Emulate what, exactly?
HP and its users heat up Vegas again

Tell HP about your satisfaction

If your company is among those which still consider HP to be an important partner, you might be on the road next week. HP launches its annual HP Technology Forum in Las Vegas on Monday. The content for the conference is a shared endeavor between HP and the four user groups uniting as Connect. The user groups are conducting the usual annual survey of satisfaction with HP.

There is not much direct HP 3000 content at next week's conference, but HP is bringing its executives to listen to the customers who do attend. The user groups' Worldwide Customer Survey is a means to bring your measure of HP's success to the notice of the vendor's representatives.

It will serve little but a yen for nostalgia to recall the days of an HP Roundtable at such meetings, the ones operated by Interex. Customers stood at microphones and related stories of HP's shortcomings, the kind of upbraiding which IBM still takes in stride at the annual COMMON conference for its enterprise iSeries (AS/400) community. Things changed for the better, or not — but people who spoke up felt heard and acknowledged.

A Web survey takes the place of those broadsides, public speech which HP dismissed in its support of the Technology Forum as an alternative to those HP World and Interex meetings. "No more hockey fights" was HP VP David Parsons' vow, meaning you now must communicate with HP as a partner or a customer, not a combatant. However, the survey of today is a means of advocacy. You can take it at www.hpadvocacysurvey.org. Be sure to complete it by June 26.

Encompass (and Connect) president Nina Buik says the survey results have been presented to HP's top managers for review and recommendations:

Last year, the survey management team spent a full-day reporting the results of the survey to nearly 100 HP executives and decision-makers. Several of the recommendations from previous surveys have been implemented to the collective benefit of all HP users.

Taking the survey takes a little while, with some questions spanning a great range of topics. For example, you're to judge on a 1-10 scale ten different aspects of your satisfaction with Hewlett-Packard. And don't try to skip any questions, either. The survey will highlight the aspects you haven't responded to.

On the other hand, you can suspend your response and come back to it using a system-generated PIN. If you want to be heard, take the survey. It's less costly than making a trip to Las Vegas, even if you don't get the chance for a 1-on-1 meeting with an executive who can make a promise about a problem.