One reason I give Fast Search & Transfer a hard time is that I don’t like their communications strategy. For example, during their recent and ongoing financial travails there has been way too much “happy talk” in their communications for my taste.
They irked me again today with this press release. When I read the headline — silly me — I thought they’d launched a new knowledge management solution, or maybe a whole line of them.
Here’s the headline:
Knowledge Management As We Know It Is Over: FAST Delivers Next Generation Search-Powered Information Discovery Solutions For Enterprise 2.0
Yes, it’s wordy (20 words) and even more buzz-wordy (e.g., next-generation, search-powered, enterprise 2.0). But at least, when stripped of the hyperbole, it seemed clear. Fast was announcing a new series of knowledge management solutions.
Or were they? Let’s read the lead paragraph of the body copy to find out:
Fast Search & Transfer, the leading provider of search technologies, today announced that one of the largest European IT services providers, TietoEnator, has gone live with their intranet solution powered by the award-winning FAST Enterprise Search Platform.
Huh? So a company I’ve never heard of, that’s got more vowels than a Greek wedding program, has deployed Fast’s core product. But what’s that have to do with redefining knowledge management and delivering enterprise 2.0 solutions that change knowledge management, forever?
Not much, it turns out.
We later learn that TietoEnator is not purely an end-user customer. They’re an implementation partner who decided to use the technology internally. This isn’t bad mind you, but it’s not as credible as an end-user customer. An implementation partner, after all, is incented to help you get more implementations.
And if credibility comes from clarity, this not-so-pithy CTO quote doesn’t do much to help:
“During the next five years, we will see more and more organizations shift their investments away from legacy knowledge management and towards Enterprise 2.0, enterprise search, information discovery, and other tools, technologies, practices, and processes that allow for emergent work patterns to form in a vibrant ‘learning organization.’”
Finally, since we now know it’s a customer press release — and not a solutions announcement — it’s always good practice to factor in the health of the customer that you’re promoting. After all, you wouldn’t want to promote Nike’s use of your supply chain software right after they missed a quarter due to a major inventory problem.
So what’s TietoEnator up to of late — let’s look at this three-week-old release: TietoEnator revises full-year profitability guidance, renews strategy and changes CEO.