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Network Vendorspeak

by Andrew Lerner  |  October 19, 2015  |  8 Comments

Network vendors’ sales teams are a special bunch, and they say some interesting things. I’ve heard some real zingers thru the years, and sat down to write the Top-10, but couldn’t stop at ten.  So here are the Top 25 things that network vendor sales teams often say, and what they really mean

  Network Vendor Says… Network Vendor really means…
1 No other vendor can do this. Other vendors solve the same exact problem in a different way.
2 We’re the only vendor that provides this feature. This feature is proprietary.
3 We have many customers in pilots and POCs. We have less than 10 customers in production.
4 The Operational savings are amazing. Our product is really expensive.
5 We provide users with choice. We have multiple products and can’t decide which one to lead with.
6 You don’t need all those expensive features. Our product doesn’t have those features.
7 This product is software-defined. This product has software in it.
8 We recommend professional services for installation. This product is a nightmare to get working.
9 We want to bring in an expert to talk to you about that. There’s nobody within 250 miles that knows anything about that.
10 We haven’t had customer demand for that. We don’t do that and you’re stupid for asking.
11 We’ve had some challenges with that. We don’t recommend it and you’re stupid for asking about it.
12 That’s on our roadmap.  We don’t recommend that yet and you’re stupid for asking about it right now.
13 The ROI is really good. This product is really expensive.
14 Some things are just meant to be done in hardware. We do it in hardware.
15 Some things should always be done in software. We do it in software.
16 This is the best discount I’ve ever seen. This is the best discount I’ve seen in the last hour.
17 We focus on speed and performance. Our management stinks, and we have a limited feature set.
18 Let me check with our engineering team about that. Run far far away from whatever you just asked, don’t even think about it again.
19 We can make that work. It’s gonna take money (a whole lotta spending money), patience, and time (a whole lotta precious time.)
20 We provide enhanced capability for that. Our implementation is proprietary.
21 Pay as you grow. Well charge you less upfront, but it’ll cost you way more down the road.
22 We’ll throw that in for free. You get what you pay for and I am compensated for including that in your BOM.
23 Yes, we integrate with X. Both us and X support TCP/IP and Ethernet.
24 Our difference is our architecture. Our product has no substantial differentiators.
25 Our difference is our people. Our product has no substantial differentiators.

Regards, Andrew

PS-I’m sure there’s alot more out there…


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Category: culture  networking  

Tags: free  pay-as-you-grow  professional-services  roadmap  roi  software-defined  

Andrew Lerner
Research Vice President
6+ years at Gartner
21 years IT Industry

Andrew Lerner is a Vice President in Gartner Research. He covers enterprise networking, including data center, campus and WAN with a focus on emerging technologies (SDN, SD-WAN, and Intent-based networking). Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Network Vendorspeak

  1. Jeff Potter says:

    great article Andrew, and oh so true!
    Thanks for the laugh this morning,
    I hope you are well.

  2. Awesome article and so very timely for us. another one we always hear: Our product is 100% 508 compliant. What they really mean is: We’ll make sure to exercise all those 5 option years in hopes of making it nearly 508 compliant

  3. Russ Scott says:

    I cannot stop laughing!

  4. James Harr says:

    “Provides investment protection”

    • Andrew Lerner says:

      James, good one….

      “provide investment protection” tranlates to…

      both our new stuff and old stuff supports Ethernet and IP (see also #13 and 23).

  5. Shashi Kiran says:

    LOL..somehow missed this one. Have been guilty of a few of these ourselves 🙂

    BTW, you called out Network Vendors, but this is verily true of any vendor, I suppose.

  6. Antonie says:

    Zinger from a sales exec:
    “This product literary sells itself”

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