Marketing speak mars technical blueprints

Technical blueprints used to maintain new software or hardware are being rejected by IT managers who claim they are full of marketing hype instead of relevant text.

Instead, IT managers are relying on in-house best practice for implementations.

Those singled out for criticism include Microsoft Systems Architecture prescriptive blueprints, the SAFE Architecture from Cisco and Solution Blueprints from Intel.

Trevor Batten, MM Electrical IT manager, said when he receives so-called technical manuals they either get ignored or read with a fair amount of cynicism because of the level of marketing that comes through in both content and presentation of the procedures.

"If I do look at them they are read with a fair amount of cynicism because the marketing hype is always well ahead of where the product is and the push from vendors is to be seen as the market leader," Batten said.

"When I get them I tend to pass them on because they are 80 percent marketing hype.

"I get the technical manuals and updates across my desk frequently but do not go through them because they offer little real information even though they often are well presented and nice to look at."

What the industry needs, from a user point of view, is detailed product and process information with less marketing jargon.

Dimension Data CTO Gerard Florian is working towards providing a more user-friendly approach to education and marketing.

Florian said the SAFE architecture from Cisco and the Microsoft prescriptive blueprints are both comprehensive documents and fairly heavy reading, but the role of an integrator such as Dimension Data is to try and bring those documents together.

Mitsubishi technical infrastructure services manager Paul Feeney said no matter who the blueprints are from they are just a tool and an IT manager has to interpret information from subjective spin.

"The blueprints are becoming more marketing-orientated but in terms of subjective spin they are not bad - from a technical point of view you have to turn those ideas into marketing speak to sell the ideals to the company so it makes sense for products to be in marketing speak," Feeney said.

"They are aimed at the generic level which does make it easier to make large claims."

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