In followup comments, posts, and tweets, people are talking about why Storage Management software isn’t up to par with what customers want, why vendor support is lacking, and whose fault it all is. EMC ControlCenter is getting its fair share of bashing along the way, but we’re not just talking about ControlCenter here, we’re talking about the state of the industry.
There are two directions the conversation needs to go from here. One is talking about standards-based management for heterogeneous environments, how we got to where we are and where we need to go from here. The other is how we can improve what we have today. That second half, that’s more where I can hopefully come in.
There’s a lot of good data out there, and a lot of noise. But there’s one piece of absolute truth which ‘bod hit on in his initial post:
scatter the team members to the winds; let them sit in some big enterprise environments and try to keep ECC healthy, working and useful. After about six months, we’ll return them broken but enlightened.
We can’t afford to scatter our team to the winds, but we can ask them to learn more about the pain our customers are going through. We need to spread that experience and knowledge all the way through the organization, to everyone who touches the product directly or indirectly. How do we do that?
We have the technology. We’re launching an online community in January for our valued User Community members and every EMC employee who touches ControlCenter. Eventually we plan to open the doors to every customer with a ControlCenter license. It will be a place where people can discuss best practices, give feedback on product direction, and connect in ways we haven’t seen before. You want to make sure the guy writing the code understands how the feature is going to be used? Here’s your best chance.
The community is currently in limited pilot form and people are just beginning to dip their toes in the water.
We have bright talented people, and we’ll have a potential flood of information and access to our most vocal customers. The question we’ll be answering is whether we can put those two things together and change the game. Because if not, maybe the critics are right — maybe users are going to be perpetually disappointed by this kind of software, no matter who makes it and how.
I say it again. We now have the technology, and we have the people (assuming they participate). Do we have the will to listen and the ability to execute? I’m looking forward to finding out.