Self-service pricing is coming
A reader wrote in the other morning to say:

I wanted to take a moment to thank Robin for this invaluable tool. As an architect I often use this site to get Rough Order of Magnitude costs for components and set these up in spreadsheets that allow others to apply thier vendor discounts to get my ROM costs closer to their actuals. The site lets me rough out a Vendor A solution and a Vendor B solution and quickly get to comparative pricing without waiting for negotiations around pricing.

You are very welcome.

But now there is something better
An approval-based system that gives you up-to-date pricing. Go to pricing pages for 3par, CommVault, DataDomain, Lefthand, VMWare or EqualLogic and click on the reseller ad.

That will take you to their site where you can request a quote. This isn’t an anonymous system – you have to provide personal information – and the reseller has to approve sending you the quote.

Normally that should be a quick process. I tried it once and got a response in 5 minutes. The service is available from a company named Echoquote.

The StorageMojo take
Marketing, and many sales people, like to keep a tight hold on pricing for reasons that may have once made sense but don’t today. As we saw with the latest “Dear Uncle StorageMojo” a qualified buyer limited his research because pricing and feature opaqueness made it too difficult to compare many vendors.

That is just wrong if you’re the company losing the business. And since smaller companies are the ones losing most of the business, they’re the ones who should be easiest to deal with.

At DEC I used to hand out our thick price lists – marked “Company Confidential” – to all the regular customers. With a $20,000 per working day budget I didn’t have time to quote every cable and network interface. My value was product knowledge – not pricing.

And not to worry, I will still update the StorageMojo price lists every 6 months or so.

Comments welcome, of course. Who is the easiest storage company you’ve dealt with?