There is often not even the veiled discussion of integration of the new company's technology into the existing product line. Ironically the only real integration tends to be in people but typically only the sales organizations and the back end financials. Product development in particular is left alone. As we discussed in our recent article "Which Storage Company Gets Bought Next: Areas of Need" what is really happening is that the purchases are being made to fill the holes in the product line so that the sales organization has multiple products to solve every problem.
This is not a bad strategy. The acquiring company gets a needed infusion of money and, possibly more important, access to a significantly larger sales organization to help promote its products. They are, in most cases, left on their own to continue to develop and innovate the product. The larger company in theory can now solve more of their customer's storage related problems.
I do think this puts more pressure on the larger vendors to educate their sales and engineering organizations on how to best solve each individual customer problem. I fear that too often the sales pitch is going to be you (the customer) pick what storage solution you think is best and we'll sell it to you. Until then the IT team is going to have to be better educated on the various differences in the technologies. If you ask a vendor 'should I use NAS or SAN for my virtual infrastructure' I fear the answer being "you pick and we'll sell it" instead of a thorough discussion of the pros and cons of each storage protocol.
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George Crump is lead analyst of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments. Find Storage Switzerland's disclosure statement here.