By Steve Duplessie
SNIA's Supported Solutions Forum promises to be good news for IT managers, because it may solve one of the largest problems facing end users: vendor finger-pointing.
Technology often takes a back seat to support capabilities in the eyes of end users. They care about who will show up to fix problems that keep them from doing business. They dread seeing the hardware vendor's service representative shrug and mutter things like "Looks like a Solaris problem," or, "Are those foreign disks?"
Finger-pointing is the art of one vendor blaming another vendor. Users finger-pointing.
SNIA-a group of fierce competitors-is attempting to rise above the pervasive finger-pointing. The association is getting leading vendors (so far, only a handful) to agree to a common set of support policies and procedures, whereby any single SSP partner will "take the ball" on behalf of any other partner.
The customer, meanwhile, has a group of vendors that are actually working together to solve the problem. The responsibility moves from the customer to the vendors.
The market leaders have figured out that, by working together for the benefit of end users, they elevate the value of their entire industry in the eyes of those users. They move from being a necessary evil to a valued business partner.
So I applaud SNIA and the vendors that have jumped in. Other vendors are sure to follow.
Steve Duplessie is an analyst with the Enterprise Storage Group (www.enterprisestoragegroup.com) in Milford, MA.