Monday, March 16, 2009

we are siamese

Remember the SIAM model? It's still relatively popular among white paper writers (read: those lame attempts at product positioning papers that litter the floors of hotel rooms after trade shows). BTW, what ever happened to the white paper as a legitimate genre? We still teach it in professional communications courses, but industry has bastardized it to a point of inconsequential presence within the range of professional and business communication genres. Toll the bell for the white paper.

Back to the SIAM model. The systems criteria of serviceability, interoperability, accessability and manageability are as relevant today as they were with the first three-tiered client server systems. In fact, you could argue that the criteria have been applied, in varying degrees of maturity and necessity, to all modern technologies. That claim aside, I've found the model useful as a baseline set of criteria for an evaluative tool we're developing to identify and rate duplicate technologies and services on campus.

The first pass of the tool was cumbersome and dense, mostly due to my inability to explain the basic principle and use of the tool to our small group of extremely smart technologists. I think with some additional tweaking and the appropriate amount of contextualization, we're going to find that good ol' SIAM is a solid place to start our evaluation and an excellent foundation from which we can depart for a more refined analysis.

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