Dan Bryan, Managing Director
If you put 100 customers of data, network and storage components in a room and asked who among them had an amazing one-of-a-kind deal from their provider, with the lowest rates available to anyone, chances are that many of those customers would raise their hands.
The problem is, of course, that they can’t all be right.
The sales strategy employed by hardware and software vendors comprises two basic pillars. One is to make you the customer feel special, or at least fortunate to be in a position to take advantage of the sales rep’s dire predicament: Either it’s the end of the quarter, the end of the year, or there’s a bonus threshold within spitting distance. Regardless of the specific target, there’s a number that has to be met and the account manager is being squeezed to make a deal happen, and you are going to reap the benefit.
The second pillar is to make sure that you have no way of determining whether the deal you’re getting is truly as spectacular as your account manager says it is. Vendors are notorious for obfuscating rates, bonuses, discounts and invoices so that your apples don’t compare to the oranges that your peers are getting. The rationale for creating this confusion is that today’s Converged Infrastructure solutions are so complex that each one is unique and therefore doesn’t lend itself to any market-based comparison.
Don’t buy it.
Complexity doesn’t preclude transparency, and you as a customer should insist on the latter. And you can achieve it through a detailed analysis of existing costs, an audit of assets and a benchmark of prices. This assessment can allow you to truly understand the value of your agreement in the context of existing market standards. In other words, you won’t have to take the sales person’s word for it.