I attend about a dozen industry conference/trade show events each year. It’s really a pleasure to spend time on the exhibit floor catching up with old friends and making new ones. It’s also very encouraging that more and more attendees are coming to conferences with a specific agenda of products and solutions that they want to investigate.

My company provides a DCIM Software solution. DCIM is a very “hot” topic at this time, so traffic in our booth has been very good. As I speak with the people who stop by to meet with my team, a common theme comes up. It is one that I find quite disturbing. Overwhelming skepticism! Hey, I have been around long enough to know that your job as a prospect is to challenge (dis-believe?) most of what a sales person tells you…………..However, this is worse. Much worse!

We are encountering a staggering number of users who have been waiting months and in some cases YEARS for their vendor to deliver on things (features and functions) that were shown in a demo, and promised in a proposal. It seems that all too often, a vendor’s product roadmap leads directly to the land of disappointment and frustration. What shocks me is that the features and functions that are not being delivered on are things that one would expect to be resident in any data center monitoring tool. For example; trending and the ability to create “teamed” relationships to monitor redundancy. (Would someone please drop me an email and explain to me the value of a monitoring tool that does not provide trending)?

Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) may be an acceptable business condition for the Used Car market, but NOT for what we do! So many vendors use throw away terms such as “Value Added” and “ We Under Promise and Over Deliver”………………….we need to hold each other accountable.

A few bad apples are indeed spoiling the whole bunch. Even a single bad experience screws up the DCIM market place for the reputable providers (the majority of us) by creating fear, uncertainty and doubt amongst the end user community.

There is only one solution for this. The Proof of Concept MUST become a standard and mandatory part of the selection cycle for DCIM tools! The prospective client and vendor should collaborate on a plan and document a POC scope that includes success criteria. A trial installation should be done in the client’s data center space. Covering the cost of this effort is a business matter to be discussed and negotiated between the two concerns, but surely the cost of NOT doing a proof of concept will be considerably higher!