Kid Gloves from MVPs?

I recently read Dan English’s great post regarding On-Premise Power BI and the overall MSBI on-premise deployment option and roadmap. In short, Power BI on-premises won’t be available until the next release of SQL Server, whenever that is, despite significant and recent (MS Ignite) suggestion that it would be. Dan mentions the Pyramid BI Office communication as a related example and, in the same vein of mismanaging communication and expectations, this also falls into the pattern of Power Query integration (or lack thereof) that I’ve mentioned several times.

PowerQuery for SSAS and SSRS

Dan has done 100X more in MSBI than I have but like him, overall I feel great about the SQL and Power BI teams, where the products are currently, and where they’re going. Riccardo Muti’s SSRS blog post mention of Excel Online support in the next release SSRS Native is particularly encouraging – I previously wrote in my SQL 16 Wish List blog “Why is Excel being left out of MSBI symmetry plans?” (Fair question, right?)

What struck me most about Dan’s post, however, was the effort he put into explaining that he is and remains a ‘huge Microsoft fan’. (Also like Dan, I still own a Windows Phone too (but use an iPhone)).

It reminded of the following two tweets I saw from Thomas LaRock:

kid-gloves2

kid-gloves

I’m not an MVP and thus have no idea what exactly was communicated at the recent MVP Summit but I’m beginning to form the conclusion that part of the price Microsoft is charging for their MVP award is a very high level of loyalty and support, even when issues and delays like on-premise Power BI and Power Query integration happen.

I hope I’m wrong (Dan, Thomas or other MVPs are welcome to correct me) – I’d like to think (and have thought) that Microsoft MVP represents expertise in your domain and contributions to the field and community. The painful question arises: “Does MS allow MVPs to maintain an objective perspective (ie features, cost, timelines, etc) on MSBI products  and occasionally express legitimate doubts and concerns?”

Especially for the features that cut across product teams I’m sure the complexity is tremendous and I DO have empathy for that. (One of the top challenges in BI is that it cuts across business and IT teams) However, if MS has taken this approach with MVPs, it would be much more disappointing than the product delays themselves. To my mind it would be like a government telling (or implying to) several top news media companies that you either publish positive stories or you’ll be ignored and/or blacklisted in some way – you’d lose respect for that government and confidence in your news pretty quickly.

Furthermore, I think it’s criticism of ourselves and everything around us that helps to move things forward – it’s a genuine desire for something better, not an intent to shame or hurt anyone. Certainly you can go to far but Microsoft, whether its James Phillips or Kamal Hathi or whoever it is, someone has to be held accountable when words and marketing on top and important features do not align with realities and relationships with customers are impacted.

Kid Gloves for Microsoft??? Really?

018001_red_kids_magic_gloves_l

 

 

2 comments

  1. Great post and yes, I agree, Power Query was another item that was mentioned early on in SQL 2016 as it was being developed. Unfortunately it didn’t make it. I would expect to see a tighter integration with SQL v.Next, there were just other items that the teams had to focus on and like any other company Microsoft has to battle resource constraints. Based on articles it sounds like we can expect SQL v.Next mid-2017 and the SSRS team should be posting a blog tomorrow (Monday) to officially state the on-premise communication. Previously it has only been stated at a conference session and in some blog and forum comments. And MVPs can definitely state their opinions, we just need to do so in a matter that is respectful, we need to consider the perspective of the developing teams and customer demand. The SQL team is by far one of the best communities and they are always available for us to communicate with and provide us feedback, suggestions, and roadmap. All we can do is continue to voice our feedback, post items in the communication voice, connect, and the ideas for Power BI. The teams closely monitor these items and focus on the ones that get the votes. Thanks and continue to post your content, great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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