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May 26, 2010


W. Curtis Preston


IIRC, and I will defer to NetApp on this one, NetApp hired Bakbone to create OSSV. If this qualifies as product acquisition, then I'll acquiesce that particular point.

As far as comparing 10 yr old products, I'm not. I was merely making the point that the technology about which I speak (which is still in existence today) was in existence before the acquisition of Spinnaker, which I believe proves my point that the technology didn't COME from Spinnaker.

Martin H

EMC in 2010:

It's about technology, but also about the people fronting that technology to the customer (me). The technology is pretty good, but my story is about our EMC account manager.

So I went to EMC World, EMC picking up the tab, to see what was going on. I wasn't fussed about going, so left it late, and to my horror all the cheap hotels had gone and a suite in a more expensive one was all that was left. I'm still a bit meh, as it's on the other side of the world (I'm the UK) and I'm conference-lagged from HPs do a week ago.

Anyway, EMC World was fine, but when I after I got back, late in the month I checked my account and found the hotel hadn't billed EMC, but charged the whole damn lot to my debit card. I discovered this a day from the end of the month.

So next day I called my account manager to let him know, and mailed/cc'd the accounts people at EMC and the organisers. It needed sorting ASAP as it was the Friday before a bank holiday weekend.

Potted summary, is that noone could do it on time. Our account manager sent a same day CHAPS payment from his personal bank account to mine, and will sort it all out with EMC later. The best part? He was on holiday on this particular Friday.

This is real relationship building - it's fair to say I'll take his calls.

Chuck Hollis

Martin H

Wow -- what a story. I mean, the screw-up was bad enough, but it's nice to hear that the EMC person stepped up and went the extra mile to make it good.

Hopefully, that's not an isolated story ...

Thanks for sharing!

-- Chuck

Mike Hardy - Biz Dev Consultant

This is a great conversation, I remember watching EMC struggle with image back then, and what an amazing recovery. I think the conversation that started with the recognition that there were companies out there whose solution was good enough (probably from point product companies) to cause EMC pain, then the claims that even though users are validating netapp as a multi-tenancy solution (apparently good enough) and then not recognizing that again "history is repeating itself" with the strong technical bravado (maybe justified) for the EMC solution while also not recognizing that somewhere cost of the solutions (capital, operating, complexity) needs to come into the "good enough" conversation is amazing! I would love to see a configuration including cost/PS/maint/BOM/etc. for the shoot out! Maybe I am just to simplistic.... Good luck you guys!

Chuck Hollis

Hi Mike

Thanks for the comment. The only area I'd disagree with you is "user validation of the multi-tenancy solution". So far, all I've been able to find is NetApp validating NetApp's product.

Still waiting to talk to a real customer who's used it in a non-trivial way, or -- for that matter -- even read something credible.

The discussion around "good enough" is always a good one, though. You'd be surprised how many Iomega products are going into business settings, for example. I was.

And, at the end of the day, customers are usually right, except when they do things to hurt themselves!


-- Chuck

Influence strategies

Wow , thanks for the great article. Your example is good reminder that no matter how good the current product is, you should always be on the look out for new ways to improve.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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