If vendors were Santa…and users behaved

It was the week before Christmas, and all through the in-house data centre not a user was stirring, not even a mouse… except for one or two minor NT reboots, a small router problem and a mysteriously fluctuating UPS.

For those lucky, lucky IT managers that get to stay on call for 24x7 catastrophes, Computerworld thought it would be nice to share the festive cheer and ask readers what they wanted from their vendors when they put on the big red hat and hand around the goodies.

Naturally, we also asked what IT shops wanted from users.

For starters, IT support and network admin manager at University of NSW, Patrick Stoddart would like to see some recognition from Apple for what they put users through every time they up their specs.

"A free song for my iPod every time an Apple software update has caused a problem!" says Stoddart, adding that HP could also help prop up the tree.

"[All I want for Christmas is] HP to finally work out how to extend my coverage on some old Proliant gear, but the guy who called from the UK office - three months after the request, and wanted to sell me cover for a Prosignia was a nice chap. "A Proliant? What's that?" the HP operative was heard to say to Stoddart.

From his users, Stoddart says, he wants just a little bit of understanding.

"[For them] not to glaze over at the answer to a question; don't ask if you don't want to know why that Quicktime update broke your Final Cut!"

VicRoads CIO John McNally, who Computerworld caught en-route to an unnamed destination with a caravan in tow, had a more direct suggestion for users.

"I don't want a Christmas card or stockings – I want them to have a holiday so that I can have a holiday," McNally said.

From vendors that he declined to name, McNally had only two simple requests.

"No bloody outages and systems that work when I want them to work," McNally says.

A quick poll of Systems Administrators Guild of Australia (SAGE) members found more funding for security initiatives and greater support and appreciation from management rated highly, with beer and pizza following closely.

- with Rodney Gedda and Sandra Rossi

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