David Turner via Info-vax
Sent: April 22, 2017 10:22 AM
Subject: Re: [Info-vax] VSI: following up sales leads to conclusion is
Marketing 101 (maybe circa 1975)
Let me tell you
There are still a lot of dealers out there in Alpha/Integrity land.
Many, though have failed and their employees are working on car lots and
selling used furniture (poke at CCH)as they failed to modernize and
cater to their more "switched-online" clients.
We are surviving and doing pretty well. Why? Because we put the pricing
(in most cases) on our website. These are prices that allow us to make a
fair (not massive) margin and provide the hardware support that is
So VSI keeping their pricing "secret" is only doing a disservice to
their customers and themselves. Time that could be used to do more
marketing in the real world, is taken by sales people spending hours
quoting the same products.
Even though VSI states they have +/- 25K options, I bet there are 20 or
30 that are the MOST quoted.
In that case, why not put them into a free Magento or Opencart store
(all it takes is Linux MySQL and PHP and Opencart CMS) and they can
alleviate their workload for a large majority of their current
We do well because our prices are up in print. HP even uses our pricing
more than sometimes to price their own refurbished products for sale. We
do discounts in the form of repeat customer coupons and special items.
It is a no-brainer that perhaps is lost amongst the highly
engineering-minded IQ-Elite. But I have been selling
stuff since 1989 and I know what works, not to mention many customers
having told me how frustrating it is to just get a bloody price on
something simply for budgetory purposes.... (they nearly always needed 3
printed price quotes)
My few cents worth
All this back seat driving in this thread is great for unloading on what
we all know here was a disastrous pricing and marketing strategy with
With each company takeover, existing products became much smaller fish
in a much larger pond. Add into this, all of the companies that HP
purchased in the last 10 years or so (number was 42 before I left in
2012 - each with large numbers of product p/n's) and you can see how
these traditional products like OpenVMS, HP-UX and NonStop) became much
smaller fish. Think of the additional complexities when, after massive
purges of Sales people, the remaining Sales teams have all these massive
products and p/n's (tens of thousands btw) to wade through in order to
determine what to sell to a Customer.
Imho, besides the obvious huge personal bonuses for the C+ mgmt. levels,
the p/n and solution complexity was a primary reason why the HP BOD and
senior decided to break up HP into much smaller parts i.e. separate HP
into HPE/HP Inc, cut loose the SW org, cut loose the Managed Services,
sell off traditional products etc.
Personal prediction - wait for a similar announcement for NonStop in the
next 12 months as what happened with OpenVMS. Note that, like the
OpenVMS transfer to VSI, this would likely be a great move for the
NonStop folks because they would no longer be very small fish in a big
In addition, the previous OpenVMS pricing/marketing strategies were
based on the competition being Solaris, AIX and yes, even HP-UX
strategies. Meanwhile the commodity OS's (Windows/Linux) ate all of
these traditional enterprise OS's lunch. For DEC/Compaq/HP, this was not
that big of an issue because they expected to also gain a certain amount
of server / storage HW revenue when these existing OpenVMS/HP-UX Cust's
migrated. While not good for BCS (org with enterprise OS's), it was good
for ISSG (org with ProLiant HW), so no one really cared at the top of
HP. Remember that the culture of Compaq/HP was very much a HW company.
Past Migrations -
Very few Customers ever migrated from any of these enterprise OS's
because the target OS (Windows/Linux) was technically "better". Likely
95% of these Customers who migrated were focussed on reducing their IT
licensing/support costs and the target commodity OS was viewed as "good
enough". That is also true today - ask any Solaris/AIX/HP-UX Customer
looking at Linux if the reason they are migrating is because they think
Linux is technically better than Solaris/AIX/HP-UX. The main drivers are
almost always reductions of licenses, support costs.
So what is running the enterprises of today? "Good enough" platforms
that are (or rather, perceived to be) much less cost than the
traditional enterprise OS's.
Online Pricing -
Re: VSI web site pricing - Pure 100% speculation on my part, but what if
the current pricing strategy was under review to determine what pricing
model is best for the future of VSI?
For those familiar with how complex licensing/support cost models this
really are (p/n's, license keys, existing documentation, existing
contracts including multi-year etc.), this is not a small feat - it is a
huge, huge undertaking.
IF this were true, would launching a new web site with current pricing
be a smart move, when as Clair stated, they have a hard enough time
keeping up with current requests coming in?
Selling via additional resellers is certainly something to consider for
the future. However, in their current state of transition, would it not
be better to talk more directly to Customers, better understand the Cust
pain points and then explain what the current model is and where VSI is
heading? Yes, this assumes they can keep up with the incoming quote
requests (a good challenge to have btw).
Kerry dot main at starkgaming dot com