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Making the buy
With tape being relegated to a more limited and specialized data protection role in most shops, it would seem to be harder than ever for a tape library salesperson to get their foot in the door. Nonetheless, they seem to be doing a pretty good job of determining a customer's needs and delivering. For midrange libraries, Spectra Logic's 6.78 led the pack in the sales-force competence section of our survey; IBM and HP tied for second with a score of 6.26. Spectra's 7.25 for the statement "The vendor's sales support team is knowledgeable" was the highest, and only 7.00-plus, mark, propelling it to the highest rankings for all the statements in the rating category.
In the enterprise tape library division, Spectra Logic again swept, but with scores above 7.00 for all statements on the way to a 7.36 category rating -- an astonishing feat when you consider that the highest score we had seen previously in this category was a 6.53, which Spectra earned on the last survey. The keys for Spectra, again, were a knowledgeable sales support team (7.61) and a 7.50 rating for "My sales rep is knowledgeable about my industry."
IBM had another strong showing in sales-force competence with a total score of 6.34 highlighted by a 6.62 for the knowledgeable sales support team statement. Quantum rode three 6.00-plus and three high-5.00 ratings to a solid 6.09 third-place finish.
Click here to get a PDF of the Quality Awards V: Enterprise Tape Libraries standings.
Out of the box
It's been said there's nothing in a data center with more moving parts than a tape library. If any of those parts fails to mesh properly or misses its mark, a poor first impression is inevitable. The initial product quality section of our survey measures how quickly and easily a tape library got up and running and in production. The good news is that tape library vendors have risen to the occasion despite the mechanical nature of their products; when averaging all ratings for all vendors, this survey's roster of vendors received the highest scores ever for initial product quality in both the midrange and enterprise tape library categories.
Continuing its tour de force, Spectra Logic topped both groups with an even 7.00 in the midrange group and another eye-popping 7.50 to lead its enterprise peers. In the midrange group, Dell's very impressive 6.70 placed it second followed by another outstanding score of 6.61 from IBM. In the enterprise sector, HP's 6.52 earned second place, with Quantum just behind at 6.45 -- scores that could have been category winners in the past.
For enterprise tape libraries, respondents registered their particular satisfaction with high scores across the board for "I am satisfied with the level of professional services this product requires," "The product requires very little daily intervention" and "This product is easy to use." Midrange users gave their highest scores to the statements related to easy installation and configuration, as well as ease of use.
This was first published in December 2010