As part of a recent survey we asked Register readers to give us some thoughts on a hot area in the storage world but with a slightly provocative edge, namely: “What frustrates you the most about how storage vendors sell their products, and are there any specific irritations in relation to all-flash in particular?” You clearly …
It would be nice if they priced it the best they could in the first round.
I can remember years ago when I was in charge of purchasing certain equipment I requested a quote from multiple vendors. I placed the order with the cheapest quote. I was talking to one of the vendors (at their Christmas party) who didn't get the order and he asked why. I replied that I went with the best quote. He replied that I should have gone back as he could have done a better deal. My response was you only get one chance with me. Always give me your best deal. Guess what... He never lost a sale again.
The time and effort of playing one vendor against the other isn't worth it to me. If they want to play that game I don't want to deal with them.
We made it a policy to explain this explicitly to our vendors when pricing new systems. We worked on the theory that everyone builds some discount into their pricing so why not give us that discount up front along with clearly delineated support terms and licensing costs. Quite often if we had a preferred vendor ( not because of the sales droids, because of the the gurus in their support department) then we would let them know what price we expected to pay.
Once had a Telco come in and try to do a snow job on us. $10k + per month in phone charges made us an attractive target for cold callers and 2nd tier telcos. Sales droid wheeled in State and Country managers, who proceeded to try the hard sell on my boss. ie" if you sign today we can offer xyz but deal will not be available later". He called their bluff and told them to bugger off. Sales droid then tried to go to executive chairman, who conferenced in my boss. Would love to have been a fly on the wall when the sales droid got told in no uncertain terms never to come back.
Typically, people are buying based on a number of factors, price being one of them, but not one of the top 2.
I look at:
Ease of installation
Ease of support
Ecosystem (compatibility, white papers, validated interconnections)
And I also look at price.
Chiming in from the vendor side, I am sad to say that I agree with the survey respondents. Having been in storage marketing for over 20 years, I've never seen vendor FUD and bashing so bad as it is these days. I fear as the game will change again with NVMe, the FUD and bashing will only get worse. I hope I'm wrong.
I am a storage architect working for a VAR that sells a lot of the AFA's on the market. I could go down the list and pick out which vendor which response was a source about. I saw Netapp, EMC, Nimble, Pure, and IBM answers here.
I do feel sorry for the purchasers, I don't set pricing, but I know how the game is and always has been played. The only thing I can do is to continue to provide realistic expectations and counter claims made by vendors to the betterment of my customers' experiences.
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