I wrote this blog out of deep frustration:
It went pretty far, pretty fast out into the techno grapevine- as evidenced by the fast-climbing blog stats, public and private feedback from others feeling similar HPE/Aruba pain, and the rather rapid response to my actual problem. So, I complained and something got fixed- victory is mine, no?
It’s not that simple. I pulled the blog down because I actually felt bad for a handful of folks that I care about, as they are left looking at my words born of frustration applied to a situation that THEY know sucks and can’t fix themselves.
Because the blog is down, let me summarize with less rancor for anyone who missed it why I put on my Mean Hat and purposefully used Words That Hurt.
- Market leaders need to act like market leaders. If you buy a company that has it’s act together, you better have your own act together when it comes to the customers that you also bought. HPE has failed here in terms of their support portal and related issues in my opinion, based on my experiences.
- There’s something wrong when everybody you deal with- as in everybody– from VAR to SEs to senior support to corporate folks all apologize repeatedly (and sincerely) on behalf of a process that is out of their hands and that leads to support being unavailable when you most need it.
- Being a customer of a big networking company is not a privilege, despite big companies trying to foster that mindset through various glitzy conferences and marketing programs. This is pay-to-play, like any business. In a perfect world, everyone involved benefits from the relationship. But in the end, its the customer dollars that pay for all of that warm-fuzzy-infomercial-feeling stuff- AND the expectation that when we need the very support we bought, that it will be available without jumping through hoops. Deny us that, and priorities feel seriously out of whack.
- As I mentioned in the blog that you can no longer access, I figure I’m down almost a man-week (or in my case, a rugged, manly man-week) all told since Aruba was ingested by HPE just trying to get access to the support that we paid for. Hence, my TCO now looks like (WHATEVER WE PAID ALONG THE WAY + 40 HOURS OF TIME BETTER SPENT ON REAL WORK).
- Some of us do not have time to donate to vendor screw-ups. We don’t tolerate wasted time, hidden costs, or inflated TCO. Throw any or all at us and expect the fangs come out if we’ve been burned too often. We have to account for our own time to our own managers, and too much in the “wasted” category might mean we made a poor vendor choice.
So I had a lot on my mind when I penned the now-down blog. But as I interacted with essentially anyone and everyone who either fixed the situation, voiced support for my opinions, or shared that they agree and are doing everything they can to get through whatever odd force is at work at HPE that has led to “we’re still working on trying to integrate the Aruba stuff” this long after the early 2015 acquisition, I came to realize that these people are all as much on the losing end as customers like me are. Each of them had a good thing going when Aruba was just Aruba, and have been waiting for HPE to finally get it right. (And I hope they do, I harbor no ill will beyond not wanting to be jerked around.)
The blog came down simply to not heap insult on their injuries.
Through the processes and communications tied to all of this, I’m pretty sure that I heard (as did others- voiced in numerous conversations) that soon HPE will be restoring the Aruba support portal to being it’s own thing again. Hopefully that really does happen, and it gets handled right, for everyone’s benefit.