Nobody does cap-in-hand quite like Avaya...
A year on from its conference in Prague, the networking and convergence vendor that turned up for its 2010 Barcelona partner party is visibly more confident, and yet at the same time remains visibly apologetic.
It's a bit of a disconnect, really. Here, on the one hand, we have a firm that is happy to introduce itself to the bombastic strains of Also spracht Zarathustra, aka the theme to Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, yet at the same time is still sitting naked in the snow, flogging itself with birch twigs.
Avaya's worldwide channel veep Jeremy Butt maintained the contrition today, hammering home the vendor's historical inadequacies, flip flopping between direct and indirect, its regrettable tendency to put in place far too many partner programmes for its own good, and so on.
And this is now starting to have an effect on the channel, as one partner told me today as we dissected the events of the afternoon.
"Things are much better, it's true, and it's time to stop being so contrite," he said.
"We have a long history with Avaya and it's great to see such openness, but everybody's ready to move on now, get into the new channel programme and build on the opportunities it brings."
Words I can certainly get behind. It's time for us to say, once and for all, yes, guys, you're sorry. We get it. Put the cap back on, and let's get on with it.
This was first published in November 2010