Wednesday, December 30, 2009

IBM prefers MS Word ...

I don't like making posts like this but I figure its the most effective way of embarrassing IBM into actually doing something about fixing up its archaic and poorly maintained web site.

I recently passed my certification exams for R8.5 System Administration and Application Development and sought to claim the exam fees back from IBM under the 'You Pass - We Pay' benefit included with my annual IBM/Lotus Partner fees.

If you google IBM + 'You Pass - We Pay' and select the second document displayed "You Pass/We Pay Reimbursement Claim Form", then you wind up with a claim form and claim process valid for January 1st, 2000 to June 30th, 2001 complete with fax numbers ... what's a fax number used for again? Don't remind me!

Even worse than that is the fact that there is no way to navigate to the 2009 claim form. Having fought with IBM's web site before, I knew enough to admit defeat early in the game. I logged into Partnerworld and traced through the menus until I found the screen offering me a download of the current claim form in Lotus Wordpro or Microsoft Word format.

Sorry guys... I use Lotus Symphony. It's a great product that's been available for a couple of years now and I really think you guys at IBM should try it out sometime soon. Now since I don't have a copy of Wordpro or Microsoft Word and your document won't load in WordPad (see error below) then can someone tell me how I can claim back my exam fees?

Shame on you IBM - go and fix up your own backyard.


Anonymous said...

Open that word document in Symphony.

Graham Dodge said...

The Word document is corrupt - note the error message. I'm sure we'll sort out the fee refund somehow and I've already sent off an email to Partnerworld to fix the problem.

My main question is when IBM will start using Symphony to maintain internal documentation.

Vitor Pereira said...

Are the certificates still signed by Mike Rhodin? They were just a couple months ago and Mike moved away from Lotus in early 2008.

Anonymous said...

It will take some time but eventually IBM will straighten this out. The same counts for the massive adoption of Lotus Symphony within the company. I am confident it'll happen, just as the change you would like to see on the web-page mentioned :)

Anonymous said...

Lotus Symphony does not have a native document format. Rather, it supports Open Document Format (the default) as well as MS Office and Smartsuite.

Using a provocative title like "IBM prefers MS Word..." is trolling of the lowest order.

Graham Dodge said...

From Wikipedia...
"In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

My post is inflammatory perhaps but certainly not extraneous, or off-topic and since my primary intent is to prod IBM into fixing up their woeful website then it hardly qualifies as trolling. Even IF it were trolling (which I dispute) then I can easily think of much lower levels of that activity.

On the other hand, people who post accusatory comments using an 'Anonymous' identity are hardly doing their bit to create a cohesive Lotus community.

Scott Seipold said...

Graham -

Thank you for bringing these "You Pass, We Pay" Web site problems to our attention.

I repeated your search and located 3 old orphan documents in addition to the one you reported. All 4 documents have now been removed from our server.

The Lotus WordPro and MS Word forms on our current site (accessible from your first Google search result) will be replaced by an updated PDF within a few days. We are using PDF instead of Symphony because the form is intended to be printed for signature without editing.

We accept YPWP claim submissions via e-mail, fax or mail. Fax is useful for those who do not have the ability to scan the paper certificates and receipts that must accompany the claim.

To avoid further delay, I am emailing you the revised claim form in both Symphony and PDF formats. Instructions are included in the form.

Please reply directly to my e-mail if you have any questions.


Scott Seipold
IBM YPWP Business Owner

Alex said...

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