Cisco & Gartner Censoring ViewYonder

Steve Chambers of Cisco, blogging over at ViewYonder.com, has had one of his recent blog posts censored by his employer, Cisco. This is really too bad. I don’t always agree with Steve’s opinions but I like that they’re out there. As an example, very few people would have the balls to point out that many IT failures are actually because IT people cause those failures. Very true, in my opinion. I’ve even started referring to “MTBC” in conversation.

However, I’m not at all a fan of Cisco, for a few specific reasons, and now I can add censorship to that list.  It’s obvious that Cisco doesn’t want, and cannot handle, passionate employees. Too bad. It’s people like Steve that drive innovation and change, even if they do ruffle a few feathers here and there by questioning the status quo, the assumptions people make, and the BS that exists in the world (including analyst BS).

Of course, a better approach would have been for Gartner to actually participate in the conversation, defending their point of view. But they blew it. It also would have been more effective for Cisco to quietly tell Steve to take it easy. So few people in this world know the value of playing it cool, and not attracting negative attention like this. Now Cisco seems like a bunch of fascists, and Gartner looks like a bunch of idiots that can’t defend their own arguments in a public discussion. Perhaps those arguments are undefendable, after all. Regardless, I wouldn’t listen to a thing Gartner or Cisco have to say about social software or media (or FCoE, from the looks of it).

I’m hoping Steve doesn’t actually decide to shut ViewYonder down, but if Cisco is threatening his job he’s in a terrible spot. Here’s hoping that he can ultimately find a job with a company that appreciates his opinions, talent, and passion.

Continuing the Streisand Effect that PlanetVM and Rod Gabriel started:

I read a brilliant blog post by J Michael Metz today about the recent Gartner report on FCoE by Joe Skorupa.  Of the many great lines and counter arguments in the post, likening Gartner to Chicken Little was comically accurate in my humble opinion, and is a typical analyst response to anything new and innovative: remember the scare stories about virtualization?  If you listened to guys like Joe, would you ever get anything done?

Please go and read the post yourself, but here’s the general outline to give you a flavour:

  • Define your terms – looks like Joe don’t know the difference between DCB and FCoE
  • Learning how to count – convergence increases components!  Does Joe think that virtualization increases physical server counts too?
  • Financial barriers – well, this is crap in crap out.  If you have more stuff (you don’t) then it’s more expensive (it isn’t)
  • Increased complexity – because it’s new?  because the teams, tools aren’t set up for it?
  • Hard to debug – crap in/out again, especially if you don’t understand DCB and FCoE.
  • Sublime to surreal – don’t do it because you might not get the benefit, but don’t rule them out.  What the hell does that mean?
  • Missed opportunities – when you don’t have an axe to grind, nor a hidden agenda, what’s the real opportunity?
  • Myopic strawmen – what about ETS?

Don’t forget that the ten-page Gartner report can be yours for $200.  Yes, that’s $20 a page.  The good times must be back!

If Joe can sell just nine of those reports he might want to invest in this FCoE course.

Thanks, Steve, for what you’ve done so far. In a company I don’t particularly like you’ve been a bright spot, and were changing my mind about them, at least until now.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Bob,
    Great post and another outstanding opinion on this. Unfortunately the people at Gartner who can’t take someone disagreeing with them and at Cisco who can’t take the heat from Gartner probably could care less what people like you and I think about their actions relating to this. Hopefully if more of us let our opinions be known that while it may not help Steve, it may open the eyes of more people in corporate marketing departments to the value of
    open and honest blogging / social networking.

    I encourage everyone who is not happy with the actions of Gartner and Cisco to let them know about it. While there’s a good chance it won’t help Steve it may raise awareness enough to help the next person.

    I let my account rep at Cisco as well as others there know of my displeasure. I am also letting vendors who invite me to events (live or online) with Gartner participation know that I’m not interested in their event because of Gartner’s participation. I guess you could call it a Gartner boycott of sorts.

    It’s not much but it’s better than doing nothing.

    Rod

  • Bob,

    again nice post and this is my first time on this site to comment on any topic.
    Steve had done a good job for explaining the report more than Gartner.

    Pankaj

  • My employer, Cisco, has been pretty awesome. We just had a little hiccup, all done and dusted now. Cisco is not just changing, it is transforming. Give them a fair go, there’s real people behind the signage, and they’re not all bad :-)

    Thanks for your support,
    Steve

    • That’s good to hear! I’m glad you guys are getting it figured out.

  • That’s good to hear! I’m glad you guys are getting it figured out.

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