Pareto Productivity and Pricing

by Phil Godwin, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Clear Technologies

Recently, I met with a customer who feared that his cost of buying storage will skyrocket due to a recent flood in Thailand. Seriously, Thai floods? I naturally thought he was joking!

As I shrugged off his grievance, he showed me an article that verified his unusual contention. The TechTarget article stated Thai floods will impede storage manufacturers’ ability to produce hard drives…this interruption in supply will inevitably cause storage prices to double or triple. He went on to say that in a better economic climate this rise would just be minor hiccup in his procurement process. But now, perpetual price increases have become a chronic headache!

I tried to alleviate his concerns by letting him know a storage resource management (SRM) tool exists that will help him to understand his current and future storage needs. Before I could explain that knowing these factors will help him to more efficiently buy storage (i.e. the benefit)…he interrupted me by saying “It‟s too expensive!” Then, he quickly followed up his sour remark by saying…”I could do it myself in Excel, but it would be a pointless waste of time!” I probed further to understand the heart of his concern.

Small tools. He explained that he uses both MS Excel and MS Access to help him organize data, but without painstakingly coming up with “rules” to analyze his arrays, the process would be futile. More importantly, he said that even if he had the time to build rules into the software, the information would be worthless and difficult to understand. He still would have to sift through silos of applications within each disk or SAN to find the „right‟ information and manually correlate it. All of this takes time, complete attention to tedious steps, and skill to produce a usable result. Without taking a breath, he then began to talk about using software applications from large vendors…

Large Tools. He said that high dollar SRM tools promise to „monitor‟ and provide intelligence, but rarely deliver because they are difficult to use. This makes him “crazy” because not only would he have to learn a new complex, all-encompassing tool with useless “bells and whistles”, but then he must maintain it! Then, he dropped his biggest complaint: large tools are too expensive and such an investment is hardly ever justified.

The Pareto Principle – 80/20 Rule. As he told me his problem, I couldnt help to think to myself that he needs a solution that offers him 80% of large tool functionality for 20% of the price.
I informed him that our SaaS, Visual Storage Intelligence®, provides the functionality he needs for a fraction of the price. At that point, his anxiety toward existing solutions changed…he became anxious to learn more about our solution, Visual Storage Intelligence®.

The Moral of the Story. I informed him that Visual Storage Intelligence® would allow him to effortlessly and visually assess all of his storage needs, enabling him to no longer succumb to the antiquated notion of store, ignore, and buy more. Furthermore, I let him know that Visual Storage Intelligence® collects, analyzes, interprets and then monitors storage capacity and redundancy on storage arrays – all at a 20% of the price of a large vendor tool and does so without requiring him to learn or meticulously modify an existing tool.


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