In my role at TriAxis, I speak to a significant number of vendors, mostly in the data storage market (BTW, I’ve learned to say “data” storage, otherwise I have gotten into some conversations around physical storage rentals, etc.). Since we have built our reputation on working with a higher percentage of emerging technologies, we will frequently get approached by these types of firms.
Recently, I have had discussions with, in no special order, Nimble Storage, Viridient, Starboard Storage, Cofio, and Coraid. In the next couple of months, or so, I will discuss my thoughts on each of these (the former is listed under the Fresh Ideas section on the site). But, what most of these folks aren’t doing, and I’m not sure I understand why, is making it easy for me to understand their value prop. Their reason for being.
You know — the core piece of value that investors saw when they spoke to the geniuses that invented the product, before they put in their tens of millions.
Why is that understanding important? I’ll explain:
For we here at TriAxis to embrace a new vendor’s product, we have to be convinced it is worth our time. And I don’t mean that in an arrogant way at all. Time being a limited quantity, for a new product to grab our attention we have to quickly see that it is worth taking time from one existing solution and apply that freed up time on the new product. If we don’t see that it is worthwhile, it will never get off the ground here.
So, why is it most vendors want to sit with me and show me a demo?
As a co-founder here and having the dual roles as CEO and CTO (yes, we are small), the former trumps the latter. Essentially, it has to be good for business (meaning good for our clients and prospects) for me to give a hoot about the technical side — my second hat. Therefore a demo is, at its earliest, a secondary consideration.
What are the top things that a new vendor should present to a value-added reseller (VAR)? My next post will get into what I think and why.