Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Impossible Dream

From time to time, my role changes from dealing with support issues on the helpdesk. I am currently involved in the release of a brand new product to a client. I use the word 'involved' very loosely for I am not hands on occupied with the technicalities, but more a backseat support / training role from the end user perceptive. Nevertheless, an exciting time in the office (as must be any new product launch). Even new product is not a precise definition. The software release is actually just the complimentary handheld version of our V3 Windows edition. Based on the SQL CE engine, the release is a breakthrough from our original handheld solution based on the now legacy Pocket Access. By removing the laptop connection completely from the equation, you have a completely independent device and all the power in the palm of your hand. The latest PDA devices with a range of wireless connections will be able to communicate directly to the SQL server, which alone is quite revolutionary. The user interface has also been vastly tweaked to make searching and recording calls a breeze. This is a leap forward not only our product but our company. Expect an exciting few months ahead as we roll out this product and begin offering the option to our existing (and every expanding) client base.

Quite certain I have mentioned this before, but in any case, let me once again cover the topic of the impossible dream. A dream of a member of the management team, that he has been put on this planet to create the perfect piece of software. Well, it would be unfair to give him all the credit, I think he believes that his development team have the task of making us, support guys unemployable (or at the very least redundant). My belief is that this will never happen. Even if the software was without any holes, bugs, faults, crashes and runtime errors, an end user would still want to speak to someone on the end of the phone. Love it or hate it, you need technical support in some shape or form. What I find astonishing is to find companies out there called Perfect Software? I mean, talk about shooting yourself in the foot! Did they not learn anything from the Master? Perhaps the closes example we have of software that does the job which is bug free and life critical is the space shuttle. Something tells me that our development budget is modest in comparison to NASA. Perhaps what is required is a change in attitude rather than company procedures. Yet, even if you crack the code to produce the holy grail of CRM software, you will always come up against a brick wall. Those beautiful, wonderful always unique end users!

While I may be well settled in my current there is never a bad to update the CV. Sure enough it has been offline from this website since August and I really need to get my act together to put it back live. Perhaps I seriously need to look at some of the key words used and replace them with something that will not hurt my career prospects. Considering the above, if I do suddenly find myself with a product that can support itself I will need to find another position quickly. It might even mean venturing back into the City. How I have enjoyed the bliss of fourteen mile round trip commute.

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