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   RE: [xml-dev] Painful USA Today article (was RE: [xml-dev] ANN: REST Tut

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Probably because the reasons are diverse.  One school of thought 
says hire Generic Consultant Company to write the specification because they've done 
lots of these.  They don't realize that GCC may not be doing 
much analysis; they boilerplate.  I keep seeing RFPs from them 
with the requirement to support "XTML", "XML" and "HTML".  We 
see RFPs that require NIBRS support but are for agencies in 
UCR states.  NIBRS is the future but the customer can't use 
it yet.  We are asked to interface to legacy systems that 
duplicate effort and data to incredible extents.

So we iron this stuff out in contract negotiations and in 
the response language.  It is our business to know 
our technology and their business.  If we get a customer that relies more 
on a generic consulting firm than on the RFP process, it 
is fairly difficult to keep from selling them more than 
they need.  In other words, losing while being circumspect 
is still losing.  We will walk away from that kind of 
business because we know that given unrealistic requirements, 
they will be back again.  It happens more than some would 

There is no substitute for having local skilled analysts 
when it comes time to buy, build, fight or flee.  The 
context is fusion.  What is needed, what is available, 
what works now, what might be working when needed, what 
is needed next Zed.   Faced with that exercise, too many
executives turn to a marketing guru or a consultant but 
fail to get in touch with the worker bees.  Even if they 
do, they may not have the savvy to sort out the signals 
but do have the responsibility to decide when to jump into 
the water.

Oh... then there is the budgeting exercise that hopefully
results in funding before the next election. :-)


From: Betty Harvey [mailto:harvey@eccnet.com]

I think the article is fairly accurate about what has been happening.
Anyone in the trenches has seen some of these disasters. We have all seen
major companies lock into software that goes out of business before the
software is even implemented.  I think the article could have even delved
deeper into the problem.  One quote I thought could correlate directly
with what we are seeing with XML specifications and technologies:

   'But companies don't always need what they get. "They overbuy
   and get more features, more functions than they need," says
   analyst David Smith of Gartner'


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