WARNING: Today’s post contains potential unfriendly and vulgar language. Reader Discretion is advised.
“You can’t make everyone happy. No matter how much you tell connivence a customer new technology will be the future, they probably will never get it. That’s their prerogative, there may be a reason. There’s nothing beyond your control, you must let it go! You insult their intelligence, they’ll loose respect to you.” M.C.
This site is a museum, a task to catalog history of telephony technology (and post the stuff you can’t find anywhere else on the web) to pass down to a dumb population who could care less about the time before they were born or understand where we got to today’s communication. And to accept the fact that the same device sat on a desk or hung on a wall for an a average of a generation, whether its right or not is up for discussion outside this site.
We have a zero tolerance for “bleeding edge of technology”, just because some new thing is in fashion, doesn’t mean its going to work right away, never mind be in vogue tomorrow.
One of the reasons why I’ve disliked Nortel was the they had a reputation for being Nerdtel, whom nerds would be interested in telecom. Just like in the PC world, you got those nerds, who will throw tons of TLAs down your throat whether you like it or not or just throw buzzwords without even being questioned. Some people in the PC industry also believe in Political Correctness, you get the “group-think” mentality if you don’t subscribe to the future of technology, you get a similar treatment of “you’re a racist” if you question an African American in power.
The prime example in today’s post is a man named Andrew Prokop, a telecom professional from the Midwest that had been affiliated with Nortel for a number of years.
There is a fine line for being truthful, then tell the truth and become a (sorry for being unprofessional) pompous asshole. That’s what Prokop is. Just read this section from a post to No Jitter last year:
Erstwhile “telecom” professionals must be as well-versed in SANs and DHCP as they are in PRI and DTMF.
Out in the blue, this guy throws abbreviations, sure a professional should know what those mean, but when you read on, you’ll see his pompous rear-endery
I can be pretty blunt at times.
You’d think? I bet you would meet the Asperger’s Syndrome criteria out of the box!
Case in point: A few years ago I was invited to meet with the telephone administrator for a medium-sized business. I didn’t know that much about the communications system she managed, so I did what I always do in those situations. I asked for a tour of the facilities and peppered her with questions about what I saw.
“What version of call processing software are you running? When was the last time you upgraded the processors? Is your firmware up to date.
Um, question mark, you forgot to proofread your copy?
How may IP stations have you rolled out? What’s your mobility strategy? Do your users have access to video and instant message?”
Over the years, I have learned to not be terribly surprised when I run across vintage software and hardware, but this particular company was practically in the dark ages. There were far too many analog lines than I cared to count, and they had yet to implement a single IP endpoint.
When I asked her why, her response was this: “My people don’t need anything beyond dial tone.”
And why shouldn’t she? It’s hard to find an administrator that looks out for her end users. Maybe they are happy, who in Gawds name is Prokop insisting she’s wrong? You’re not a salesman Prokop!
As disappointing as the comment was, the look of pride on her face was even more disturbing. She clearly found great satisfaction in denying her users access to new forms of communication.
Says who? Did you talk to any end users? Where are the editors?! Oh wait, they spent more time emailing me from my Disqus account without my permission and carbon copying other people (w/out my consent!) and even had the audacity to call me “Steve” like I’m their peer or something like that.
As I am apt to do when I encounter people like this, I threw out all decorum, looked her in the eye,
If this was an Avaya shop, I’d be activating crisis-alert and be calling the cops because I’d be scared for my life…
and said, “Do you want to have a job in five years? Because at this rate, you haven’t much of a future in this industry.”
Police! A white collared man is threatening me my job, this werirdo Prokop man, oh my god he wants to kill my carrer! Come and put this douchebag to jail! Seriously, this man must be threatening if he is writing this stuff!
To quote Jason, here’s the reason why some sites aren’t going to IP… to put some balance to this biased crap (and no it has nothing to do with set design, or whathave you):
Without data to back it up, I’d assume that Avaya was trying to get out of digital land, but too many users like us don’t have the infrastructure to support two CAT-5’s to the desk. One CAT-5 and the embedded switch? That’s just asking for trouble. The 1416 is a nice fit for those who prefer paper labels, who don’t want to spend a fortune for each terminal, and who aren’t interested in going IP. Developed for IPO, but certainly very comfortable on CM.
Just as a small aside, we have other reasons for not going full IP (such as no DHCP, just don’t ask…). We did a cost analysis for a typical branch, and to have a gateway with local survivability, POE to the desk for the phones, and IP handsets was actually a larger investment for many small branches than the same gateway with digital. If local survivability and no analog devices isn’t important, than pure IP is way cheaper. (And in our experience, a royal headache!)
I bet Prokop would say something like Jason doesn’t understand full TCP/IP networking and therefore not embracing such futuristic technology, he’s stubbornly chosen to stick with the past because he’s a closed minded grumpy old man who can’t embrace change.
This is why I LOATHE Nortel!
The comparison to IT guys and Nortel are really not that different, read another post from the said dude:
No matter what, ignorance is not bliss, and as quaint as Grandma’s old telephone might be, enterprise communications is no place for quaint.
Pardon my French, but this guy is a clear asshole.
My wife’s grandparents, Arnold and Edna, lived in a huge Victorian era house in the sleepy Mississippi River town of Red Wing, Minnesota. Built in 1865, the house is located a few blocks from downtown Red Wing and a short walk from the banks of the river. The ceilings are high and the closets are small, but it has the charm and sturdy construction of a bygone age.
Sadly, they both passed away many years ago, but their youngest son now owns the house and has kept it almost exactly as it was when Edna died in 1993. It has the same furniture, kitchen utensils, and wallpaper. There are no new books on the bookshelves, and even the photographs pinned to the bulletin board in the kitchen haven’t changed in nearly 30 years. Walking through the front door is like walking through a time portal to a world that has otherwise ceased to exist.
Perhaps the most glaring relic of the past is the telephone that sits on a table just inside the entryway…
While he shows an old 500 telset, he then speaks to the Millenial audience assuming they don’t know what this phone is or how it works then starts to claim that many went to Touch Tone around the time and verbally assaulting the age of the set as old as the phone company. (How can that NOT be agism?)
Now I need my Tylenol for this next section
I am constantly amazed at how that old telephony gear just keeps humming along. Can you imagine using the same PC for 50+ years? How about your cell phone? When the average cell phone contract is two years, waiting half a century for an upgrade would be as rare as a unicorn spotting.
Well I like to keep things the same as long as I can, apparently these PC people are like couples that get bored in relationships because the sex life isn’t as hot as it was the first time around…
So, why is it not that uncommon for me to walk into a place of business and find a Nortel 2616 digital telephone on the receptionist’s desk? My goodness, I had this same model on my desk 25 years ago. Sure, it was a fine telephone back in the day, but the last time I checked, this isn’t 1990. This is 2014, and you wouldn’t dream of using a PC of a similar vintage, would you?
For the love of Christ, Who cares!? Even 95% of the telecom pros could care less of the age! No one but 9 people in North America is looking at the bottom of the set and say “oh this set is 1990, exactly 25 years old, Oh My Gawd how ‘old’ this set is!” Again, people with Asperger’s category would be so afixed to years and age relevance. Gag me, Please!
Here’s the problem. A lot of that old technology was built to last.
Why is that so scandalous, I guess in “group think” world of Political Correctness that shares the same initials as the Personal Computer you must evolve the latter the same way as the former?
The earliest providers of enterprise communications can trace their roots back to AT&T and the Bell Operating Companies where the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 40 years or longer. Want proof? How about Grandma’s telephone? It’s outlived 10 or 11 presidents and shows no sign of slowing down.
Then Prokop’s sexism comes back into play:
There is a big problem with this built-to-last technology, however. It breeds ignorance. Do you remember the woman I referenced in my article, “The Reinvention of the Telecom Professional?” She was a gazillion releases back because she felt that her people didn’t need anything beyond dial tone. That ignorance, as well as her prideful stubbornness, kept her company in the dark ages.
In journalism, they encourage avoiding to use prejoratives, and yet he describes a person as a woman, like he hates women. The last sentence again shows how he has a lack of tolerance for people who choose to use a certain technology the way they want it. Never Andrew Prokop did technology ever dictate how we are supposed to use it and for how long. Want to live in the Orwellian era, go ahead!
Does that mean that we need every new bell and whistle that comes along? No, but to ignore presence, integrated messaging, click-to-call, directory dialing, video, remote endpoints, soft clients, and every other modern day communications enhancement is worse than ignorance. It’s downright destructive to productivity, profits, competitiveness, and employee retention. Do you think that the best and brightest are willing to put up with Grandma’s telephone? I think not.
Hey, Andy, Get a life! Evangelism is just like the religious sense, you have no creditability you sad little man!
I guess Prokop doesn’t like history because it’s so offensive to think backwards, or not politically sexy. Politically I mean the view of technology and how it’s supposed to be used by one creepy man. Wouldn’t it be murder on the first degree to I dunno call a technology outdated when outside this man’s little world is still using, dare I say it “tried and true” technology?
I can’t end this post without another little inappropriate for business professional peer relationships with his recent post on E911
If I’ve learned one thing from this industry, it’s that everything changes. What you thought was the best way to do something will one day be seen as outdated and wrong. Don’t keep up with changing technologies and you will be obsolete quicker than you can say software-defined network.
Telecom didn’t change as fast as the PC, but we’ll leave it at that.
Now to my frozen mudslide after writing this crap! 😛