When I told you about Google Music and the immense amount of bandwidth it consumes, I never thought that something so innocuous could actually trump that kind of media streaming and cost you more.

Hello, Siri.

Although I’ve been writing about Apple’s “virtual assistant” since way back in May 2010, (and I know a bit about Virtual Assistants), one thing I hadn’t thought about is just how much data software like Siri goes through in working its magic. Turns out, quite a bit. Or depending on your view of perception and reality, not all that much.

Last week, Network Software Management company Arieso released this study , and it was immediately sliced and diced by one news outlet after another seeking an angle. Bloomberg announced that Siri and the iPhone 4S created a huge data hog situation, while PCWorld announced … the opposite. (Disclosure: I’ve written for PCWorld)

Whether the bottom line on how much bandwidth Siri consumes becomes “twice as much … just for that?” or “that’s a nice chunk of extra data use, Siri, but it doesn’t really add up to anything!”, this issue, like so many others, is about perception and reality. Reviews are useful, but only if they’re real. The idea of service level agreements sounds great, but their value is questionable.

Every time you say or write something, the perception someone else takes away can be different than the reality you thought you were shooting at. And as I’ve said many times right here, statistics are the ultimate example of perception and reality not really having much to do with each other, at all.

As you manage business change, remember that what looks and feels like change to you might seem like more of the the same to everyone else. Try to look at your actions from the perspective of your clients and prospects (and employees, too), and that business change will be more successful.

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