Recently I had a bit of trouble with NetApp and CDW on two pretty significant issues. These issues were big enough to prompt me to write not one, not two, but three blog posts regarding this situation.
Last week my two reps from CDW came out to pay a visit to see what we could do to salvage the relationship. Initially I was against the idea of even taking the meeting. I really didn't see the point. Bridges had been burned and it was time to move on.
The meeting was scheduled several weeks after the incident. Now I don't know if they planned it that way or it was by chance but it allowed CDW to be in a good position for the meeting for four reasons:
- By the time the meeting occurred, the issue had been resolved. So that wasn't hanging out there anymore. And as anyone in the IT world knows, that problem was quickly replaced by three more and the NetApp/CDW problem was quickly forgotten.
- Tempers had cooled for the most part.
- It allowed us to try out some other vendors. This issue with the NetApps aside, nobody even comes close to CDW when it comes to delivery, availability, product line, and price. They truly are second to none in that regard. The others vendors I tried...well, watching them try to get a simple order right was like watching a drunk monkey try to open a mason jar.
- It allowed me to go back an look at the time line of what occurred a little more objectively and see what things I could have done to have prevented the issue from reaching that point. Things I did that were counter -productive were as follows:
- I could have told them early on that we did not believe we had a good DR plan because of missing software.
- I could have picked up the phone and forced a conference call to explain the severity of the situation we thought we had instead of waiting for them to do it.
- I would have worked with them versus looking at them in an adversarial role
- Most of all I could have communicated more and better.
Anyway, what's done is done. Lesson learned, at least on my part. Sometimes it is hard to see the forest through the trees and this was one of those times. And when you’re a small fish in a big pond it sometimes can feel like you’re ignored by the bigger fish.
I hope to re-establish the relationship someday to what it once was. They're good folks and a good company. I am doing business with them again and I look forward to continuing to do so for a long time to come.