Don Jones

Tech | Career | Musings

So, just got done doing a webinar on AD group management. I thought it went well – a lot of organizations spend WAY too much on group management, and it isn’t really a technical problem as much as it is the right people in the org not having the right UI. Anyway, spent about 40 minutes talking about the things we see companies dealing with, and some of what we’ve seen people try, and what worked, and what didn’t.

I kind of wrapped with a list of 5 main capabilities we see companies needing, like getting a UI in place that lets actual data owners manage the groups that provide access to their data. We also talked a bit how it’s mostly political problems that keep group management from being better.

The webinar was sponsored by a vendor, of course, but they didn’t even show up to do a product demo or sales pitch. They wanted it to be a legit discussion on the problem, and what my company sees companies dealing with. At the end, they do get mentioned as a sponsor. I said something to the effect of, “look, the solution here is basically better distributed, delegated user interfaces, and that doesn’t come with the OS. You have to either build or buy. If buying is an option, look at this sponsor’s web site. They’re a good place to start – this is an area they work in. There are others, and you should do some research.”

One attendee drops a comment in the Q&A queue: “I was not told we would have a product shoved down our throat. Do not contact me.”

Sheesh. First of all, sweet pea, if I’m gonna shove anything, you’ll know it. But seriously, this attitude just vexes me. We spend 40 minutes talking about legit problems, talking about what companies often try, and what happens. We talk about the real money involved – how much it costs to continue dealing with these problems. We talk honestly about the problem being partially political, and some ways to start addressing that. Then in the last 120 seconds, I introduce a sponsor and say that they have a product you should include in your other considerations as you look for solutions. And that’s shoving?

It’s this don’t-market-to-me-at-any-cost attitude I just don’t get. This wasn’t a bait and switch presentation by any stretch; there’s just certain people who think they’ve somehow been personally violated if they’re presented with any kind of knowledge of vendors or commercial activities. Like, knowing that a vendor and a product exists has somehow weighed down your brain and made you less able to function in the world. I mean heck, this wasn’t even the usual webinar, which is mainly just designed to get you online to watch a product demo. I try to not even do those.

like knowing about different solutions. I love it when folks tell me about tools they’re using in their organization, and what they think of them. I’m seriously trying to put together a vendors-not-allowed site where IT folks can share information on their tools, and honest opinions on them – I think it’d be great for research.

But getting PO’d because you had to “endure” the knowledge that a vendor exists? Man. That’s an uptight life. I wonder if that person can even watch network TV. I mean, I skip commercials on my DVR, but I know that the commercials exist. What a terrible knowledge to have to live with.

OK, back to Summit planning.

7 thoughts on “Oh, Noze, Now I Know A Product Exists! Augh! Take The Knowledge AWAAAY!

  1. xsnakedoctor says:

    Too funny. Maybe it’s because I always feel like a novice I don’t care about hearing about every vendor out there. Honestly I’d rather hear what folks think of these vendors than be completely off guard and not know about them. Wish I knew about the webinar as it would have been really beneficial. Recently started at a new company and man there are some serious concerns from almost every angle. Group management, best practices, policies and procedures all the buzz words.

    Good reading 🙂 I’ll have to catch the next webinar!

    1. Don Jones says:

      1105 Media (redmondmag.com) usually makes recordings available, if you’re interested. This one was sponsored by Imanami, if they’re listed by sponsor name. There’s another one (not sure if it’s the same sponsor) on May 21, I think. They’re fun, especially when the live audience asks a lot of questions and offers comments and their own perspectives. It makes it a lot more interesting.

  2. adriankeithm says:

    I guess I’m in the minority that likes to know about all vendors. Maybe it’s partly because I’m still fairly new in the industry and technology gets me excited. Seeing how people tackle problems in different ways allows me to go back to my own problems with a fresh set of ideas. Would have been nice to attend this webinar as I recently started at a new place and there are all kinds of wacky issues with regards to AD, rights management, etc.

    Great write up!

    1. Don Jones says:

      Thanks – I like to know about what’s “out there,” too. I’ve found some of the neatest solutions to problems just by letting vendors give me a sales pitch, now and again. Some really niche solutions, but as a consultant you never know when you’re going to be IN that niche, so it’s neat to just have a lot of possible ideas floating around. Since we don’t actually SELL products, it’s nice to have 3-4 solutions to suggest, so a customer can figure out if one of those is a good fit or not. So yeah, I do spend a lot of time talking to vendors. But, to be fair it’s part of my job – I know some people view it as as intrusion, and when vendors are aggressive, I totally get that. But in this case… man, 2 minutes out of 45 to mention a vendor was “shoving a product down your throat?” Wow. That’s hostile.

      1. adriankeithm says:

        Yeah, that’s a bit much of a reaction to simply mentioning the sponsor. BTW I didn’t think my original comment posted as I was on my phone reading the article and it didn’t show up initially. Sorry about that!

  3. Alan says:

    Sweet pea!! Bwahahahaha!! Nice article. Anyone who’s tried to write a custom solution will quickly realize that buying the wheel someone else has already invented is the way to go so you can get back to other work.

  4. Scott says:

    Wow.. I don’t like getting marketed to either, but if I’m attending a free webinar, I expect it to happen. And I’m cool with it. I often find it’s worth it to learn about that vendors offering, even if I’m not even necessarily looking for a solution. Relax people..

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