Re: New and Refreshed Advertising Colateral for OpenVMS
From: AEF (spamsink2001_at_yahoo.com)
Date: 23 Jan 2005 13:05:10 -0800
John Smith wrote:
> AEF wrote:
> > Bill Todd wrote:
> >> AEF wrote:
> > [...]
> Ann Livermore said: "What we find today is that it is difficult to
> customers to adopt an operating environment that they do not view as
> industry standard. That makes it hard for HP to attract lots of new
> to OpenVMS. Our greatest sales success comes from those customers who
> have OpenVMS and choose to expand into new application areas. If you
> suggestions for us, we would love to hear them!"
> So let's look at that:
> HP sales droid approches prospective new customer in a dark alley and
> flashes open the overcoat 'Pssst, buddy! Wannna buy an operating
> It's called OpenVMS but the 'Open' is silent."
How do you get this from that quote? What's with the alley and the
> The prospective customer sez, "Whaazzat? Never heard of it. I studied
> in school and you're been busy promoting and advertising your
> Windows and Linux-based solutions. Howcome I never heard of 'dis
> stuff? Whattaya trying to do...just meet your quota or something?"
With this you're just proving Ann's point about the difficulty of
selling VMS. (Especially with the alley and overcoat approach! :-)
> HP says they "Listen", but they don't act.
> They certainly can't "Think" (not just because that's an IBM thing)
> mostly because it seems you'd be handed a pink slip if you did.
> But they certainly seem to "Invent" every excuse possible not to
> and effectively promote VMS.
Fine, but JF's statements are still wrong.
> Numerous suggestions have been sent to HP and its precedecessors.
> heard that when positive advertising and marketing action occurs,
> increase. We've also heard Gorham claim that VMS numbers (in some
> measure) are up without advertising. If I were Gorham and my bonus
> predicated on VMS revenues/profitability, I'd be jumping up and down
> for a big advertising budget to go along with my 'natural'
> sales increase - that way I'd get total comp higher than carly(tm).
> If VMS is on a 'roll' of some sort (accoring to Gorham's numbers)
> what's wrong with giving it some additional help in the form of
> marketing, and promotion.
Nothing. I am merely objecting to JF twisting Ann's comments into
something she clearly did not say, and to his rude comments about
Carly's appearance, and his mistake about pages being deeply buried.
And none of your comments change any of that.
> JF is right - how hard would it have been for Livermore to have just
> the words of rabid or not so rabid support? It would have cost
nothing to do
> so. As it is, VMS was damned with faint praise.
That wasn't the question. The question wasn't "What do you think of
VMS?" (And Ann DID mouth words of support. See below.)
Ann said that hp finds it hard to market VMS against its perception of
not being industry standard. So obviously hp doesn't feel it's worth
the effort. That doesn't mean they don't want more sales.
Here's what JF said:
"Last week, there was an announcement by Ann Livermore that HP wasn't
interested in growing VMS and was happy just keeping the installed base
Nowhere did she say she or hp was happy with just keeping the installed
base happy. Nowhere did she say that she or hp have no interest in
growing VMS. She said
"... Our greatest sales success comes from those customers who already
have OpenVMS and choose to expand into new application areas. If you
have suggestions for us, we would love to hear them!"
In fact, by asking for suggestions, she's implying that hp DOES want to
grow the VMS base. Now it may still be that hp really doesn't care
about growing the VMS base, BUT NOTHING SHE SAID IMPLIES THAT, IN FACT,
SHE'S ASKING FOR SUGGESTIONS FOR SELLING MORE VMS. I am not commenting
on the truth of what she said. I am merely saying you have to twist it
almost 180 degrees into saying that she is saying that hp does not want
to grow VMS.
And JF was wrong, absolutely wrong, about the VMS pages being deeply
buried. go to hp.com yourself and see! They are as I described in prior
And here's another snippet from the chat:
Q: Ann: Can we now expect to see OpenVMS gain more visibility to new
customers now that it has been ported to Integrity?
Ann Livermore (A): We certainly hope so! It's a great operating
environment, and clearly today's Integrity announcement gives the
solution a strong future.
According to JF, this would mean that hp has already killed VMS. In
fact, I'm surprised he didn't criticize this one also!
According to me, these look like very positive words about VMS. She is
clearly saying that we (read hp) is hoping that VMS gains more
visiblity! How more clear can it be!
More from the chat:
Q: When will the higher-ups at HP realize the value of VMS as being not
just another version of a toy operating system, or a billybox OS, and
really tout it as unique, solid, reliable, mission-critical, etc? Or
are you all so caught up in towing the Microsoft party line?
Ann Livermore (A): OpenVMS is one of the most powerful operating
environments in the industry. The fact that we chose to make OpenVMS
available on Integrity speaks to the fact that HP executives understand
its value and want it as a powerful part of our portfolio.
Looks like praise to me! OK, the question asked about hp touting it as
super duper, and hp is not going out of its way to advertise that. But
the complaints I'm hearing are that Ann didn't praise VMS or say any
positive words about it. But she did right here!
And there's more!:
Q: Ann, Being an HP SMB partner, I like your answer to the question
regarding your Consulting Division. What plans does HP have to connect
customers in need with its partners that can deliver these services ?
The question is somewhat OpenVMS specific. We are told that there is
lot's of support/migration work out there. More with the Integrity now
in play. How can experienced partners help H.P. in keeping OpenVMS at
the best-in-breed level is now exists at ?
Ann Livermore (A): The delivery of great services by HP and our
partners is what makes OpenVMS customers so loyal. Services around
OpenVMS can be a great business opportunity for you. Your local HP
sales or marketing contacts can help get you any information you need.
Looks like she's trying to woo ISV's for VMS! I don't see how you can
interpret this as anything but pro-VMS.
And here's an UNSOLICITED POSITIVE REFERENCE TO VMS. UNSOLICITED!
Q: What are the three main changes and the three main advantages of the
new Itanium 2 processor ?
Brian Cox (A): The three main changes are faster frequency, larger
cache size and lower costs for the new Itanium 2 processor line-up. The
advantages are faster application performance, even more attractive
cost of ownership and growing OS support (with the addition of
OpenVMS)/many new applications.
Now I'm not saying all is fine -- I am merely refuting what I believe
to be invalid criticisms of the Web event. I see nowhere in this event
that VMS was not given the same respect as other OSes. In fact, it
received TOP BILLING. Additionally, many positive statements about VMS
were typed in the chat.
Sure, more is needed. But yelling, insulting, whining, and the like are
not going to help. Look at baseball: a questionable call is made. The
manager storms out of the dugout and yells at the ump. Has that even
once ever caused the ump to reconsider and reverse his call? I'm not an
expert on this but I'd be surprised if it happened even 1 percent of
A drop of honey gathers more flies than a gallon of gall.
I have no objection to valid criticism offered in a non-hostile manner.
We have a difficult task ahead of us. We must try to convince hp that
it is worth the effort to advertise VMS. We must show them how they
will profit from it. Yes, I heard that this has already been tried, but
so has the negative approach. Criticism is fine if not done with
hositility, derision, etc. And it may well be the case there is NOTHING
we can do. But we can try. Things are different now. They have the
Integrity servers they want to sell. And maybe they're trying to use
VMS to help sell them. So the situation is different and discussions
about promoting VMS for VMS's sake may work better this time.
I think in addition to doing whatever it takes to maintain the current
VMS customer base, efforts should be made to sell VMS to those
customers who don't have VMS now, but would be the easiest to woo into
buying a VMS solution. And then "snowball" from there.
Just because a certain variation of a method fails, doesn't mean that
some other variation wouldn't succeed. Look at Edison's invention of
the lightbulb. He persisted with an idea that ultimately won bigtime,
but it took a lot of trial and error, mostly error, before he found
something that worked. Look at the history of rockets. Many, if not
most, of the early attempts failed spectacularly by blowing up on the
launch pad or shortly after launch. But continued work improved the
basic method and much has been accomplished with rockets.
If you were hp and you read JF's comments, how would you react?
You can complain about what hp does or doesn't do. You can make all
your theories about why they hate VMS, and you can talk about ulterior
motives and what not, but you can't say that this chat didn't have many
good things to say about VMS!!! And you can't say VMS was not given
good visibility in the chat. In fact, it had top billing, aside from
the Integrity servers themselves, of course.