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Quality awards: Enterprise arrays

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Technical support
Of course, all enterprise array vendors claim "world-class technical support" and, based on the survey results, each seems to deliver satisfactorily. HDS again led the group with a 5.76. When asked if "The vendor provides support as contractually specified," the lowest rank was still a very high 5.71 (Sun). We conclude from the data that technical support isn't a differentiating factor for any vendor, and that IT groups will be well supported regardless of which system they choose (see

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"Technical support," this page).

Interestingly, vendors received the highest scores for "The vendor provides support as contractually specified," which suggests that expectation levels related to support are fairly well defined by vendors and understood by users. However, responses to questions in the rest of the category indicate that users aren't entirely pleased with support beyond what was contractually agreed upon. For example, the overall average scores for support issues requiring escalation and resolving problems in a timely manner were on the low side at 5.16 and 5.32, respectively (see "Technical support ratings (average for all vendors)," this page).

The quality and bureaucracy of tech support is also a point of contention. "We've checked all the easy stuff, so if we're going to open up a call, we have the facility to get to someone who can really help us drive down to the resolution of the problem," says a senior architect for a communications and Internet services provider. Supporting documentation may also be a problem. "The organization of their [EMC's] documentation on the Web site leaves a little bit to be desired," adds this user. "It's all there; it's just a little hard to find." Still, he has only praise for his local support, which he describes as "outstanding."

This was first published in August 2005

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