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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Counterproductive Productivity

After a discussion with a co-worker today, I got to thinking about the artificial walls we're building as we outsource while technology continues to get more integrated. It seems counterproductive.

Programmability and "software-defined" are the latest buzzwords, with vendors providing Application Program Interfaces (API) for integration. But integration points expose only the bare minimum for stable operations. This cause is two-fold: to protect their internal systems as well as limit the non-standard use cases and allow the provider economy of scale. The effect can dramatically limit the options for creative, innovative interoperability.

Can a VoIP vendor offer third-party instant messaging integration; "yes". Will a provider reselling that vendor's system as a service permit third-party instant messaging integration? Maybe not, if their model doesn't include that third-party or they can't measure and thus charge per IM. And that limits what the consumer can due with the service.

I always say the technology is not the limiting factor; we can do anything with technology. Especially someone like me - tenacious, wide skill set, master of none, but I have enough tools in the toolbox to figure something out. If I can't find a hammer I can use a crowbar creatively to pound something into place.

But with a managed service where the vendor is providing the toolbox, maybe all they offer you is a hammer, and then you know, "everything starts to look like a nail."

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