As a DCIM vendor…the title seems to contradict what we sell. It’s not that we don’t believe in our product (we do), it’s that we’ve been […]

4 Wrong Reasons Not to Buy DCIM Software

As a DCIM vendor…the title seems to contradict what we sell. It’s not that we don’t believe in our product (we do), it’s that we’ve been […]

image of a pen checking reasons not to buy dcim software off a list

As a DCIM vendor…the title seems to contradict what we sell. It’s not that we don’t believe in our product (we do), it’s that we’ve been in the business of DCIM for many years and have seen prospective customers come, go without making a purchase, and eventually come back and buy DCIM so many times now that it’s worth writing a blog about.

In this article, I’ll share the four most popular reasons people end up not buying DCIM software (aka Data Center Infrastructure Management: software for managing your data center space and power, cabling infrastructure, to help with capacity, planning, inventory, and troubleshooting issues).
Allow me try and debunk the reasons you may have had to avoid a DCIM purchase — or perhaps the reasons your boss is currently suggesting you shouldn’t buy DCIM…

Implementation is scaring you off

Maybe you’ve read articles or heard stories about how long a DCIM implementation takes…months or maybe it never really takes off after a purchase. Organizations tend to want to fully go gung-ho and try and tackle everything all at once.

Slow down!

Trying to do it all at once is one of the reasons why implementation takes a long time — or never happens. We always suggest starting off small: take one data center room for example (if you have many, segmented rooms that is), and work your way from there.

Have existing, trusted data that can be used to populate your DCIM? Great! For netTerrain DCIM, for example, you can import your spreadsheets, Visio diagrams — and with the netTerrain Collector, import your data from your management systems, like ServiceNow, Solarwinds Orion, and Spectrum.

You’ve heard horror stories about shelfware

“Oh, we don’t want a DCIM solution, because I hear or know firsthand that after buying a DCIM solution, it almost becomes shelfware.”

What does ‘shelfware’ mean?

It means that no one is really using the software, it hasn’t been updated in months and has become an unreliable tool. I hear from many organizations that contact us that their existing DCIM solution hasn’t been used and they’re looking for a new solution.

Well, what happened to your other DCIM solution that made it not usable? The number one reason I hear is that it was so hard to use that other system that it became a nightmare to use it. Another reason we hear a lot is that the software was so inflexible that it just couldn’t adapt to the organization’s needs (for example — no way to add in new fields or purchasing a new Cisco device and the software not having a corresponding object for it and therefore waiting months for the vendor to model it…yikes).

Honestly, you need to find a DCIM solution that is so easy to use that an intern, just logging into a DCIM solution for the first time, should be able to quickly use it. Your DCIM solution should give you the flexibility to add your own data fields and have a device catalog object back to you within 24-48 hours tops.

Budget (everyone hates that word, right?)

How about instead of ‘budget’, we say ‘funds’…that sounds better right?

Time and time again, I hear that DCIM costs so much money: the license cost and then the frighteningly expensive consultancy fees. Implementing DCIM is not like implementing an SAP system!

The truth is this: a DCIM solution should be easy-to-use and come with many built-in connectors that are standard. A ServiceNow connector, for example, shouldn’t take 20-30 days of services to complete: it should be already built into the DCIM solution so that you just enter your credentials and start your import. All you really should need is a training class to learn the more advanced capabilities of your DCIM solution — and not pay months of consultant work just to import data.

But…going back to funding, start off small: order enough devices (or however a DCIM vendor sells their solution), order some training, and get that first win done that you can then take back to management. Your DCIM solution should have the flexibility for you to upgrade and add additional devices when you grow.

DCIM vendors exiting the market

“Man, we spent so much time, money, and effort on a DCIM or cable management solution, and now my software (say iTracs or NetDoc) is migrating away from the features that I have been using or they are entering end-of-life. Well…this is really true with any vendor out there. I get the calls from organizations that they need to find a new solution because my current vendor is exiting the market, end of life, etc.

This is what I have to say to that: find a vendor where DCIM is the core focus. Find a vendor that lives and breathes DCIM. Many larger software and hardware vendors, where DCIM or cable management isn’t really their main revenue driver, may one day up and leave the market (like CA). Focus on the more niche players with a strong list of customers, ask for their oldest customer reference, how long have they been in business, and do your homework.

Graphical Networks, for example, started in 2007 and launched our first software in 2009. Our first customer is still a happy customer for over 11 years now.

Ask them for a list of customers. Our list, for example, is online — click here to view. Ask them for a product roadmap, so you know that they are working on new features and releases, and not just sliding by with no new versions or new features.

In conclusion, a solid DCIM strategy should allow your organization to tackle pain points without wasting money. Don’t let the horror stories and myths about DCIM scare you off: your organization very likely does need a DCIM solution such as netTerrain DCIM or perhaps from another DCIM vendor. For more tips on a successful DCIM implementation, click here. For more detailed articles about DCIM and defining your requirements, you can download our eBook here or navigate over to our blog by clicking here.

Fred Koh
Fred Koh
As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.

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