An intriguing story:
(All characters and events appearing in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental)
After several iterations of extensive research and testing for our institution done by my technical experts and me, we repeatedly recommended migration from the existing antiquated customer email system to the free Prehoogle mail because it was the only solution that would seamlessly fit into our existing ID management and common sign-on authentication systems, saving six figures annually on anti-spam and antivirus licensing and hardware in the process.
Once we were ready and about to go live, we had another discussion with the CIO and at the end of the meeting every single expert was asked to give their individual recommendation, and all of us unanimously suggested proceeding with Prehoogle’s solution. However at the next meeting the CIO returned with a directive that we will have to migrate both customer and business systems to the MiliShaft’s solution. Nobody on my team knew and couldn’t see why and how MiliShaft’s email system was selected. We were going to do what we were told, but the whole thing went south after we expressed our estimate how long and how challenging this would be due to its incompatibility with current systems and described the prerequisites and stages that would have to take place before it can be integrated. Then when it was just as we predicted, we were even scared to say “we told you so” because it would have seemed that we were obstructing the project, which was really not the case. But the most outrageous thing is that there seem to have been some dirty tricks played by MiliShaft in the background. From the information I have from multiple sources, this is what I believe happened:
– An external source told me that we were never a subject of interest for MiliShaft, but all of the sudden they started digging and setting up meetings with our highest executives. I later learned that they also offered money, not to individuals (that I know of), but to the institution.
– Our new big boss was a self-proclaimed “technology savvy” person (those of you in IT field know how dangerous those users can be), but only familiar with one solution (MiliShaft), and unwilling to learn a different system.
– Previous interim CIO was afraid for her job and she didn’t even want to mention to the new big boss that migrating many thousands of business users to a new email system would put more important projects on ice amidst a dire budgeting crisis and that one year later, with many man-hours and hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of dollars spent, our institution would be at the very similar place where it was in the beginning – with a solid email and calendar system, just with a different name and a lot of money and time wasted. She gave us a story how the city migrated their email system because the mayor’s new associate didn’t want to learn the old one, and she believed that was OK and that we had no say. Well, she was gone soon, and a new CIO seemed to agree with us, only to change “his mind” for no apparent reason.
– A little birdie from Prehoogle told me that MiliShaft is constantly watching their MX records so whenever a business entity brings up a new Prehoogle’s test system, they appear on their radar and there begins the lobbying hell. Everything makes sense now, as MiliShaft did start to dig around the time when we installed the test systems. Another Prehoogle rep told me that our CIO wasn’t willing to see them any more after all this. Again, makes sense – since MiliShaft guys lobbied the heck out of it and who knows what kind of stories they served to the big boss who wanted to believe them while making an uninformed decision.
So, here we go again, one reputable company investing into political tricks for squeezing out the competition instead of improving its own systems. Sign of a failing quality. Guess who will win in the long run.
(All characters and events appearing in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely intentional.)