Telecom alienates everyone

It must suck to work at Telecom at the moment. Let's say you're working in a bit of with a good product that people would want and could be delivered at a price they could pay.

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Pardon my French

- Sexium the names up

- Telecom alienates everyone

Now be fair... we’re just testing your mail filters

When I was little, we didn’t have all these poncy-noncy schools and teachers and rubbish. That was a bit of a problem when it came to learning things, like English, but luckily my mate nicked a few Derek and Clive records and that sorted that.

- Worst Job I’ve Ever Had

- Smashed

- The Prince of Whales

- Unreported Jesus

- The Fireman Song

[You’re f***ing fired for putting all those f***ing horrible clips in the f***ing F-U! C**t! – Ed)

Sexium the names up

Big corporations are funny things, aren’t they? They’re like these huge golems, almost alive but not quite. As a result, they do and say really peculiar things that you and I wouldn’t do because, well, it’d be silly.

Nowhere is this peculiar stuff more readily apparent than in the marketing departments of said big corporations. Their engineers might come up with a really good product – don’t laugh, it does happen even in large companies – but what do the marketroids do? They give it a silly name of course.

I’m back from an Intel do in Sydney, where the vPro platform thing was shown off to a bunch of journalists. It looks pretty interesting from a technology point of view, but the name… doesn’t quite work, does it? You think of shampoo (Pro-V) and I wonder if the Dutch Vrijzinnig Protestantse Radio Omroep, the first broadcaster in the Pays-Bas to show a naked woman on TV, is happy to have its name appropriated by a US electronics giant.

vPro in the Intel context doesn’t mean anything. I know, because I asked.

Intel isn’t as bad as Microsoft with its OneCare names like, you know, Windows and Bob, but what does it do after finally coming up with a processor that not only matches but surpasses rival AMD in performance? It names it something people can’t remember or work out what it stands for of course. Core 2 Duo. What does that name signify to you? Nothing? You’re not alone. Intel marketroids outside the US HQ are complaining bitterly that it’s nigh impossible to make people remember that name, so instead the code name Conroe is used.

But, they’ve got themselves to blame really. If Intel had called me before launching the Core-something, I’d have told them just that. You can’t remember the name and it doesn’t say what the processor does.

In fact, there was a slide in the presentation that said the Core-thing was the new Pentium. Now the Pentium, which means Fiveium in Latin, came after the 8086, 80186, 80286, 80386 and i486 but the 80’s stuff got dropped because numbers couldn’t be trademarked, so it was all real names after that. However, Intel was too coy to take Pentium to its logical naming conclusion and instead we got Pentium II, III, 4 and all the weirdo numbers like D820 that nobody can decipher.

We’re well past the danger stage in the naming stakes for Intel, which is Sexium, and could move onto Septium, Octium, Nonium and Decium or something. People can remember and relate to those names, and all it would’ve taken is a call to the F-U Marketing Conslutancy and Long Lunches Ltd and that would’ve been that. Success all round.

Come to think of it, if Intel had called me say a year or so before Conroe was launched, asking if it was a good idea to get it onto market early, I’d have told them “yes, it is”. Now they didn’t call me and waited a dog’s age to get the new processor out. While waiting, AMD ate its lunch and now around 10,000 people will be fired. That’s what happens when you don’t call me.


- Intel vPro

- Intel announces layoffs, reorganisation

Telecom alienates everyone

It must suck to work at Telecom at the moment. Let’s say you’re working in a bit of with a good product that people would want and could be delivered at a price they could pay. ADSL was one of those Telecom departments when it first started, staffed with people excited about what the new technology would bring. However, the ADSL people were soon castrated and forced to do march in step with the rest of Telecom, to a tune the telco’s beancounters liked, but which hurt its customers’ ears – and wallets.

That’s one of the fundamental issues that Telecom is refusing to countenance: after years of arrogance and high-handedness, people can’t stand them.

After Cunliffe whacked Telecom with a regulatory clue-by-four, you’d think that the Telecom board and Gattung in particular would pay attention to this groundswell of revulsion and do something about it. But… no. Instead, I see that Gattung, Ratcliffe and Bogoievsky went in front of the Parliamentary Select Committee and burnt just about the only support Telecom had in the House.

The Herald reports that Gattung was “defiant and unapologetic” which is hardly the right attitude to take when your company’s about to get a right regulatory rogering. Worse yet for Telecom, Gattung and Co made National’s John Key “furious” over the lack of accounting detail in its proposed business separation model, the one it says is preferable to the BT one.

That leaves… let’s see… ACT’s Rodney Hide as Telecom’s dancing partner in Parliament. Good work there!

- Defiant Gattung puts cards on the table

“She was flanked by her key executives, defiant, hands firmly clasped across her chest.” Oo-err!

- Telecom proposal weak, says advocate

- Telecom share options abandoned

- Gattung's $2.9m pay survives Telecom turmoil

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