Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Storage Poker Game

Over the last month I have made numerous trips to the Houston, TX area to work with our Energy customers who have tremendous data and processing requirements.  The folks that I have been meeting with are all concerned with the costs of storage acquisition, maintenance and migrations. In my conversations with them, I realized that dealing with NetApp was like playing a hand of Texas Holdem.

The game starts when the client decides to run his NetApp systems for 5 or more years but his NetApp team tells him that after 3 years he needs an upgrade even though his filers are not maxed out in storage capacity or IOPS.  The customer wants to increase his ROI and the Salesman has to meet his sales quota and wants to increase his sales commissions. So the first cards are dealt; the customer has two down cards - budget and increased ROI, and the sales person deals out the next three face up cards - Software Licenses, End of  Software Support, End of Life.

Over sips of Shiner beer, the savvy customer asks the salesman a question about how come some customers are able to use transferable licensed systems. The salesman bluffs about lack of license transferability on their systems.

The next card the customer receives is the Zerowait card. It gives the customer the comfort he needs because Zerowait has been providing the NetApp community with reliable service and support for over a decade, and SimplStor provides an affordable tier two storage environment.  But a smart poker player wants a stronger hand.

Our customer and poker player has proof of license transferability and knows that Zerowait can support his NetApp equipment around the world and so he stays in and continues to grow the pot and finally calls the salesman.

The salesman has to admit that transferable licenses exist and that high availability equipment does not become low availability because a new model came out. The customer wins by reducing his costs of new equipment by showing the salesman that there is competition in the marketplace, and by leveraging Zerowait’s legacy support he reduces the number of new units he purchases.

That is how Zerowait’s savvy customers play poker with their NetApp sales team and win.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Zerowait support across the USA

Zerowait support across the USA
At Zerowait we do a tremendous amount of NetApp support and last week one of the members of our engineering team plotted the locations of our current support accounts in North America. As you can see, our customers are spread out across the country, with most located in what is often referred to as the “NFL Cities”.  As Zerowait’s customer list has grown over the years we have had to do a lot of traveling to provide our customers with ever improving service and support. Recently Zerowait has been adding Field Storage Managers where we have the largest customer concentrations. Our FSM’s are storage engineers that help our customers’ improve their storage infrastructure efficiency by extending the life cycle of their current storage equipment or by helping our customers with our affordable NetApp upgrades and SimplStor storage products. Over the next year we will be adding more FSM’s to our team to help our customers deal with their ever growing data storage requirements.  

While other storage vendors concentrate on unit sales, at Zerowait our focus is on service and support. There are options to the expensive forklift updates/upgrades offered by the Big Storage companies, and our focus on support has resulted in Zerowait customers across the USA and Canada that rely on our hardware, service, and support. 

If you are looking for an affordable and reliable storage support solution I hope that you will give us a call so that we can add you to our map of satisfied customers.