Since Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software first hit the market over a decade ago, there has been a lot of hype and discussion around it. […]

DCIM Software: Marketing Fluff You Should Avoid

Since Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software first hit the market over a decade ago, there has been a lot of hype and discussion around it. […]

Since Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software first hit the market over a decade ago, there has been a lot of hype and discussion around it. At first, the promise was that DCIM software was going to boil the ocean. When that didn’t happen, a slew of negative press followed suggesting that the software was more hype than substance. Some DCIM vendors even changed their product names to attract buyers that, well…just didn’t like the sound of DCIM.

Eventually, however, DCIM found its rightful place in the software market — and for federal Data Centers, having DCIM in place to reduce PUE is now a requirement. The buzz, and the fallout, from the early days of DCIM should be a warning to heed when considering buying DCIM software. DCIM isn’t one-size-fits-all and it’s not supposed to boil the ocean. If a vendor tries to say anything close, run for the hills.

Though DCIM, and our understanding of it, may have evolved over the years, marketing tactics have yet to fully catch up. Current marketing fluff centers around which generation a DCIM software is, features, and what product roadmaps look like.

DCIM Marketing Fluff: Beware Product Roadmaps

Our product manager (Jan Durnhofer) recently wrote an article about software product roadmaps. He basically says that ‘roadmaps are as roadmaps do’….or, in other words, they’re nice ideas on paper but they don’t mean a whole lot in practice. Big road maps are like big features: they weigh things down and aren’t flexible enough to respond to user’s evolving needs.

What does matter is a vendor that listens to the ever-evolving needs of its customer base and adapts to suit. netTerrain DCIM new versions and features all stemmed from listening to our customers. It’s the usability in netTerrain that makes netTerrain stand out. Roadmaps are still important though and should be asked, so you can make sure the company is still making enhancements/new features and it won’t go sail into the sunset, like the former company, many of us worked at previously, netViz (you can read more about our evolution away from netViz here).

DCIM Marketing Fluff: Beware Too Much “Generation” Chatter

What’s with all the chatter lately about generations and DCIM software? Well, we’re not exactly mapping out DCIM’s ancestral tree (especially as it’s not yet 20 years old). If you google “DCIM generations”, you’ll find plenty of articles that attempt to explain the important differences between “traditional DCIM” and “2nd generation DCIM” and even “next-gen DCIM”. Many vendors may offer many facets of “next-gen” DCIM, but they aren’t marketing it as such for myriad reasons.

Here at Graphical Networks, for example, we don’t market our DCIM software, netTerrain DCIM, as being of a certain generation. Why? Good DCIM software is constantly evolving to meet the demands of its users — and good DCIM solves your pain points. That’s what we market.

DCIM Marketing Fluff: Beware Too Many Features

We’ve have written about it a hundred times, and we would yell it from the top of a mountain if it meant someone was about to buy DCIM would hear us: what matters when you’re choosing DCIM software is that the software can do what you need it to do. We even wrote an (e) book about it — which you can download here.

What we mean is: don’t bite off more software than you can chew. Is that how the saying goes? As the eBook says, “How to choose the right DCIM solution,” with so many features in DCIM, the key is to have a solid understanding of your organization’s requirements and needs before you choose a DCIM solution. Don’t put everything in the kitchen sink and expect it to work on day one. Sit down and prioritize what is important for you to achieve with DCIM, and identify which features will help you do that.

Don’t listen to all of the marketing or next gen buzz words for DCIM. When it comes down to it, can the potential DCIM solution solve your needs? We recommend starting small (such as our DCIM starter package). Get a first win, and then grow your DCIM solution…as you see the ROI and get comfortable using the system.

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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