Maurizio – Omnologos

Where no subject is left unturned

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Novel System for Improved IT Support Efficiency

leave a comment »

A novel IT Support Call Handling Scheme guaranteed to improve efficiency:

  1. Having received a support call or e-mail, do nothing about it
  2. If there is no further contact —> the issue is solved
  3. If the user calls again, pretend you care. Keep doing nothing about it
  4. If there is no further contact —> the issue is solved
  5. If the user calls again, provide assurance the problem is being looked at. Once again, do nothing about it
  6. If there is no further contact —> the issue is solved 
  7. If the user calls again, repeat from step 5
  8. If the user acts unreasonably and calls your boss, look busy and go to step 5
  9. At this point, the issue is either solved, or an absolute emergency
  10. In the latter case, start dealing with it

The above is based on the established fact that most of the time issues solve themselves, because the user gives up, moves to another job, or finds a way around the problem out of frustration.

As the end result is that everybody in IT support works on emergencies all of the time, their jobs will be safe for the foreseeable future, and users will just be grateful whenever any issue is actually solved.

Is that “maximum efficiency” or what?

Written by omnologos

2008/Aug/19 at 07:14:46

Posted in Business, Humor, IT, Software

Tagged with

First, Fastest, Tallest, Fat- and Cancer-Free, Money and Sex News

leave a comment »

London, June 30 (MNN) – Breaking a new, safe, easy and fresh way forward for the blogosphere, Maurizio Morabito, the green, environmental author of the blog Omnologos, is revealing the tricks and secrets “to get some ink in the general audience media” and to help “put your release at the top of the search engines.

Written by omnologos

2008/Jun/30 at 22:41:00

Posted in Blogging, Business, Innovation

Tagged with ,

Millennium Bug A Different Virus

leave a comment »

Seven and more years later, we can definitely close down the story of the Millennium Bug as one of the greatest wastes of money in the history of Humanity.

In hindsight, it has been as useful and as value-generating as one of those chain-mail messages, just a different kind of computer virus.

Nothing of significance happened on Dec 31, 1999. Perhaps nothing at all, zilch, nada, niente (but it’s hard to demonstrate a negative).

Even the stories with the flimsiest relevance and interest should have surfaced by now.

People that were actually employed in fixing the fantasy Bug don’t usually like such a train of thought. Somebody actually tried to tell me the Bug caused no trouble because of the dedication of so many people and resources to fix it.

I do not buy any such excuse.

Surely a lot of people worked on the Bug very professionally and conscientiously.

But then we all know any kind of software does contain errors…the Millennium Bug Fixes by miracle or extraordinary coincidence, not even one. How can that be possible?

And how can it be likely that everybody everywhere on the planet lost their capacity to make mistakes in the process of fixing the Bug? Italy was a well-known laggard on considering the Bug, and in Kenya there was no funding to do anything until March 2000 (three months after the Bug should have stricken).

Written by omnologos

2007/May/11 at 21:01:21

Posted in Business, Computing

Outsourcing – A Daft Idea?

with one comment

I have never been a big fan of all the Outsourcing fashion that came into vogue around 2000-01 with untold savings promised by getting non-core-parts of a company’s business managed and conducted by outside personnel and structures.

Now I am starting to think there is something potentially quite daft about the whole idea. Let’s say there are three types of Outsourcing:

(a) One-to-many: for example the relationship between a company and courier services;

(b) Many-to-one: for example all the clients of news- and data-gathering enterprises such as Reuters;

(c) One-to-one: the modern way of Outsourcing, when for example part or the whole of the IT functions are managed by a single external company.

Now, in case (a) the client has the upper hand, as it can shift business from one courier company to another in an instant and for whatever reason. Service has to be pretty good to prevent that.

Also in case (b) the clients are reasonably safe: even if costs can go high in a situation of quasi-monopoly, any problem on the Reuters or Bloomberg side would cause a massive uproar. Once again, service has to be as good as needed.

Unfortunately, that does not necessarily happen in case (c): the external company, in fact, does know its contract is large and complex and it covers many aspects without which the outsourcing company’s business will fail. And the latter has to invest much money and time just to start the process, whilst exiting from the contract is almost just as expensive and long an endeavour.

The end result then is that in (c) it’s the service provider that obtains the power to make expensive decisions for its client, for example justifying an incredibly complex hardware or data processing arrangement on the basis of unverified risk scenarios.

 ————-

Of course nothing is fixed, nothing is preordained. The opposite strategy may in fact be just as bad, when Insourcing means creating a self-sustaining internal apparatus of un-necessary costs and complexity, also called “the IT Department”.

Still it would be great news the day when companies, especially the largest ones including the public sector, will consider the downsides properly and protect themselves (i.e., their shareholders’ interests) against being taken advantage of by their Outsourcing Partner

Perhaps it is time for a new business field: independent outsourcing auditors.

Written by omnologos

2007/May/04 at 21:27:36

Posted in Business, Outsourcing

Business IS Personal

leave a comment »

British society (but not only British society) is trapped in the myth that business is business, whilst personal stuff is personal stuff.

This brings out all sorts of pretensions, such as the illusion that business deals can simply be rooted in “logic” with the consequence that the most important learning topic is “how to debate” as power is firmly in the hand of the Best Talker.

The Best Talker is the person able to talk everybody else into doing anything he or she wants.

Cue Tony Blair, and now David Cameron not by chance much on the way up compared to rhetorical troglodyte Gordon Brown.

This is truly a pity and a missed opportunity, as it removes content, ideas and personality from the main focus, in business as in politics.

The best one can hope is that invisible advisers will actually implement something good for the country, when it doesn’t interfere with the leader’s personal advantage.

That’s something more akin to Enlightened Dictatorship than to liberal democracy.

========

But in truth Business is Personal. For most of us at least. Business is impersonal for bored public sector employees and stressed-out private sector middle managers (aka “Cannon Fodder”).

For everybody else, there is a reason to be engaged in business activities that goes beyond the actual performing of our particular duty.

The existence of one’s salary is often vital to the persons one cares about most, one’s family. The desire to perform well and/or to get a promotion or expand one’s business, it’s all deeply rooted in one’s own need for self-esteem and fulfillment.

Being able in one’s business to cut a deal or even keep one’s job in the face of adversity is very much personal stuff.

And that’s why logic cannot be enough. We have to recognize that in the choice of a new IT system or Managing Director or people to fire during next cost-cutting exercise, gut-feelings and emotions are just as important as what’s “rational”.

Business is Personal, and it will remain so until negotiation will only be done by machines.

Written by omnologos

2007/Apr/29 at 08:50:42

Posted in Business, Ethics, Politics, UK

BBC: Last for News

leave a comment »

Either the people at BBC News are having a Seriously Bad Monday, or there is something fishy in the relationship between the BBC and British Airways.

(Alternatively: here some evidence of BBC incompetence and tardiness:)

British Airways has been forced to reveal that there is free upgrade to First Class available for you and your family, if you happen to die during the flight.

As of now (10:30AM GMT) , such piece of… news is absent from BBC News.

According to Google News, it is appearing in 45 other news outlets on the web, first of which was 21 hours ago.

====================

I always find it suspect that the BBC News web site mostly finds lead stories in the morning, rather than randomly during the day. So much for being a leader in web-based news provision. The first-class-corpse episode just will make things look even odder…

As for Brutish Airways, why oh why am I not surprised to find them out once again with procedures taking precedence over common sense?

Written by omnologos

2007/Mar/19 at 10:38:36

The Economist…and the economists

with 2 comments

(Letter sent to The Economist)

Dear Editors

One wonders how much to read in what you don’t appear to be daring to explicitly write, in your commentary about Sir Nicholas Stern’s review of the economics of climate change (“It may be hot in Washington too“, Nov 2nd 2006)

Let’s see: Sir Nicholas, the “head of Britain’s government economic service” and with a past in very senior positions at the World Bank, delivers a series of economical figures…perfectly in line with what is politically needed by the commissioner of his latest effort, Gordon Brown

Contrarily to the Financial Times, only very obliquely you suggest that all that economics may as well have no value (apart of course from Mr Brown’s effort to get “America involved in the global effort to mitigate climate change“)

All in all, Sir Nicholas’s report may end up being remembered as a travesty of economics

Do you really hold expert economists in such a low esteem, not to feel any outrage at seeing their profession so heavily manipulated for political ends? And if that is true, what is the point of your Buttonwood and other economics columns?

One may even ask, what is the point of your magazine? Why not close it down, perhaps, to open it anew as “The Politician”?

Written by omnologos

2006/Nov/05 at 18:26:33

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.