Business Partner Locator

Was entering IBM Partnerworld today when I noticed the link to the Business Partner Locator. As I had heard someone complain about the fact that finding BP’s through the IBM site was rather laborious and outdated and that they couldn’t even find all BP’s in there, I decided to check it out and clicked the link.

“Business Partner Connections has been replaced by the new and enhanced Business Partner Locator. You will be redirected in a moment, please update your bookmarks”

Mmm, ok, apparently this site recently changed. Not that I’m interested in knowing that, I’m clicking a direct link so just forward me to the new site. It would be different if I was using a bookmark, but I’m not! I’m directly clicking a link on the IBM Partnerworld homepage so how difficult is it to change that link itself?

The site opens and the first thing I see there is:

“Finding the right Business Partner just got simpler!”

Good! Apparently someone figured it needed some updating as well and decided to spruce it up.

The site itself seems relatively easy. A dropdown box on the left  to select a country, some text helping Customers & BP’s  and a demo link on the right.

Now, I’m a visually oriented person. So when I see something like this and I’m trying to orient myself, my eyes automatically draw to the Demo link. It’s big, it’s in an important spot and looks as if it’s a video. I love vids, so I click it….. and regret it

It turns out to be a full length demo in 13 stages. Illustrated by the impressive Table of Contents on the left…..  My god how difficult is this tool?
So I start and let the video go through the first four screens. Now I’m not a native English speaker but in my ears this guy is articulating as if I’m a three year old and still I find my mind wandering of. Keep it short, please!

I end up at screen 5. “Demo 1: ……”. Again the guy starts talking, welcoming me at the demo part of the video and explaining we will start with a demo about Search criteria.

And then it stops

Yes it actually stops without any explanation. I wonder why. Is it broken? Is my browser crashing??? Is this a demo that would normally be done live and where the guy giving the demo would now switch to his live environment to show something?
No it turns out it’s suppose to do that. I have to scroll down (apparently my 1280*800 screen resolution is not big enough to fit the whole video on one screen) and in the bottom of the screen, below the copyright footer I find a button that I need to click to start the demo part of the demonstration.

??? Am I the only one not finding this very logical? I mean this is why I was actually watching this video in the first place, so why stop it and make me manually restart it to see the most interesting part?!?

So I start the demo and it all got a bit corny by then. I mean listen to the guy and watch the screen and count the amount of times the word ‘Business Partner’ is used either in the text balloons or in the text he’s reading. I’m not listening to what he’s saying at all anymore at this point. Just wondering where this will end up.

Well, at another stop it turns out. Because as soon as this part of the demo ends and the video goes over to screen 6 “Demo 2:……” the same happens again.

Needless to say I didn’t actually watch the whole thing after that. No clue how long it is but I’d say about 20-25 min at least. And all this to explain how to select a country, define some criteria using dropdown boxes and watch the details of a business partner.

So I ditch the video and even though I’m ready to simply chuck it all away and return to the Yellow pages by now, I decide to actually open the tool itself. I must admit: It works and looks pretty nice.

Nice….nice!?! Is that all you have to say after all that?!?

Yes, that’s all. So IBM please drop that video, correct the link, take out that irritating redirect (according to the video it’s been up for weeks anyway) and trust your users. We’re not that stupid.

ps. If you want a real good laugh than please click the “Thank you” entry in the video’s Table of Content after having tried to watch some if not most of the very elaborate video….. Apparently they do know how to be short. :-)

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