Too many or too few?

Chad Sakac recently tweeted about some issues EMC were having with VMware and there was a predictable and rather pathetic dig from NetApp about perhaps this being a result of EMC having too many product lines and having too much to QC. Leaving alone the issue that all software has bugs, even NetApp; this led me to look back at recent RFxs that I’ve been involved in and who had been invited to respond.

EMC have been invited to respond to all storage RFPs, whereas NetApp have only been invited to respond to about half of them.   Why? Well, EMC have a much better coverage of the whole storage domain with their many products, whereas NetApp have but a single answer to every question that I ask.

Who wins the greater number of RFPs? Well, honours are pretty much equal but I would argue that in being invited to respond to all my RFPs, EMC are developing a much greater understanding of my business and my challenges, this long term has to have value to both myself and EMC.

Now, do EMC have too many products and NetApp too few? Actually, I reckon honours are even and the answer to both questions is yes! But arguably it is easier to consolidate product lines than it is to develop new ones.

Of course IBM and HP have a even greater understanding of my business as they can cover pretty much the whole stack; if EMC are sensible, they will use Acadia as a vehicle to develop a deeper understanding of the businesses that they deal with.

And yes, I could of used several other vendors as examples of companies with but a single answer.

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Martin Glassborow

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