God Mode in Windows 7 – interesting…….

Avid gamers will all be aware of cheat codes in their main video games, but who knows about the God Mode in Windows 7? Doing the rounds at the moment is the following neat trick:

  • Right click on any blank space on your desktop.
  • Click new from the menu and create a New Folder.
  • Rename the folder as follow: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
  • and all of a sudden you have access all in one place to all Windows 7 control and set up commands. Cool!


    So you want to use Windows 7 with SAP Business One and Crystal reports……

    Well guess what – it’s not a problem! Orchestra a company from the US reports that it worked and works well – in fact better than XP.  Check out the story on their website.

    Survey reveals IT directors’ frustrations with IT vendors

    UK organisations remain frustrated by the level of support and interaction they receive from their IT vendors, according to research released today by the SAP UK & Ireland User Group.  85% of the IT directors surveyed said that they would like greater access to senior management and product development staff in order to influence them or raise concerns.  This comes at a time when there are growing concerns that IT vendors are becoming selling rather than user-orientated organisations.  

    Just under half of those surveyed (48%) felt that IT vendors weren’t taking customer feedback onboard when it came to product development.  In addition, 85% felt frustrated by IT vendors bringing out new products and subsequently withdrawing or reducing support for products that still worked perfectly well. 

    “It is clear that many organisations want more senior-level engagement with their IT vendors, rather than simply dealing with sales staff,” said Alan Bowling, chairman SAP UK & Ireland User Group.  “It is here where strong user groups can play an important role as they can provide organisations with a channel to influence IT vendors at a high level.  To give an example, we have been successful working with SAP to help extend the life of some of its older products, making the eventual transition to newer products much smoother for users.” 

    The research also revealed that many organisations still don’t feel that they receive adequate levels of customer support.  83% of IT directors felt that they had greater knowledge than their IT vendors’ support teams when it comes to particular products and processes.  This lack of ‘real-life’ user experience is cited as one of the primary reasons why vendors often take longer than anticipated to resolve problems. “A lot of organisations are facing the same business and IT challenges.  Many are now finding value in being able to collaborate with each other in a user group environment,” added Alan Bowling. The research showed that 82% of those surveyed said that they would like to be able to collaborate with their peers more openly in order to discuss and overcome their IT challenges. 

    A lack of time and resource for staff training was highlighted as another major source of frustration for IT directors.  78% were frustrated about staff being unable to learn as much from internal experts and their peers as they would like.  Against this backdrop over three-quarters of IT directors (76%) felt that sending staff to user events was a beneficial exercise.

    “Staff training is an ongoing concern for a lot of organisations.  Many don’t have enough internal resource to deliver on the job training, whilst enrolling staff on formal training courses can be expensive.  Therefore, being able to network and collaborate though a user group can be the most cost-effective form of training organisations can get.  Through practical training and learning from peers, IT staff can develop new skills and best practice, which can be of great benefit to their employers,” said Alan Bowling.

    The survey of 100 IT directors, working at organisations with 1,000+ employees, was commissioned by the SAP UK & Ireland User Group and conducted by independent research company Vanson Bourne.

    Where there’s smoke is there any fire?

    Following on from my observations that the marketplace is changing comes a string of denials.

    Firstly an article in Forbes takes a very reasoned approach 0ver what might drive customers to focus on SAP. Then comes an piece on CNN where IBM deny all approaches to merge with SAP. Hot on the heels of this comes a story where in the Wall Street JournalMicrosoft deny any interest in SAP. But the most curious of all is from Sapphire in Orlando where mycustomer.comrun a story that quotes Leo Apotheker on the subject of market consolidation where he neither denies or acknowledged the speculation.

    So what’s happening? Who knows? – but my advice continues…..be prepared for further consolidation and think what it may mean for your organisation.

    What are the implications of Oracle’s latest acquisition – Sun?

    Some analysts are now weighing up the possible outcomes of Oracle’s recent acquisition of Sun. Vuk Trifkovic writing in Data Monitor and reproduced here in tradingmarkets.com spells out his views.  In a previous post I commented on how the big four, that is Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and SAP were now split in two groups. Since then two of the players have announced some first quarter results which further add to the views – IBM with a drop in hardware sales, and SAP with a drop in licence sales. No surprise given the economic conditions and neither of those parties could be described as a distressed company!

    So what might happen next? The market is consolidating and some players are bigger than others or commanding a wider spread of products and services. Will we see the 4 reduce to 3? Will we see acquisitions, partnerships, or mergers? I think the answer to this is yes.

     As users of products that are now essential to run any organisation we need to be mindful of the potential changes and ensure that we are prepared to manage the fall out of these changes.

    Enterprise Support – a “better place” (with no apologies to Shai)

    Well, after 10 months ,of sometimes difficult debate, a sensible and pragmatic solution has been created. Value and performance will deliver SAP price rises for maintenance. And at the same time along with the previously announced extension of product life the time to reach the 22% price is extended to 2015.

    Along the way, amidst the angst and sometimes very difficult debates both sides have learnt much better how to work with each other and also to better understand the challenges of both being a supplier and being a customer. This has developed into a very professional relationship where now everyone knows the way to work together. Nobody should be under any illusion about how challenging that has been but everyone should marvel at the success of it.

    We have combined 12 international user groups who whilst maintaining their own national independence have broken down the barriers of language and time to work with a truly global player and deliver a consensus outcome. The great organisation of the United Nations would be jealous of this achievement.

    The other significant thing that both parties have done is to bring a challenge to the rest of the software industry. Let’s see if they are brave enough to pick it up…….

    The big four are split……….

    Folowing the acquisition of Sun by Oracle the big four (MISO) are now split – two of them IBM and Oracle now operate in the hardware and software zone, and two now operate in the software only zone. The missing name in the equation is now HP.

    So the question now remains what are HP going to do? They have hardware only – IBM and Oracle both have databases as well as hardware. So what next? Are we about to see HP. SAP and Microsoft talking together?

    What is for certain is that we are in interesting times, when consolidation is both likely, and somewhat easier given the tough economic times generating nervousness at legislative levels. Time will tell – but keeping a track on the movements of the corporate heads would sure be interesting at the moment!