I had a very interesting and enjoyable conversation with a local enterprise to-day. They are thinking about a big storage refresh and are faced with the usual challenges.

Internally there is pressure to scale up and scale out. Why not? That strategy requires little or no effort on their behalf and after all it’s only money isn’t it?

Externally they have a reputable reseller who they worry is just specifying something bigger without worrying too much about fitness for future purpose. Once again why not? The reseller is an incumbent with sole access to special pricing. The storage manufacturer also is recommending a step change in technology, even though the client genuinely doesn’t understand why he might need it and certainly not how he might use it to his benefit. Yet again why not? There is little commercial reason for either to act differently.

So why did this end user want to speak to us? To date we have had little or no engagement with his company.

Well he had seen an email from one of our client team that included the following:-

When it comes to storage refresh we understand the value of building a data platform to meet wider business goals and we consider (global storage manufacturer) as core to a modern data strategy. However, we do not see it in isolation, we also understand how crucial it is to have the ability to fully manage, govern, secure and gain insight into the data we hold on it to provide an all-encompassing data platform. We act as a consultant in lots of instances where we advise on the purchase of a data solution, including (global storage manufacturer), where we are agnostic. Our objective with clients is to produce a holistic data solution with future proofing in mind; usually this results in reducing the necessary expenditure on storage hardware. We have any number of strategic references which prove our objective support and advice. We have a reputation for getting the best from the technology and specifying accordingly. Our data strategy bundle includes a great deal of pre and after sales attention and development. Over the last few years Gardner has developed trusted partner status with a number of our major clients, building a relationship beyond a “supplier” and one were we work closely with them to identify and buy the right technology on their behalf.

During our telephone conversation this nice chap told me that he felt it would only be courteous to talk to us, but really did not want to upset his existing supply chain by doing so. Admirable.

We have now reiterated that we truly would not want to interfere with any constructive arrangement he might have. We explained it is easier to understand our role these days as acting on behalf of our clients and not actually selling to them. It’s a very important distinction.

So where are we now?

Just connect

Well he feels he has checked out some loose ends and we feel we have added some real value. We both feel as if our exchanges have been professional and respectful. I believe we both understand that this may not influence his current choices, but it may well produce a very trustful relationship in the future. Result.

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