Feature

Quality Awards IV: On top again: CommVault Galaxy, EMC Retrospect

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Sales-force competence
HP's sales force has been highly ranked in recent Quality Award surveys for other products, and won this survey's sales-force competence section. Its 6.06 handily topped CommVault's 5.83. HP's best rating in this section (a 6.35) was for the statement "My sales rep is flexible"; however, its sales support group was also highly rated for "My sales support team is knowledgeable" (6.27). CommVault had one category score higher than 6.0, which was a 6.22 for the same sales support statement as HP.

Sometimes sales competence isn't measured only by the reps that show up in your shop. "Our new sales team is still kind of learning what we do," says Chris Wible, backup and recovery lead at Richmond, VA-based Performance Food Group, of the Symantec reps supporting his Veritas NetBackup and Backup Exec installations. But Wible was pleasantly surprised when an inside sales rep contacted him to follow up on an inquiry he made about adding a software option. "She called up the people that I needed to talk with for Veritas NetBackup PureDisk, scheduled the meeting and got it going," he says.

Licensing schemes are often a source of user ire. We asked respondents to tell us about their vendor's licensing methodology. HP had the highest score for "This vendor's licensing formula offers good value" (5.97). One Data Protector user notes that HP's "licensing structure

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is very generous, very cost-effective and it affords us a tremendous amount of flexibility." CommVault was the subject of several unhappy comments regarding its licensing formula ("the licensing model makes the product expensive to own"), but received a decent 5.46 for this statement. Veritas NetBackup had the worst score among enterprise products for this statement with a 4.76.

EMC Retrospect led the midrange group with an overall sales score of 5.24, while Backup Exec and ARCserve scored a 5.20 and 4.77, respectively. Retrospect had an interesting dichotomy with its highest section score (a 5.50) for the statement "My sales rep is flexible" and its lowest section score (a 4.86) for "My sales rep is easy to negotiate with." Backup Exec had the highest midrange score in this section for "My vendor's sales support team is knowledgeable" (5.77).

Backup Exec users have struggled at times with the product's licensing process, both before and after Symantec acquired Veritas. "The notification of releases, the license renewal process was an absolute nightmare," says Esmond Kane, senior manager of information systems at the Harvard Art Museum in Cambridge, MA. "The license activation process has gotten better with [Version] 12d, but certainly with the 11d release it was a complete and utter disaster," notes Kane.

This was first published in September 2008

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