Perception Versus Reality: The DCIM Conundrum

Simon Blake •

ix IAgain Tony. As a child this was how  the FIAT acronym was joked about. It was a time when buying a FIAT was akin to investing in scrap metal with the additional prospect of wondering if the thing would start on a wet day or if you would open the door to find the foot wells in 6 inches of water.  And consider the household favourite mouthwash Listerine, who in 1976 were forced by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to advertise that their previous claims were false ‘“Contrary to prior advertising, Listerine will not help prevent colds or sore throats or lessen their severity.” Ouch!!!  Listerine survived and became a stronger brand.  FIAT still struggles to shake its reputation despite JD Power considering the FIAT500 as good as the rest of the market.  The point being, once a dog gets a name, whether positive or negative, it’s hard to shake that name and perception, even when the reality has long since passed.

What does this have to do with the efficient management of control of data centres? Well, DCIM is a relatively new space with many vendors (since 2015 quite a few less) dabbling in the area. Some, with less than perfect offerings, and many with promises of perfection.  It’s fair to say that during the shake up period of sorting the men from the boys, some tarnishing has been done to the DCIM concept, and all vendors have got a lick of that brush, deserved or not.

In our experience, two areas where we see a reluctance to invest in DCIM are in the areas of “Complexity and length of time to deploy”, and “Resources and Skill to utilise the tool to maximum effect”.   Perceptions are typically based in some reality; however these are, for many vendor offerings, past realities.  Many vendors solutions have now matured to a level where I believe one of the biggest inhibitors to adoption is not the reality of current offerings, but the inertia of aged perceptions.

Changing Perceptions with Meaningful Actions
Recognising that changing perceptions cannot be done quickly or with one action alone, at Vertiv we have put our money (and reputation) where our mouth is, but creating a Low Cost, Low Risk and Fast DCIM Quick Start offering. We do this to break the perception with a concrete offering which we are accountable to delivering for our customers.

What is a Low Cost, Low Risk, Fast Offering exactly? 
Quite simply, it is the enterprise class Trellis™ platform offering, bundled with hardware, specified licences, professional services, training and maintenance.  All at a guaranteed fixed LOW price and a guaranteed FAST time to deploy.

But what about the Resource and Skills issue?
I’m glad you asked me that!
Over the past year, our developer team have been working maniacally to deliver the absolute best product we believed we could, Trellis™ 4.0. 3D visualisation, massively enhanced and intuitive UI, a Thermal Management Module and new integration functionality with IT device Management software.

We are pleased with the results. The customers who have seen the beta version are pleased with the results. The analyst community who review DCIM Vendors, who are appropriately reserved in their reviews, said about Trellis:

“Trellis, distinguished by architecture that was designed from the ground up……has improved Trellis’ performance, implementation speed and user interfaces.”
Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Data Center Infrastructure Management Tools- Oct 2015

“Trellis has …………emerged as one of the leading DCIM solutions on the market today”
IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) 2015 Vendor Analysis

For those data centre professionals, who are keen to make their data centres more agile and efficient to be the engine of their organisations growth through IT, we believe there is no more compelling time to invest in DCIM as a fundamental tool to achieve this. We’re thinking different to change the conversation; think different and join us on that journey.

What’s your experience on DCIM?
Please share with us your best practices.

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