When the devil you don’t know is in with the cool kids

A little birdie of the industry recently mentioned to me that the company he worked for, used NetApp products in their data centres at one time.

He was enthusiastic about the brand, saying that they never had any problems with it while they were using it. Despite the great working history, the next time the company went through an upgrade, it opted to build it’s storage array using systems from Netapp’s competitor – let’s call them X .

What were the reasons for changing vendors? He didn’t know the answer. He wasn’t privy to the decisions made by the purchasing department . “I don’t know why they changed. We never had any issues with Netapp. But I’ve had a customer who has had a very bad experience with X,” he confided.

Why would a company opt to change vendors when they’ve had an excellent track record with their original provider? And when other sources don’t speak so favourably about the newer vendor? Granted there might have been mitigating factors for the bad experience. But what happened to better the devil you know?

A local industry head once said something that might shed some light on this conundrum. “If a key player in the telecommunications industry uses brand Y, then every other telco wants it as well,” he said. Sounds just like secondary school doesn’t it? Where the popular kids are into Nike Kobe Elites and every other kid wants the same, never mind that there are half a dozen other shoe brands with equally good shoes if not better.

IT BYTES BACK! says: Does the brand that splurges on marketing campaigns come out ahead? There might be a case for it. So take note people and start polishing up those horns and trumpets.

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