Hotel California OSS

You can check out any time you like,
But you just can never leave!

Lyrics from The Eagles’ song, “Hotel California.”

You’ve worked with a Hotel California OSS haven’t you? One where the vendor has upset the customer so much that they’ve asked the vendor to check out, but the vendor’s products never leave.

Like the protagonist in the song, there remains a sad resignation within the customer that there is no means of escape. The reason behind the Hotel California OSS problem is described in The Chess-board Analogy – where integration traps the customer in its web.

lt’s such a tough situation to firstly avoid and to break if already entwined. It is such a common situation and many people far cleverer than I have attempted an extraction without success. If you’re attempting to avoid it, then design an architecture that takes a minimalist approach to integrations. If you’re already trapped, look to subtraction projects to first minimise the integrations (the ropes and pulleys) that can then facilitate the removal of products.

Easier said than done! It is such a common situation and many people far cleverer than I have attempted an extraction without success. Almost every large Telco I’m aware of has examples of it.

What techniques have you used to escape the clutches of a Hotel California OSS?

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