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"Are you serious?" or: Dumb things press flaks say

“What we’re doing is providing an enterprise-level product at a price point that’s affordable to the midmarket.”

Or something like that.

This is my life. I take these phone calls all the time. If you’re a CIO or IT manager in the midmarket, you probably do, too.

Sometimes it gets really out of control, as if it can get any more inane that using a phrase like price point instead of the much better option: Price.

“It’s like buying an Audi at Honda prices,” a press flak once told me about the product she was pitching. Alright, I can’t remember the exact car brands, but you see what I mean? Please tell me where this mythical Honda-priced Audi dealership is.

But maybe they’re catching on. The other day I had a briefing with James Thomas, vice president of business intelligence tools at Business Objects, which is “an SAP company.”

Thomas would like all of you to know that Business Objects is ready to go with Edge 3.0, the latest release in its Edge business intelligence product line. Crystal Reports Server 2008, a report management server, is also out.

“So what’s new?” I ask Thomas. This is the part where he’s supposed to tell me about how these products are going to revolutionize business management for the midmarket.

Except he doesn’t. Thomas explains some of the new features. Crystal Reports now lets users embed reports directly into Microsoft Office documents. Nice idea. Makes sense. And certain mobile device applications can now be used to view Edge reports. Reasonable. Intuitive. Simple.

This is by no means an endorsement of these products. For a good rundown of the features and price, check out my colleague Courtney Bjorlin’s report at SearchSAP.com.

So, no, it’s not for me to say if you should buy Business Objects’ new toys. But I can say that I appreciate Thomas not trying to convince me his company just changed the IT world. He’s got a product. He just wanted to talk about it for a minute.

And that, I must say, is a call I don’t mind taking.

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