For the record, this blog is 100 percent people-ready

28 Mar

Doubtless as you’ve read my recent entries, you’ve been shouting at the screen, “Wade! Why on earth are you not posting about the Microsoft ‘people-ready business’ marketing campaign?” Well, it’s because I’ve been working on the Microsoft “people-ready business” campaign. Just a couple or three brochures and some other collateral, but every one of ’em was written in blood and sweat.

If you’re still shouting at your screen, you’re probably saying, “Wade! What the hell does ‘people-ready’ even mean?” This is a fair question. Are businesses suddenly in danger of forgetting that their success relies not upon desks, chairs, pencil sharpeners, and lighting fixtures, but their employees? What’s the point of all this?

After giving it much thought, I think – keeping in mind that my opinion does not reflect those of Microsoft or my employer – that the “people-ready business” messaging boils down to the old computing maxim, “Garbage in, garbage out.”

I’ve worked at companies where managers tried to fix problems by throwing computers at them. I’ve also worked at companies where, when a manager demanded a new system, the IT department said, “Certainly. First, we’ll work with you to thoroughly evaluate your processes and make sure we both understand how people are using the system now. Then we can determine whether a new solution is needed, and what form it should take.” The second approach was a resounding success. The first…mneh.

Some post-event buzz suggests that Microsoft still has some work to do in making their message clear, and tying it to their products and services:

Gartner: Microsoft’s ‘People-Ready’ Campaign Offers New Opportunity
In Microsoft’s “Live” announcement of October 2005, the company laid out strategic promises with significant potential, representing fresh new thinking. At the People-Ready event, there wasn’t enough fresh new thinking. The primary message delivered was a classic Windows- and product-centric view that emphasized the value of integrated Microsoft products. We believe that business executives wary of hype might have responded more enthusiastically to Microsoft commitments to automatically and transparently slip stream improvements into the technology without requiring major technology refresh cycles. (more)

Forbes: Microsoft Vista: Not ‘People Ready’
…Microsoft has ginned up a new slogan, “People Ready,” which apparently is meant to describe its software, or maybe it describes companies that use its software, or whatever. Who knows? It’s one of those phrases that means anything, and so means nothing. Who makes this stuff up? Do they actually pay this person? And is Microsoft just figuring out now that its programs are used by–gasp–people? (more)

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