Who's providing your provider?

By Linda Gail Christie

IT managers need to be just as concerned about their SSP's vendor relationships as they would with their own, says Steve Sopko, executive vice president of Business Development with ContractBroker.com, a service contracting exchange based in Dallas, Texas.

"My biggest single advice to buyers is don't just stop with the provider, look at their providers. This is the hidden thing very experienced negotiators do." Sopko continues, "SSPs are going to be tied to a storage vendor. Investigate that vendor's service record and technology independently of investigating the SSP. If they offer poor service to other customers, it won't be much better to your SSP."

Also look at the business relationship the SSP has with that vendor. "One technique I use is to ask the service provider to bring in a representative from their storage vendor. If they can only bring in a junior assistant sales person that's a danger sign."

Storage management tips are written by Linda Gail Christie, a contributing editor based in Tulsa, Okla.

This was first published in August 2000

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