The Twitterzzz has Paparazzi

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It’s so ridiculous that at least someone should write about this.

Paparazzi Kills by Ratscape

Background

Earlier this week we overheard a twitter conversation between some reps of VMware, Nutanix and EMC. In short there were three points:

  • VMware employee (Jad El-Zein) says he recommended Nutanix to a customer
  • EMC employee (Matt Cowger) asks if VMware shouldn’t be vendor neutral in that
  • Nutanix emloyee(s) chime in and ask why helping a customer shouldn’t be priority

Not that it is the intent of the post (that comes next) to give my opinion here but having been in the same situation previously as Evangelist for Veeam Software I will share mine in perspective to that role I had: Veeam Software is a storage neutral backup software with a lot of storage partners. When a new contact comes along and asked what the best storage was for a Veeam installation I used to start with asking what their current vendor/products were and how happy they were with that. Secondly I’d go over the characteristics of the type of storage they want to look for. But in the event of a specific demand I would always have been able to point a customer in a direction, whether or not that is one or multiple solutions, that would definitely be a good fit. So personally I agree that a vendor rep should remain neutral as long as possible as long as it helps the customer’s case.

The walls have ears

Now, again, this was a conversation of opinions between people that for the occasion work for any of these companies. None of them officially represent the voice of the company. Maybe for the exception of Sudheesh but he only posed a question, not an opinion. And even if it would have been an opinion, it wouldn’t have been a company strategy.


Now in the back of the bar, or cocktail party like some of us like to call twitter, there was a young self-proclaimed tech-journalist that overheard the conversation, took notes with his pencil on a napkin and took pictures from behind the plants. So he went home and wrote the whole thing out and got praised by his publisher with Cubans and Bourbon. (I hope he get’s the sarcasm)

Paparazzi Kills

I was just looking for a picture of a stupid paparazzo hiding in a trashcan with a big ass lens but this poster was even better because of its title. The real danger of this ridiculous type of journalism is not the article as such; it’s the aftermath. 


Everyone else on twitter will just have a good laugh at this as we know well enough this is way out of context and has nothing to do with the companies as such. The only one slightly benefitting here is Nutanix as they are the challenger in the industry and like to stir the pot to get some extra attention. It wouldn’t even surprise me if someone personally, not necessarily in the name of the company, would have helped this guy a hand wth the idea of the article.


The danger is what happens on Monday: this article will be (ab)used by any sales rep around the world from any storage vendor to prove to their customers that VMware pushes their customers to buy EMC hardware. I have a very good feeling that this is absolutely not true. There will always be local exceptions but they merely have to do wth personal preference rather than a global company strategy.

Shades and coats

The other danger that these type of articles have is that we will have to wear shades and long black coats on twitter to remain anonymous if we want to have an opinion. Or even worse, Matt and or Jad could be called in on Monday by their managers that they cannot have an opinion because they work for a vendor. I sincerely hope this does not happen but I know the chances are big that someone on the PR-department that doesn’t understand twitter will get this noticed and will pull some strings. I’ve had my share of experience with that as well.


So to our tech journalist: you had your 15 minutes of fame, now go do some decent writing, ’cause what you are doing now is doing more harm than anything else.

Links

Jane Rimmergram – does not share my opinion 🙂 “One situation – Many different views

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