The Nuts on the Fence

Have you ever noticed that when you focus on the details of an issue that you often loose focus on the big picture, and when you focus on the big picture you end up not getting the whole story? We all make decisions and prioritize based on the way we filter data to meet our own particular view of reality. In making our strategic business decisions at Zerowait we try to get as much information from our customers and vendors and then ask our attorney, insurance broker and accountants for their advice. Business decisions. Our successful customers do the same thing.

Recently we worked with an energy resources company on taking over their support services for their NetApp equipment. We had been working with them for many years on support of s parts of their NetApp infrastructure, and they like working with our engineers. NetApp tried to force them to upgrade to cDot and they could not see any advantage to the upgrade, and when it came time to get a support renewal NetApp’s quotes did not include any way to put their systems and support on a co-terminus billing structure so that all of their equipment would come up for support renewal at the same time. Understanding the NetApp quote was almost impossible. Whether you focused on the details or the total it just did not make any terminus. Our team focused on what he customer wanted and we built a policy that reflected his needs and budget and we won the deal. After we won the deal a NetApp VP contacted the customer to ask why he selected a third party support company. We understand that the customer told the NetApp VP that Zerowait focused on their needs and provided a simple path to meet the company’s performance, support requirements and budget without complexity. Our customers had been testing our support and technical expertise for many years, when it came time to make the move we had already proven that we met their requirements, to win the deal we had to meet our customers’ requirements and formulate a solution to meet their needs.

Just this morning I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about some of the issues with Cloud computing. Many of our customers like the idea of getting rid of capital expenditures and outsourcing parts of their infrastructure, but when you focus on the issues your need to be away of the Cyber liability risks and ask your insurance carrier what is covered and what is not. And then you have to find a carrier that will cover the risk that you want to take by outsourcing your data and data infrastructure. The research took us a year, and we reviewed the policies with our lawyer and our engineering team to see how we could make sure we met the coverage requirements and kept our data secure. The Wall Street Journal article points out that the savings may be illusory and need to be fully investigated.

“When on-demand enterprise applications emerged about a decade ago, they were touted as a cheap and more flexible alternative to buying software outright—a move that comes with upfront infrastructure and licensing costs, on top of ongoing fees for maintenance, support and upgrades. But in practice, these promises have been hard to fulfill.”

Outsourcing business critical data services is a risk that many of our customers don’t want to take. But with budgets tight and compliance and data sovereignty rules getting tougher it is hard to keep all the resources you need inside the corporation, so costs are driving data to outside sources. If you focus only on the details of capex costs of storage you risk opening yourselves up on the limits of your cyber liability insurance and the different nations rules over data sovereignty. Do you focus on the nuts or the fence?

A few weeks ago we were at the SEG show in New Orleans, the Oil and Gas business is tightening their belts and we were talking to a lot of folks about how we could help them maintain their NetApp Legacy equipment and also how we could use our SimplStor to help them reduce their infrastructure costs. Many of the technical folks we talked with are going to be at the Super Computer show in Austin next week and we will be there because we are trying to help our clients balance their requirements of data storage, security, and costs. It seems that Zerowait has the unique ability in the industry to focus on what is important to our customers. And that is why we continue to grow.

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