Businesses are constantly bombarded with messaging from vendors that showcase the reasons why they should buy their products or services. What’s more, dubious endorsements from third-party firms can often lead to potential buyers being left more confused rather than enlightened. This is particularly true for those in the BI and analytics space who are considering which solutions they need to help them answer their data challenges.
However, despite an array of vendors touting their wares advertising this feature and that and notwithstanding such questionable recommendations by self-appointed experts, it’s essential that you never lose sight of what really matters when it comes to deciding on and making an investment in one solution over another. A killer feature may look appealing, a brand name as a customer may impress and polished sales patters may influence the decision-making process, but when push comes to shove, it’s important that you first consider the “three Ps” performance, price and people.
First comes performance. Does the solution or service in question in fact do what it says it does? Does it perform? Both today and will it still work over time as data volumes grow? Here, a test drive or a proof-of-concept is imperative so you can see just whether the marketing promises indeed ring true before you sign on the dotted line. What’s more, when you go through your testing phase, make sure you retain full autonomy in the process and are not coerced by the supplier into reviewing their product or service in a certain way. Just as you wouldn’t want to be limited in how you test drive a new car, so you shouldn’t be when it comes to BI or analytic database technology.
Next is price. It is often easy to be hoodwinked by the initial price for a product or service, but make sure you take time to consider the cost of acquisition as well as ownership over a period of time. Ask other users of the product about their experience, understand how the licensing model operates, determine the factors by which there could be a potential spike in costs later on. Read the fine print. It’s human nature to be attracted to low upfront pricing, but make sure you invest resources into discovering just what in fact that means.
Finally, there’s the human aspect. People buy from people, not companies. Therefore, it’s crucial that the company behind the product or service you’re considering to purchase gives you the confidence that their staff will support you not just throughout the buying cycle but also as long as you are using the product or service. In the case of technology, make sure you talk to other users first about their experiences. Does technical support deliver? Do they feel well looked after by the company’s staff? Do they enjoy engaging with their sales and support teams when it comes to further purchases or resolving issues? Or are they just left high and dry as the vendor seeks new business elsewhere?
While many businesses have defined purchasing processes already in place, sometimes they can overlook the most basic of questions which carry the most importance. So before you consult reams of information about a certain product or solution, I invite you to keep in the mind the 3 Ps. Start there, and you will have covered the essentials first.
If you’re interested in learning more about EXASOL’s in-memory database offering and how our passionate teams deliver not just an outstanding product but also fantastic service at prices that don’t cost the earth, then get in touch. We’d love to talk to you.