FOR THE LOVE OF GOD…

I promised myself it would never come to this and I’m writing this against my better judgement. However, when my independence, professionalism and credibility are called into question I feel that it warrants a response. The root of this seems to stem from some tweets I sent last night as can be seen here:

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In particular the “I think you’ll find it’s more one sided (as usual)” comment hit a nerve or two. I awoke this morning and nearly spat my coffee everywhere after reading this Direct Message (identity purposely removed):

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I would not normally air this in public but I could not send a DM response back as they chose to “unfollow” me after sending the message. Therefore, I can only make this public response.

To set the record straight, I’m not on anyone’s side. Virtual Engine as a company do not sell licenses of any product. We deliver consultancy and implementation services of various products. We’re here to ensure that our customers get the right solution for their requirements and do recommend AppSense, Liquidware Labs, RES or any other product that fits. Each product suite has its strengths and weaknesses. Period.

Believe me, I am highly critical of the RES suite of products (just ask anyone attending one of my training courses or a member of Product Management!). The simple fact that they OEM’d some of the technology for HyperDrive and lead everyone to believe differently doesn’t sit well. I don’t understand the reasoning and surely they knew that this was going to be uncovered at some point? That is what the above tweets say (just not in so many words!).

What my “one sided” comment was referring to is the seemingly non-stop “bashing” of the competition from the boys in green. This “one-upmanship” and playground antics is tiresome.

I don’t understand what the purpose of this is and if anyone can enlighten me, I’ll gladly listen.

I can only perceive that it’s for one of two reasons; 1) increasing sales or 2) attempting to throw so much mud that it sticks and forces the company out of business. Now, I hope that it’s not the second option as competition is good for everyone; the end users and the vendors. It will probably never work and even if it did, I wouldn’t want that on my conscience.

If the purpose is to increase sales then I think this approach is ultimately flawed too. Constantly being negative will eventually turn the customers and the channel off. Sure keep a very close eye on your competitors. However, don’t constantly criticise their approach or their ill-informed decisions. Use these perceived misadventures to your advantage and outmanoeuvre them with a better solution! That’s what successful businesses are all about.

So How Can AppSense Fix This?

In my opinion it’s very simple; people would like to know why they should be buying AppSense’s products. What are the differentiators between their offerings and the competition? Some might call this good old fashioned marketing?! For example, to the majority it doesn’t matter that a product has OEM’d components/technologies or is written in native code etc. What people want is a product that works and does what they need to do.

Now I will go on the record and state again that the AppSense suite of products are great and they have some fantastic technology. There are new technologies coming down the line that our existing and potential customers can leverage so please do bang the drum (and very loudly too) about how great DataNow and the other products are. Do tell us why we should be buying them! Just please, please, for the Love of God, focus on the marketing of products and not spreading FUD.

Rant over! If you feel offended, then it’s not my intention and I’m happy to discuss any of this with anyone if you feel it’s off the mark or factually incorrect. You can contact me via the usual channels or leave a comment. Now lets start afresh and move on.. Iain

6 Comments

  1. Grant Tiller Author April 27, 2012 (7:25 pm)

    As a member of the RES Software Product Management team, I can vouch for the fact that Iain is the most vocal, and often most critical member of the RES Community. We appreciate that fact though, and open, honest feedback from the ‘feet on the street’ is the best way to stay on track with products that fit the market.

    Iain, I am sorry that you felt that RES Software were not totally honest with you regarding the situation with Nomadesk – that certainly was not our intention.
    In interviews with the likes of the 451 Group and the Virtualization Practice, I was open about the fact that we have worked with a partner on this. From our perspective, we wanted to be able to release clients and agents for all platforms on day one, rather than make many coming soon promises, and since our expertise has historically been in the Windows space, we looked around for the very best partner to work with and chose Nomadesk.

    RES Software have taken the framework and worked with the team to develop many enterprise functionalities to form the RES HyperDrive solution – things like the Active Directory integration we believe are key to making an enterprise-ready solution, so we applied our twelve years of knowledge that we have built up with products like RES Workspace Manager.
    We have also built the virtual appliances, allowing RES HyperDrive to be setup in fifteen minutes as opposed to over several days. This makes for a saleable solution that is more supportable, and much easier to keep up to date.
    Our on-premise strategy was a key design principle – we didn’t want to become a storage vendor, and based up requirements of our existing customers, we wanted to provide a solution that leverages your storage, under your security and your rules.
    There are several other technical areas besides, which I won’t go into here.

    The two most important aspects for me though are

    1) this fits into the overall RES Software picture perfectly, integrating into Baseline Desktop Analyzer for DropBox Analysis, deployment and maintenance by RES Automation Manager and of course future integration with RES Workspace Manager

    2) channel and packaging – it is the likes of yourself that will be helping us get the RES HyperDrive name out there, and it is our partnerships that make us truly unique in the marketplace. Our partners are an extension of RES Software, and get exactly what we do. You can’t under-estimate how powerful this is. We have packaged RES HyperDrive very carefully ensuring that pricing is competitive and there are strong options around a pay-as-you-go methodology or a yearly subscription – offering the customer the utmost flexibility.

    We are very proud of our Nomadesk relationship – hence the press release prior to General Availability of the solution. If we were trying to hide anything, rest assured we would not have done this at Release Candidate stage!

    On the whole, RES Software try to avoid channel conflict, and if this situation has caused any ill feeling, anyone can contact any member of staff, who will happily discuss the situation, and hopefully put to rest any fears or concerns. The doors are always open!

    Thanks everyone for your continued support,

    Grant Tiller (Senior Product Manager, RES Software)

  2. Andrew Morgan Author April 27, 2012 (8:13 pm)

    Well said Iain, nothing further to add!

  3. Neil Spellings Author April 27, 2012 (11:47 pm)

    Good post Iain

    Whilst it’s good that Appsense finally have some serious competition, I would of hoped this would make them up their game and concentrate on building quality, stable and enterprise-class features to their core product set.

    What seems to have happened however is both companies engaging in a petty blog wars, and that detracts from what they should be talking about – what features of their product makes it the to buy.

    Let’s hope this is “just a phase” and everyone will eventually “grow out of it”

  4. Jeff Wouters Author April 28, 2012 (9:21 am)

    To any software vendor: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake… ” (Napoleon Bonaparte)

  5. Rory Monaghan Author April 29, 2012 (8:34 am)

    Fair play Iain! Show’s a lack of professionalism on the part of the DM’er, percieves some criticisms and decides to take their ball and go home. Business is a tough game. Stand and be counted. Honesty and professionalism are key.

    I honestly have never detected you playing favorites with any vendors from your posts before. You seem to give credit where credit is due and are fair and balanced. I had a vendor contact my employer in the past after taking exception to something I tweeted. Fast forward a few months, I decided to leave that job after they warned me about tweeting about that vendor again (I didn’t post anything negative just mentioned both them and their competitors in a tweet) and I actually wrote a positive blog post about that vendors product shortly after I left my last job!!

  6. Iain Brighton Author May 1, 2012 (8:39 am)

    @Grant,

    I’m not suggesting for one moment that RES’s relationship with Nomadesk is a bad thing. I knew there was some 3rd party development (the mobile client applications) but the impression was certainly garnered that the product “core” was a RES development. Maybe it was an assumption and if I had explicitly asked the question then I may have got a direct answer!? As they say, “assumption is the mother of all *&^% ups!”

    The on-premise, “follow-me data” space is certainly heating up and with the obvious tie-ins within the UEM market it makes logical sense for the vendors in this space to have products. The impending release of DataNow and HyperDrive will give customers more choice, which ultimately is to the benefit of everyone.

    @Rory,

    Having had further communications with the DM’er everything has been resolved. My comments have been taken on board and there are no hard feelings (and I don’t hold a grudge anyway). Lest not forget that it can be easy to misinterpret the intended purpose of an email let alone a short tweet, of which I’m clearly guilty of too!

    The intent within this post is a plea that the shenanigans stops, not to target any particular company or individual. Unfortunately for all those involved, it looks like an iPad Twitter client error that wouldn’t let me send a DM back. I had not been unfollowed but received the standard “Access Denied” error message when I tried to reply. In fact it still won’t and it might have something to do with the year 4001! Go figure?!

    Thanks all again for listening, Iain

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