Quality Awards III: Compellent shakes up midrange array field


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Sales-force competence
Compellent's 6.69 score for sales-force competence was its lowest category score, but high enough to best the field. EqualLogic's lowest score (6.48) was also in this category. Although these are very good scores, it indicates that the sales process is the least pleasant part of the user experience. Among Compellent users, 100% of them purchased through a value-added reseller (VAR); 77.3% of EqualLogic customers used a VAR and the remainder purchased directly from the manufacturer. EMC was the only company that sold more products directly to customers than through a VAR (59.5% vs. 40.5%). EMC's sales-force competence score was a respectable 5.77, but it was still only good for eighth place. Sun had its second-best category score in this area with a 6.09.

Compellent was the only vendor to notch a 7.00 or higher on any of our statements in this category. "This vendor's sales support team is knowledgeable" received a rating of 7.00, and 11 of its 18 respondents even awarded it a perfect 8.0. "Compellent was very interested in playing ball on price," says Cary Dahl, IT operations manager at Community Health Plan in Seattle. But dealing with a newer company was a consideration. "Sure they're new, that's one of the things that kind of worried me off the bat--you know, disk comes and disk goes," he says. But Dahl's concerns were allayed because "they had

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a good vision, [and] they had a good sales pitch."

EqualLogic also had its highest rating for this statement, albeit a slightly lower 6.82. Ten of the 22 EqualLogic respondents gave the vendor a perfect 8.0. Compellent received a top-two box score from 73% of respondents in this section vs. 59% for EqualLogic. All other vendors received a top-two rating less than 50% of the time for sales-force competence.

"I tell people it's like a marriage because it has its moments when you wonder if it's worth it," jokes James Yaple, supervisory IT specialist at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Austin, TX, about his relationship with EMC's sales force. "But it's really a partnership," he hastens to add. Yaple also notes that EMC "will come out and visit us on a regular basis."

This was first published in April 2008

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