"Besieged by Vendors" [August 2006 issue] was a great article. Prospecting isn't what it used to be. Somehow sales managers believe it's still a numbers game and call anyone to get a sale. What a waste of time and talent.
As I read your article, it occurred to me that CIOs could leverage some of their e-commerce savvy by publishing their wish list to a site and inviting prospective vendors to propose solutions. It might encourage more innovation in solving business problems. There. I just needed a diversion for a few minutes before I get back to my cold calls.
"Besieged by Vendors" was an absolutely spot-on article. I'm constantly amazed that cold callers make any sales. But the thing that really gets me is that I've had vendors become downright nasty with me if I politely turn them down.
So I employed the first solution of not going it alone: I have my administrative assistant take all vendor calls. We lovingly refer to her as the pit bull. Nobody gets by her -- nobody. The system works well, and she always has a funny story about an overzealous caller.
Rudolph and Sletten
Redwood City, Calif.
I find Bob Wittig's decision to ditch SpamAssassin (not Linux, as the article states, since SpamAssassin runs on anything Perl runs on) indicative of a larger problem in corporate IT [see "Shelving Linux, Canning Spam," August issue]. Rather than hiring competent staff to configure the application correctly, Wittig paid $29,000 for an out-of-the-box solution. For that kind of money, he could have trained his e-mail administrators, which would have been a wiser long-term investment.
And while I'm no fan of Exchange, the decision to avoid implementing the software because it is "subject to viruses and malware" is patently false. If Wittig is as concerned about malware as he says, he should investigate securing (or replacing) his email client instead.
I find the article title sensational and its content misleading to other nontechnical IT managers. I'll admit, it's hard to find a shop that's moving away from Linux and toward Windows on back-end apps like mail transfer agents, but that doesn't mean it's news when you find one.
Senior Systems Administrator
CIO Decisions responds: Bob Wittig stands by his decision to go with ModusMail. Independent Electric Supply has a network administrator, but Wittig didn't want the administrator to spend his entire workday training the software to filter spam accurately. Wittig also believes that his one-time investment of $29,000 was a wiser choice than hiring an email administrator, which would cost more than $29,000 annually.
I received my latest copy of CIO Decisions, and it is full of so many interesting articles, I don't even know where to begin reading. I wanted to say thank you for publishing such a wonderful magazine. Keep up the good work.
Antelope Valley Hospital
I am an avid reader of CIO Decisions and especially enjoy Thornton May's CIO Habitat. I regularly attend the CIO Solutions Gallery, which May founded. Thanks, and keep up the great work.
Douglas R. Foster
Director of IT
Elmer's Products Inc.
On page 1 of our August issue, photographer John Johnston's name was misspelled; on page 28, the photo credit should read, "Photographer Joshua Paul. All other photos by John Johnston."
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This was first published in October 2006