cables in a data center

Considering purchasing DCIM software for your organization? If so, you’ve probably identified which pain points you need the software to solve, but you may not have given as much thought to the vendor with whom you will be working. Data center infrastructure management software is an investment, and just as you wouldn’t buy a car from a manufacturer with a shady past or a questionable future, you don’t want to deal with a vendor that can’t deliver. Why? Imagine ending up with a car and no way to get the parts to repair it….

To protect your investment, be sure to perform due diligence on any vendor you are seriously considering. The more you know, the better decisions you can make and the more comfortable you’ll be with your purchase.

(Really) Check References

DCIM vendors simply aren’t going to highlight their flaws and shortcomings; they present themselves in the best possible light when selling to you. It’s up to you to hunt down the full picture by checking references. Ask for names and don’t just call one or two: keep calling until you find a customer who had an issue. Finding out how the vendor dealt with the customer issue will give you a fuller picture of how you can expect the vendor to deal with any problems that you may end up experiencing.

Support Can Make or Break a Great DCIM Product

When you’re implementing a DCIM solution, you are probably going to need some support from the vendor you end up working with. Find out about the levels of support the vendor you are considering offers. Do they offer online chatting, an easy-to-reach phone number, Skype, or incident tickets? Further, what is their average turnaround time? What are the annual charges for ongoing support?

Ask how they listen to customers’ requests and suggestions for features: do their customers end up influencing the roadmap? With all of the different functions out there, ultimately the best DCIM solution is one that does just what you need it to do: find a vendor who is more than willing to make that happen.

Staying Power Matters

DCIM software is an investment and you want to work with a vendor that will be around for the long-haul. Don’t be afraid to ask some hard questions to get a better picture of a vendor’s staying power. It’s a good idea, for example, to get a picture of the vendor’s financials. Are they jv-funded or are they fully solvent? How many clients do they currently serve? You don’t want to end up with a less expensive software that looks good on paper but ends up outdated in a few years because the vendor has stopped releasing updates.

To sum it all up, the vendor you choose is the vendor you’ll turn to when you have an issue, need a custom solution or are looking for updates down the road. For more detailed information on choosing a vendor, check out this post from our How to Choose the Right DCIM Solution series. We’re not saying you need to be Facebook friends with the entire software team, but you do want to get an overall view of the company. Now is the time to get an idea of what it will look like when problems arise, how you’ll access the support you need and if the vendor will still be around a few years down the road.