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Continuing support for the product
Past Quality Award surveys for midrange arrays had scores in the technical support category that hovered around the lows seen in the sales-force competence category. This survey isn't any different, with support getting the second-lowest overall category average. But the twist here is that the score is still fairly high at 6.59, led once again by Compellent (7.02). Hitachi (6.71) racked up its second second-place finish, with HP (6.69) hard on its heels with another strong performance. HP finished second or third in all five ratings categories.
The only statement in the support category that Compellent didn't score top marks on was "Vendor's third-party partners are knowledgeable"; instead, HP and Oracle (Sun) tied for the lead with a score of 6.72. It's a significant mark for those two vendors, as 54% of HP respondents and 37% of Oracle respondents said they purchased their systems from VARs.
Midrange vendors are also delivering on their support promises. One of Compellent's two 7.29 category scores was for "Vendor supplies support as contractually specified," a statement that all vendors scored well on for a group average of 6.79 (high in the category). Well-trained support staffs were also recognized on the survey, with Compellent (7.07), HP (6.87) and Hitachi (6.80) all standing out for the statement "Support personnel are knowledgeable."
Click here to get a PDF of our Heavy Lifters chart that lists our respondents' average installed capacity for the products included in the midrange arrays survey.
Do it again
In addition to the specific statements in each rating category, we asked survey respondents a more subjective question: All things considered, would you buy the product again? Over our five surveys for midrange arrays, the responses have been generally positive and very steady, with an average of 77% to 79% saying "Yes" across all product lines. This time, the "buy again" numbers jumped, reflecting the higher category ratings and, undoubtedly, greater satisfaction with the entire class of midrange storage products.
Overall, 89% of respondents said they would take the plunge again with the same product, led by Compellent's eerily perfect 100%, NetApp and Dell both at 94% and the rest of the field ranging from EMC's 87% to Oracle's (Sun) 83%. Not too shabby when it comes to satisfied customers.
BIO: Rich Castagna (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editorial director of the Storage Media Group.
This was first published in September 2010