(Disclosure: Most of the vendors mentioned are clients of the author.)
There should be no doubt that the current trend of personal computing is to shift the burdens and cost from desktop to cloud, where economies of scale are better for things like updates, security, and performance-on-demand. The obstacles to this transition are bad experiences with thin clients; excessive costs associated with some vendor solutions; and network access, capacity and patience – all of which are fueled by 5G.
Microsoft’s Windows 365 desktop cloud computing moved to the mainstream, and NetApp just returned Windows 365 with a so-called cloud PC offering Computer spot. It looks great on paper but will be hampered by the fact that NetApp is the wrong company to deliver a desktop solution. Just as IBM and Cisco failed in their Apple sales efforts, NetApp is likely to fail with this one.
Let’s talk about why.
Harvester International Example
I grew up on a farm and ranch. On the ranch we had a Jeep and a Harvester International Scout to go around. In many ways, the Scout was the best farm vehicle, as it had a bed as a pick-up truck and an enclosed cabin with a hard top that you could heat in the winter. But the Scout failed in the market, and the Jeep brand and vehicles, which are not so different from what I had then, continue today.
The issue with the Scout was that International Harvester’s sales and service capability was designed for targeted farm vehicles such as harvesters and tractors. The Scout was a personal transport vehicle traditionally sold in car or truck sales that catered for a much wider variety of buyers. Farm equipment is usually serviced at the site where it is used, and if you need to take it into a shop, the equipment is picked up, taken to a central repair facility, and then trucks returned, process not at all. how you service a personal transport vehicle. If you brought your Scouts in for service, there was no waiting room or consideration for an owner who could wait for the repair, as these items were not required for the primarily serviced industrial equipment.
When Honda brought out its first car, it ran into something similar. Although motorcycle stores were much more like car dealers than International Harvester, in order to succeed, the company still had to create a sales, service and distribution system that was unique to cars before it could succeed.
Examples in technology
Sony vs Dell is an early example of this issue in technology. Sony built PCs better than Dell did, but it wanted to leverage the existing audio channels and support structure. While sales were similar (at least at the consumer level), there was no support. To get PC support, you need a much stronger service organization, which Dell did but Sony did not. Sony’s PCs may have broken so often, but when they did, the experience was much worse that Sony got a bad representative for support, and people avoided the product even though it could be argued that it looked better and was it’s better built.
Apple, which has always struggled with enterprise sales because it does not have an enterprise sales and support channel, thought it could use Cisco and IBM to build its products. But neither of these companies sell PCs. These attempts failed as a result of two problems. First, the firms did not have a sales and support channel that was consistent with the product class, and second, Apple refused to build a product that would be more acceptable to the channels these firms already had.
If you look at how IBM managed, at least initially, to address this problem back in the days of IBM PC, it built a company within a company that had its own sales and support channels. This worked but it was so different from the rest of IBM’s business (which is more like NetApp’s business) that it had to sell the IBM PC company to Lenovo, which made it even better.
Citrix has been around for years, with a focused offering similar to the Spot PC, but lacking the economies of scale of traditional PC makers. This forced him to cut more on the offer than most of the market was willing to pay, and he did not control enough of the infrastructure to make his solution viable overall either.
NetApp: Wrong seller for this good time product
With a cloud offering, you would think the support issues would at least disappear. But how often does NetApp deal with the end-user problems that a PC vendor typically deals with and that IT wants them to deal with? In addition, for user support, the process of OEM is well established in most enterprises. So a vendor like Dell, which is already embedded in that process, could provide a Spot PC solution that is relatively painless to accept, because its services are already connected to IT services, and the sales team is talking and working with personal IT technology support. group.
Not only would a solution from NetApp interfere with this, but it would not easily fit into a process based on another vendor with years of experience supporting end users. And, on the other hand, NetApp is a major cloud player, either, which means it needs to establish that capability or partner with AWS, Azure, or Google to provide it.
This increases the risk for the buyer in both the short and long term, because NetApp does not initially have the support structure that expects timely support, and ultimately, there is a high risk that this attempt will fail, leading to its customers will be in trouble.
And finally, what will NetApp use for desktop hardware in the long run? In the short term it can use aging PCs, but in the long run it will need a more dedicated hardware platform – and NetApp is not in the PC business.
One painful final example is Steve Ballmer ‘s Zune attempt. On paper, Zune was priced much better than the iPod. It was stronger: it would play videos, and it came with a music service long before Apple Music. But Microsoft looked at the market’s needs for the offering, including huge marketing costs, video service (none existed at the time), and a way to transfer iPod playlists to the Zune, and decided the parts hard to skip. So Zune failed.
On paper, NetApp has a product that looks complete and well timed. But NetApp is not currently an end-user-oriented desktop computer company for hardware or software. So, the essential features are not there to make the complete solution that the market will need. With the other enterprise PC OEMs spinning their own competing offerings also largely based on Windows 365 and Azure, NetApp will more than ever be embracing these better – positioned, better – supported offerings.
So while specifically, the Spot PC seems to be the right product at the right time, having come from the wrong company, it’s not a good way for its future.
Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.
Net Spot cloud-based PCApp: Right solution, right direction, wrong company
Source link Net Spot cloud-based PCApp: Right solution, right direction, wrong company