This is the first of a series of post I plan to deliver on a monthly basis. I call them, “the Author Comments”. All of them will be my personal opinion regarding some aspects of the market, BMC, companies or other stuff.
This month I will express my opinion about the way BMC handles the documentation about its products.
If you are outside the BMC network (partners, costumers, consultants, ..,) you have surely realize how difficult is to obtain the official documentation about BMC products. BMC offers all the documentation related to its products through its web site, requiring you a granted login. You can create an account for free, but if this account is not related to a customer or partnership, then you won’t have access to all the documentation.
It’s normal to reduce the support line to maintained customers. It’s normal to reduce the download access to only your contracted products. But the documentation, I think that must be of free distribution. BMC is loosing a bit opportunity of spreading the number of specialist by restricting the access to this documentation. Imagine this situation: I’m an unemployed programmer, and I see an opportunity as a Remedy admin or developer. How can I access to the documentation? Am I required to pay a costly train? There is no way for these people to access to this knowledge. So, I think that it is a bad policy.
Another case, I’m considering to acquire Remedy. I want to make an study. The most illustrative documentation about the product are the manuals. But you can’t access them. Yes, you can apply for a test license, but it is limited in time. Once the time passed, you’re out.
And finally you have bought a license, but don’t maintain it. I think that you have the right to access the documentation related to your product (it’s the same case as when you buy some hardware, you can always download the manual from the web site, including when you are not supported by the manufacturer).
I go beyond, If you don’t pay the maintenance you loose the right of downloading the hot-fixes. You have bough a defective product, and you don’t have any guarantee!! Imaging Microsoft forcing its customers to pay a monthly fee to enable the updates.
BMC, take a look at other software selling models. Let users to freely download your software if not intended for production. Give free access to documentation. Don’t be so afraid of piracy. A developer installing a virtual machine of your product is not a pirate, is an ally. Think about it.