Infinidat Blog

Infinidat Is Purchasing’s Best Friend, and NOT Just for an Amazing ROI!

Introduction

Organizations that are captive to one or two storage vendors often put Purchasing in the difficult position of trying to negotiate competitive discounts without any leverage. Infinidat understands the problem and is here to help transform IT Operations’ view of Purchasing from being a speed bump in the pathway to their getting the storage they need to a partner that helps them get maximum value from their storage budget. We do this by identifying for Purchasing the WIIFMs (What’s In It For Me) that can help transform IT Operations from a cost center into a competitive advantage.

Monetizing the Cost of Operations and Purchasing Not Working Together

Most IT Leaders have a built-in bias against changing storage vendors for reasons that are self-evident. Add that Operations is rarely held to account for not cooperating with Purchasing during new system acquisitions because even if they don’t the price/performance of their new storage systems improves with every new acquisition and the cost of non-cooperation is difficult to quantify. This often puts Purchasing in the position of not having negotiation leverage.

The solution is monetizing the cost of their non-cooperation: the difference in cost between the vendor’s current bid and the best possible price recommended by a competent bid review analyst and an incumbent vendor’s actual bid. That is the cost of not following best practice negotiation tactics. Depending upon the competitive environment, the savings can easily be in the 5% to 15% (or greater) range. In situations where Infinidat is allowed to compete against AFAs (All Flash Arrays) for their business, the savings can grow to 50% or more on a $/PB basis, and that does not include the savings associated with simplified infrastructure design, staff productivity improvements, or savings in vendor management costs.

In fact, CFOs, CIOs, and Data Center Operations managers should be asking themselves, “How can I justify paying xx% more for a storage system that is not better, in any meaningful way, than the alternative solution being offered?” whenever xx% is 25% or more. I define a 10% or 15% premium is in the buyer’s discretion range and 15% to 25% more as potentially justifiable.

Take Ownership of Data Conversions/Data Migrations

Operations most frequently used excuses for not wanting to allow non-incumbent vendors to compete for their business are:

  1. I don’t know Infinidat
  2. The savings are not large enough to justify the cost and risk of moving to a new vendor
  3. I’ll have to retrain my staff
  4. I don’t have the skills or enough resources to undertake a migration of this size.

Excuses 1 -3 are easily addressed during sales calls, demos, or conversations with storage analysts that have infrastructure and bid review expertise.

Excuse #4 is more difficult to address because it is the ultimate refuge of those not open to change. This is the reason that Infinidat is willing to take ownership of the data migration. By effectively eliminating migration risks and costs as significant considerations, we give Purchasing an opportunity to discuss with Operations the benefits of allowing Infinidat to compete for their business.

Infinidat taking ownership of the migration also provides an opportunity for Operations to experience how InfiniBox’s near autonomic operation shrinks planning, configuration, and retraining times. This inherent autonomic capability also makes it possible for Infinidat to take ownership of the migration without incurring prohibitively expensive costs.

WIIFMs Based on Disruptively Better Economics

By offering a better storage solution with disruptively lower TCO  than AFA vendors can match at multi-PB scale, we give CIOs and infrastructure architects strong incentives to rethink their future datacenter vision, not just tactically, but strategically, by giving relevance to the following questions:

  • What would I do differently if I could double or triple the amount of high-performance capacity in my datacenter without increasing my storage budget?
    • Would it accelerate projects by 6 to 12 months?
    • Would it improve RTOs by making snapshots more affordable?
    • Would it change my staffing plans?
  • How would eliminating architectural obsolescence, premium-priced upgrades, and high maintenance costs affect storage infrastructure design and planned array service lives?
  • Do I still need multiple storage vendors? 
  • Can I simplify operations by consolidating storage?
  • Can self-managing storage systems enable the reskilling of my staff?
  • Can I delay or avoid deploying an archiving solution by disruptively lowering the cost of my storage infrastructure?
  • Can I delay or avoid building a hybrid cloud system by disruptively lowering the cost of my storage infrastructure?

Conclusions

Purchasing monetizing the cost of not following best practice acquisition tactics gives Operations good reason to provide Purchasing with leverage during storage system acquisitions. Purchasing taking the lead on suggesting Infinidat to Operations, highlighting the financial and operational benefits that Infinidat provides its customers, and asking Operations open-ended WIIFM questions, gives Purchasing opportunities to improve their working relationship with operations and add value to the acquisition process beyond simply negotiating more aggressive discounts or better terms and conditions.
 

About Stanley Zaffos

Stanley is the Sr. VP of Product Marketing at Infinidat.
Prior to joining Infinidat, he was a Research VP with Gartner focused on Infrastructure and Operations Management. His areas of expertise cover storage systems, emerging storage technologies, software-defined storage, hyper-converged infrastructure, and hybrid cloud infrastructure. He's worked with numerous clients to develop messaging and collateral that maximizes the impact of their product announcements and sales training, as well as helping to define roadmaps that ensure ongoing competitive advantage.