famous Trafalgar Circus. He's Labour. So how did Brown get the job? He just kept shouting at President Blair until he stood down. who elected them. that's what they call their Treasury Secretary over here. Hey. the country hasn't elected him. right? No. nobody? No primaries. What. Chad Hanging. this seems particularly apt. . And is he a Conservative.Who chose that then? I don't normally do politics here. Chad . Let me get this straight. Oh. no general election. how are you? This is your favourite son. Chad . Enjoy. reporting The President of Englandland. The leader of the party with the most seats in the House of Lords gets to be President. but decided against it because he was frightened he might lose. But he won an election. German? No. you mean he's. yet he still gets to be President. is arriving in our nation's capital this afternoon to meet with President Bush. Chad . As you can see. He was elected to the House of Lords by his constituents in Scotlandland. He did think about calling one. You could say that. His party hasn't elected him. What. either. But just who is this guy? Let's cross to our special correspondent Brit Limey. 'Good morning America . it's not like President Blair was assassinated. Sounds like a tinpot Commie dictatorship to me.

where the geese come from. Monday. According to the latest opinion polls. Belgiumland. Couldn't the Supreme Court have stopped him? Not really. that's a guy called Alan Salmon. too? No. Brown wouldn't let them. His approval ratings are even worse than George Dubya Bush. There are millions of Eastern Europeans living here now. he's the most unpopular President ever. Sounds Russian. He's already promised the job to some guy who works for him name of Balls. That would be like stripping Congress of the power to make laws in America and handing it over to Mexico . saw off the Armada. then? That's a big Ten-Four. So is he President of Scotlandland. Chad . There's talk about him having to stand down soon. Brit? We're talking about the country which gave us Magna Carta. if Brown's from Scotlandland. Isn't there any opposition? There's a guy called Boris. Chad . either. mainly in Peterburg. even though it was a solemn promise in his party's manifesto the last time people were allowed to vote. Far from it. I wouldn't be surprised. Say again. I guess so How in the Hell did the people of Englandland vote for that. but not for his own people in Scotlandland.He's Scoddish. The Supreme Court of Englandland is now in Strasbourg . Chad. you're breaking up. They didn't. 2008 . how can he be President of Englandland? That's just the way it goes in this crazy country. Not that it matters much because Brown has signed away most of Englandland's lawmaking powers to unelected European bureaucrats in Brussels . stood alone against Hitler and invented parliamentary democracy. Grant is going on over there. Brown can make laws for Englandland. Englandland has seen mass immigration over the past ten years. July 14. Chad . What in the name of Ulysses S. but no one voted for that. How does Norman Brown get away with it? He must be a popular guy. Brit. Hang on.

Hey Presto. the biscuits . Now can you spot the obvious problem? The business service they are endeavouring to provide is that of making a cup of tea. 2008 The Four Majors Bear with me. Won by Trevor Immelman. and they have provided the tea. WINDOWS and LINUX. Seems to be open but is very tricky on the greens. but this is quite simple! There are four major championships each year in golf. the cup. rather than the pretentious. which was good news as they wanted me to get up at the crack of sparrow for the first customer meeting.z/OS. See if you can work out which is which. which had an attractive looking tea tray in the bedroom. Tuesday.prettiest of the lot and always played on the same gorgeous golf course. What I mean by that is that they. have a healthy respect for the Anglo-Saxon origins of our language. In fact. . I know not all of you follow golf.bother. boring. like the Australians and the Kiwis. as the locals speak English. the milk. politically correct patois. UNIX. I went down to check out and told them the cable was missing. • The Masters . no tea in the morning then . they reminded me of the four major operating systems out there . Always enjoy going down there. 5 minutes later a waiter appeared with a pot of tea for me. so that the next guest would at least have a working solution.but they have unfortunately forgotten the cable for the kettle! So. I have listed them in the order they are played during the year. you could say that it does not play well with others. which is prevalent in some other countries! Stayed in a hotel in Cape Town. July 22. the tea pot.A good recovery I had a quick trip down to South Africa last week for a Virtualisation conference and some customer visits. which sets its own rules. the kettle. They asked me how long till I was being picked up . Established in 1934. Now that was customer service.15 minutes I said. and being strange.

that is the correct name. • • There is talk about a possible fifth major . with more emphasis on process and automation.you have to print off a copy of your book in a certain format.com . Let me know if you agree. The Open . which deals with the way I see the skill requirements changing in IT. Thanks. another podcast Not only do I get to bore you rigid with my blogging.established in 1916 by the PGA of America. you have to go through an agent. the original.. Won by Tiger Woods hopping on one leg. with the famous 17th hole island green. you can't approach the publishers directly. This one was established in 1974 and is run by the PGA Tour. 2008 The Novel Trying to get the book published is an interesting little challenge.. VMWare? Wednesday.yes..lulu. which is played nowadays at TPC Sawgrass. I also assault your ears with my podcasts! Just recorded a new one. Only played on links (seaside) courses. The vast majority of the agents don't respond to electronic communications . the most prestigious. and that is what I talk about in the podcast and my new white paper. and they even allow younger people free entry (as spectators) nowadays. Remember . it is not called the British Open (that's played by the women next month). I see the IT landscape shifting. Won by Padraig Harrington at the weekend.the set-up can be very tough.What about your favourite course that is not a major but always results in an enjoyable days golf.. Established in 1860. July 23. 2008 Add Comment The Four Majors ..you have to be part of the (professional golfers) community. July 23. Talking to customers from IT and the business.• US Open .. Established in 1895. so the oldest. Lots of people have started calling it the wrong name.Posted by Stewart at 2008-07-30 03:31 Your post got me thinking.very neat and very easy.OS/400 perhaps??? Gosh. Only one where leading amateurs are not invited to compete .. that you simply don't notice on the PC. but that is basically ignorance. So I have been looking at self-publishing. a need for better business understanding at all levels etc. Wednesday. Won by Sergio Garcia this year. Understandable but time-consuming and tedious. Unfortunately. This year was more realistic after complaints. I have printed off a couple of copies of the book using www. US PGA .the Players Championship. Got them back this week and it is amazing what you spot when something is printed. Won by Tiger Woods last year.

the areas cited as being most important for common processes are change management and service desk. which is why I keep my blog entries short.two thirds of the customers said that having shared tools and applications spanning across both platforms is very important . 29% of companies now have mainframe and distributed organised together looking at things from a customer point of view. Let's hope I've got it right this time! Friday. Why do some websites litter their pages with links and text. and much to my joy It actually proves my point.when a silo dies. most secure.load of rubbish. Have gone the self-publishing route for the moment . what were the results? • The mainframe is growing.hooray! In fact. or my favourite "Keep it Simple. In fact. I'll let you know when the book is ready .but the ones that are coming up are those of energy. as it is still the most reliable. corrected the layout mistakes and changed the page size / margins etc.productivity. which has just come out. August 08. Remember KISS? "Keep it Short and Simple". I personally can't read anything over a few paragraphs on a screen.the novel is published at last. rather than a silo point of view hooray! Labour costs are much lower on the mainframe . Tuesday. most available.when I have time. will continue to grow and is attracting new workloads hooray! The wall between mainframe and distributed is beginning to disappear .exactly! • • • So what are the concerns/issues going forwards? The usual suspects appear . I must admit that I am gloating a tad. "Keep it Sweet and Simple". most cost-effective platform on the planet. so no fight necessary! So. but no doubt someone would pick a fight! So I was extremely happy to read the results of the latest BMC mainframe survey. staff . So.the talk years ago about "the paperless office" .and it would appear I wasn't alone in the forest hooray! Now. who will hear it? . costs. 2008 Told you so!! I could sit here and write a piece about how wonderful the mainframe is. please excuse me as I try to get my head through the door. Stupid". 2008 Published at last Hooray . common processes across the different platforms and compliance. as I gave a presentation at Userworld on this very subject . August 12.I have proof read it (again!). I will go back and try .

Move Compartmentalise . 2008 How long?!? I was in Zuerich last week presenting at an event run by one of our partners. one of those people. but he did it in.in other words. Here are a few I have come across recently and my simple alternatives: • • • • • • Operationalise .Say Transition (as a verb . August 31. Sunday.ugly in the extreme. His name is Ueli Steck.Kick Virtualisation is all about the most efficient use of the resources available . we seem to be treating the English language the same way! My least favourite word at present is probably "incentivise" .yuck) . Unfortunately. September 01. and I met a dead interesting chap there.Use Incentivise . 2008 Plain speaking Many years ago. and his particular area of expertise is extreme mountain climbing . This normally takes a day or two. wait for it. Then stuff got cheaper and IMHO the art of programming changed from efficiency to ease-of-use. so clever programmers developed techniques to squeeze as much as possible out of the limited resources they had at their disposal. but to cut a long story short he holds the world record for solo climbing the North face of the Eiger.Sort Leverage . but they all want hard-copy and don't take electronic input – tedious! Now I have to start playing with all the advertising buttons and widgets they give me to see if I can get them on to Facebook and other places!! The joys of social computing. who rushes up mountains by themselves with no ropes.the agents again. two things struck me when I heard that: . Unfortunately I couldn't understand everything he was saying at the time as my Swiss German is not too hot.so let's get our brains and mouths working the same way!! Monday.Do Verbalise . 2 hours 47mins 33 seconds!!!! Now. storage was expensive and so were computers.

title above .• The team record is 6 hours and 50 minutes. then shouldn't the first questions be why? and what's it worth? And. for me they have all missed the point. Now. However. if you can't answer those. and frankly the author (a Professor of Modern History). Velcro was also not a by-product. Stephan Siegrist belayed him. would it?" Albert Einstein . I don't want to get into arguments here over whether it was a necessary part of the Cold War. so the next time your boss wants to send you on one of those hideous team-building exercises. who have taken joy in finding inaccuracies in the book. simply point him at this! If you can climb the North face of the Eiger in less than 3 hours (and it only took him an hour to get down) why does it take so long to choose a President? • Tuesday. then the project IMHO should not go ahead. you will find a bunch of picky people. the first navigation satellite was launched twelve days later. in IT. raised American prestige/morale or whatever. the first weather satellite was launched on April 1st. By the way Teflon was developed in 1938. it's the manned part that doesn't add up for me. 27 pitches (900m) and with no fixed bolts in use.Posted by Ron Preedy at 2008-09-30 05:22 "If we knew what it was we were doing.g. should have checked his facts better. but is all about sending men to the moon. When you read reviews for it on various websites. according to the book and Wikipedia. and he couldn't give a satisfactory answer either. e. September 02. Ueli's a great person both on and off the mountain. 2008 Add Comment Large Hadron Collider . Now. 1960.which is not the history of Pink Floyd (Nick Mason wrote the best one of those). if you could just remind me what the Large Haldron Collider is going to do for me Wednesday. The point I am making is that when you are asked to run a project. The Dark Side of the Moon I've just read a book . which is what did the world get for the $35 billion it cost to send people up there? I've nothing against unmanned space exploration. it would not be called research. I heard this question asked of a NAS spokesman at a conference a few years ago.Posted by Jo at 2008-09-02 13:40 Ueli has also just this Saturday made the first free-climb the route Paciencia on the Eiger north face. 2008 Add Comment Ueli Steck . and twelve people (including my relation) have walked on the moon. September 24.

older but wiser? Let's be honest.it would appear they looked at what users used them for? Calendar works now . but hey presto I waved the BlackBerry with the picture on it at the luggage check-in lady and she swiped it with no problems . October 10. I've even used the camera to take some pictures. For instance. to round it all off. Being a cynical old fool. This was predominantly due to the crap interface and lack of features that existed on the early models.GPS is very handy for me and the maps are surprisingly good. you either become a nerd and know lots about very little. of course. Then. I must admit that they have improved a lot . which are frankly a total waste of time. Lufthansa actually sent me my boarding card last week as a gif file on the BlackBerry. Having now used this whizzy Curve thing for several months. or like me you know know less and less about more and more. am now convinced that as you grow older. It staggers me that so many people got caught up by the whole thing and threw away the fundamental rules of banking. it didn't need a brain the size of the Universe to work out that if you lend lots of money to people who can't afford to pay it back. on the other hand.except I can't find how to change my attendance at an appointment and let the organiser know why . convinced that they know everything. where the quality wasn't of importance.even allows me to check in for flights and browse web-sites I couldn't navigate before. but you can ignore them I have installed Opera Mini as recommended by one of my readers (many thanks) and it is neat . There is a whole raft of other icons on there. I simply do not understand: • • • • • • How anyone finds Ricky Gervais funny How anyone can like Coldplay or the Streets How anyone finds Kate Moss attractive How anyone ever believed a word Tony Blair said Why they don't pay me megabucks Why people can't use apostrophes correctly . Friday. then the whole house of cards will come tumbling down one day. I didn't believe it would work.BlackBerry check-in etc. 2008 The credit crunch . I. but hey I don't run the world (thank God I hear you cry)! The youth of today (or any time) are.now that's a good use of technology in my opinion. Regular readers will know that I have had a love/hate affair with the BlackBerry for some time.

a bit like Spinal Tap meets the X Factor (if you've never seen Spinal Tap. October 15. Being serious. then I have a system that will collapse under pressure. all the judges (except the British ones) are nauseatingly nice to the contestants. As a bedrock. that's just being honest. In the US. IMHO. then you have missed a rare treat). and I hope for lots of others. every now and then. with the result that the British judges are seen as being rude and arrogant. but most of the people would be better served by being told straight up that they have less talent than my left toe-nail. as long as it is done in a helpful way. The first step is to be effective. Same with business services and IT. Now. What's all that got to do with the price of a fish supper I hear you cry? Well. could we have some effective global fiscal rules please? Wednesday. I recorded it. say "I need".all of which is a total waste of time and money if they are working on the wrong thing. when they really mean "I want" or "I would like". Then you run what matters efficiently. 2008 Humour .it was called "Britain's Got the Pop Factor and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice" . 2008 . Good stuff costs hard work and money.at last! Last night I watched a splendidly silly and funny programme on the TV . As you have probably guessed it was a complete spoof on all the "talent" programmes. Wednesday. If I don't have that. what the current crisis has brought home for me. It is interesting to see the difference between the US and the UK shows as well. It would appear that telling someone that they couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. is the painful truth that you can't have everything today. for me all those programmes are a case of the Emperor's new clothes. It is very easy to run things efficiently in IT . and we need a lot more of it. etc. and if you haven't got enough money then you need to prioritise your requirements. Same thing applies to IT.for those in the UK who are scratching their heads and saying that wasn't on last night.there are loads of tools for people to play with and tune stuff for hours . NO. October 15. Destructive criticism is horrible. or that their singing coach must be tone deaf is seen as being highly impolite. there is a real talent in there. Too many people.• etc. Yes. I require sound business policies and a strategy that lays out the requirements and the priorities. even when they (the contestants) are total rubbish. Constructive criticism is helpful.

IMHO.part 1 An interesting week. would ban all political advertising and I'm quite keen on putting a sensible cap on campaign expenses . and if they are true leaders they are courageous enough to admit they have made a mistake and they change it.part 2 I shall hasten to point out that these are my personal views. I was going to argue that you can't make history. with the title going to a good-looking young black Englishman. I have to admire the Americans for pouring out in such numbers and supporting their candidates. so shut up Armstrong. won by Lewis Hamilton. with as they say. OK. More of that in the next entry. but we do expect them to take decisions rapidly and get things done.about $10 say. but for me the result was blindingly obvious ages ago. which is way more expensive here that it is in the US). but I somehow feel lots of others think the same way! . I sat there thinking what would happen if you ran IT like a democracy? Years to get to a decision. what has that got to do with IT? Well. Anyway. but it is also defined as "the events forming the subject matter of a historical account". it does all go on a bit. millions of wasted dollars. unless they offered free alcohol and a discount on your next tank of petrol (gasoline. Business/IT. Trying to persuade the public that they are somehow involved in the running of the country. a system that half the people didn't want in the first place . Now. which does seem to have laid the foundation for a similar event in the US yesterday! A cracking race.e. which was decided in the last few seconds. Many years ago I read a survey.History in the making . In today's process driven world. personally. Wednesday. needs to be run as a benevolent dictatorship. ITIL/CobIT . history being made. enough cynicism. rules have to be made and enforced . that is what democracy is all about.and management needs to make them happen. call me clever. Yes. I am referring to the Formula One Championship.g. which said that no matter how long you took over them.you get my point. beer or lingerie. a thrilling race. I. not discuss for two years what would be nice. I can't actually see any politician over here getting anywhere near that level of interest.don't interrupt sports coverage unless you are advertising food. full of drama. based on its definition as "a chronological record of events". However.the F1 championship again. which had you on the edge of your seat .the successful companies got on with it and corrected their mistakes. We don't vote for the people in charge. But. To be honest I though Obama had blown it when he broke one of the fundamental rules of American life . 2008 History in the making . November 05. 50% of business decisions were right and 50% were wrong .

but I get no bonus and less money each month. the amounts. and the inability of the regulatory authorities to impose any meaningful controls. a complete waste of time from a group of people who have no idea how to kill the monster they helped to create. I usually keep politics out of this blog. Surprise. Wednesday. as far as I am aware. A colleague tells me that in Germany there are strict rules if you want a financial bail-out from the government . For any British readers.IWOS. "Now. November 05. just come back and ask for more money next year when it's not working properly. a proper British billion is one million million. no don't fancy that. it is tricky to avoid the political side for the moment. Sorry. .a cap on salaries. by the greed and incompetence of some of those in the banking system.oh dear. The sharp ones amongst you will realise the enormous marketing potential for "IWOS here" merchandise. rather than the one thousand million they use in the US. no bonuses and no dividends. or as I would like to describe it. so if you use our numbers the whole problem seems much smaller!!!) Then I hear that the bosses of one major US bank are not only getting a bail-out but also their bonuses this Christmas . so don't we have every right to demand some sensible controls on where the bail-out money is going and don't we also need to have some controls in place to make sure it never happens again? "Hey. Let's try sorting out the problems (we caused) ourselves. no-one has taken the money yet. or have we lost the plot? I believe they caused the problem. suffice it to say that the desired "shot in the arm for the British economy" is probably about as useful as a sun-lamp to a man in the middle of the Sahara. On Tuesday we had an in-between budget here in the UK designed to help alleviate the problems. shame. I don't care how you run IT and how much you spend. which neatly brings me to the other subject occupying all our minds at present . Excuse me. which are US billions. fat chance. This stands for "Incompetent Waste of Space" and every banker getting a bonus this Christmas has to wear an IWOS T-shirt (for the rest of their lives). an abolition of stamp duty or a major reduction in fuel duty would have been a shot in the arm feel free to agree/disagree.the global financial cock-up caused. and we'll sort you out. let me see." (By the way. but also to be able to recognise when they are wrong.in fact. are almost equal. Bonuses for all the staff? Absolutely!" Which all leads me to my latest campaign . surprise. who were not regulated by politicians. we are told. go for it. but as the current world mess seems to have been caused by incompetent bankers. and salary rise? Of course. is it me.In my previous entry. 2008 I Wos There! Continuing my IWOS (Incompetent Waste of Space) campaign. I talked about the need not only to make decisions quickly. and again strictly my personal opinions. I won't bore you with the details. I need to go and talk to my bank about a loan for a startup . a couple of billion from the government and we sort out the bank.

with no customers who have any money to buy anything. Wednesday. but I made it work. November 26. no specials) OR We all work a 4-day week and earn less (all levels again) OR we fire xx% of you (all levels again!) • • And for those.the thumbwheel thing that moves you round the menus would go up but not down. but how about giving your staff the following choices: • You all take xx% less. right etc.admittedly for health reasons rather than a recession. James suggested that monetise is probably one of the nastiest words in common use at present agreed. which were recommending me to take the thumbwheel out and clean it . reminds me of IT . 2008 BlackBerry thumbwheel problems You may know this already. November 26. moved the thumbwheel around. which made life a tad tricky. I surmise there are many more out there. who think I should lead by example . I respondised with incentivise . but if not could be helpful.all looked a bit hairy.I cut down to 3 days a week last year and took a 40% pay cut . So I simply dabbed it with a cotton bud thing covered in alcohol (I happen to have a bottle I bought years ago just for cleaning electrical contacts). and it now works perfectly.run it for years with no business policies and no regulation and what do you get? And people wonder why I rabbit on (cockney rhyming slang for talk a lot) about ITIL and CobIT?!? No doubt we will now see people killing projects and laying off staff. I would like to argue that this is wrong. 2008 Anglicisation! Had lunch with James Governor of Redmonk yesterday . being utilised by the great unsanitised in their desperate desire to verbalise everything as badly as possible. enough to make you vomitise. of course. . left. down. Wandered through a few websites.yuck.All of which. and you all keep your jobs (includes all levels . Yes. up. Yesterday my BlackBerry (8310 model) developed an interesting feature . Mobilise yourselves! Chastise anyone utilising bad English! Exercise your right to excise meaningless claptrap! Wednesday.no bonuses.we lunchised well and also conversationalised extensively. only do the projects that really matter. as then you have less attractive options.

which I exchanged for some shopping vouchers a few weeks ago. try searching for desperate call centre (or center if you can't spell properly) on Youtube. date of birth and postcode again? • • • • • • • • • • Transpires they ran out of vouchers and they will be shipping again soon . November 27. the phones are very busy today No. Mr Armstrong. how can I help you? . but they haven't arrived yet. but no way of tracing what has happened to it. Thursday. my inside leg measurement and 14 other thiings I don't want to know and eventually gets to the option to talk to someone (real voice) Hello. I get points on my credit card.done with a vow to kill the next person who asks for anything Lots of options.good. so I looked on their website to confirm the order had gone through. Oh dear.done (auto voice) Please enter your date of birth in the format ddmmyy . it takes hours to get through to you Sorry. so I decide to ring them up. 2008 . which eventually get to the one of speaking to someone (real voice) Hello (me) Bloody hell. • • • (auto voice) Please enter your 16-digit number . which has just arrived. that's not the problem.Thursday. 2008 Credit Card blues I won't tell you which credit card I use.of course.done with a grimace (different auto voice) Please enter your date of birth in the format ddmmyyyy . they know who I am Explain the problem . and are not offended by rude language.why not put that on the website? If you want some fun. and does not reflect the vouchers.done Gives me my balance. My statement. has a totally different number of points shown on it. it is the fact that you have asked me for my information several times in several different formats and I'm losing the will to live (with a smile in his voice) and could I please have your 16-digit card number. November 27. they can't deal with it (so why give me this number to ring?) and put me through to points department (different auto voice) Please enter your 16-digit number followed by hash . but see if this rings a bell.

My colleague then asked the brilliant question "Why did you run if it nothing has changed . and the TCO is less than buying a new machine every year / repairing the old one all the time. November 27. They are. Now. He also pointed out that most of the consumer reports were pretty useless and inaccurate as they never actually bothered to talk to the people out in the field to find out which machines break down frequently. when a user complained to a colleague that the batch job they ran last night ran perfectly. they are lying through their teeth but this is an essential part of establishing a communications protocol between the user and the poor person the other end. Another case of describing the business need and then selecting the appropriate solution. who uses the same internal components etc. As usual. which ones are better built than the others.. 2008 . I. asked him which machines he repaired least often. but in the last few weeks it kept dying. the input file had changed .don't just ask your users if they are happy .you had already run it yesterday?" At which point the user admitted that the date had changed.. Fingers crossed. of course.! Anyway. have upgraded the USB adapter things to higher speed and put big new antennae on the router and it is working better so far. Interesting thought . you ask yourself what have I changed. and the answer of course is nothing. who is going to run through their prepared script if it kills them. but for places like hotels and hospitals a very sensible idea.could be illuminating. he told me some interesting facts about how few manufacturers there are nowadays of white goods and how much badge engineering goes on.ask the people who repair your stuff what they think of it . As we waited for the machine to go through its cycle to check all was OK. everyone on a help desk / service desk knows that when the user says they have changed nothing. but he knew I wasn't interested in buying one). Reminds me of a classic true story years ago. so a nice chap came round today and fixed it. with the occasional loss of signal. but tonight when they ran it with "NO CHANGES AT ALL" it failed. Probably not. and I am afraid the answer is that they are all fairly similar nowadays. Been working fine for years. December 03. of course.you choose which model (yes. Thursday. 2008 Consumer testing The seal on the door of our washing machine started to leak. but I'm going to tell you anyway! I've had all sorts of strange problems with the wireless network at home.Wireless Network Problems You may be wondering why I have suddenly started to pour forth my thoughts again after being quiet for a while. except for one company up in Scotland that offers a washing machine guaranteed (parts and labour) for 5 years or 10 years . Wednesday. not cheap.. he happens to be an agent for them.

with each person telling me I needed to talk to someone different until I eventually found the right department (I think). wish me luck . that I am now laboriously formatting to make it look sensible. Oh well. Now. Anyway. do not answer the phone . but we all know that can't be true. Bought my wife some presents in duty free on the way home.What an idiot! Flew in from Budapest last night. I went through about 15 different numbers (5 of which didn't even work). December 03. of course. I also wanted all the comments. and am currently going through critique / review / polish stage. and have sent an "urgent" email with checks for receipt and read. For a start I wanted all the entries to go in chronological order and on the blog. Unfortunately I missed the call (stupid BlackBerry only rings twice . where we had been running a CIO event. someone out there will no doubt tell me there is a dead easy way to do this. 2008 The novel and the next book Have been accepted by an agent for my novel. They. who were incredibly helpful and promised to follow it up and call me back. of course. which will hopefully be followed by someone actually taking it on and publishing it. I must also admit that I struggle somewhat with Word as it never quite seems to do what I expect and formats things in strange ways that I don't really understand. Don't hold out much hope. they gave me a number to ring at Gatwick and then the fun began. Now. the bad news is that I am putting together the next book!! For this one. Cleared what? Their throat? Their bowels? Their desk? I found an email address for them. December 03. 2008 . Wednesday.how do I change that?) and when I tried to call BA back again. and stupidly left them on the plane when I got off . so that you have the whole lot in one handy place for keeping in the lavatory or wherever you read the important material in your house.I'll see if I can get the whole thing together in the next few weeks. and I am not really sure if I want to know as I have just spent ages cutting and pasting each entry and comment over into a Word doc. they go LIFO.after two minutes you get a message: The other person has cleared and the phone dies. Keep your fingers crossed!!! Whilst all that is going on. I have taken this great string of rants and raves known as my blog and turned them into a book with all the comments etc. this may sound like an easy concept. they had no idea who called me or any notes about the whole thing. Wednesday.what an idiot! I phoned British Airways.

.The End Which rather neatly brings me to a good logical place to finish these meanderings. Hope you enjoyed them.

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