Open letter to Carly Fiorina, November 7, 2003 Back to Letters

re:, an article on how hp needed to improve communications between customers, the field sales force, and the product design people.

for three or four years before i retired [in June, 2002] i tried to convince three or four layers of your management team that that was extremely important to hp, and got the idea shoved where the sun doesn't shine.

it really pisses me off to read this kind of quote coming from you now, after years of trying to get your management to see the point of it.

i created a "paradigm" application which would have bolted into Microsoft Outlook and, by response from many potential users, "have saved each one of them about 1-3 hours of wasted effort every day."

and NOT ONE OF YOUR MANAGERS could see the point or value of it, nor were they willing to put $50,000 of seed money into initial development into the tool.

multiply two hours per day times a few hundred users, maybe more..., times fully loaded cost of marketing-types, times several years.

and they had no interest, and now you're in print, espousing the concept.

how brilliant of you.

when i designed the tool, i examined my own business process and how it related to the people i worked with. i found gaps in the process which killed our efficiency. my little software add-in would have not only improved communication of information between three or four islands of information, it would have also become a knowledge repository for information normally lost when people leave the company, change jobs, or in the Carly Era, get WFR'd.

no interest in it.

i repeatedly asked the people working on the CRM projects to show me how my organization fit into the CRM package, and how we could specify information fields for the data-gathering portion of it which would have been vital to us. the CRM people repeatedly told me "go here and look, or click on this link," but there was never anything there to see. they didn't see the point at all. losers.

you can see what's happened with that, since the Oracle CRM has been scuttled, for lack of success.

it's your choice. you can listen or not. up to now, your choice has been clear and the success of hp has reflected it.

Alan Falk

First rev: 11.07.2003