Airplane Food

The Power of Language — NetApp Insight Day One

Airplane FoodNow that the kickoff of this year’s NetApp Insight show is behind us, I have a couple of things to share from the first day.

My first observation is about the show itself. I like attending a targeted show; you know what to expect, and have a clearly-defined audience. At Insight we know that the attendees are NetApp partners and employees, and everyone cares about storage — most even care about replication. Silver Peak shares a lot of customers with NetApp, so there is always a lot to talk about, and it is great to have a lot of reference customers to talk about — you can find a list of Silver Peak and NetApp documents here.

One of the changes that I have noticed during my time at Silver Peak is the first thing someone says when approaching our booth at a show. When I started, a fair number of show attendees would say “tell me about Silver Peak and what you do”. This comment still pops up on occasion, but it is now the exception and only happens a handful of times during a show. At a show like Insight, where it is all employees and partners (no end users), the comments are now either, “I have a customer (or partner) that is using Silver Peak, loves it,  and told me to talk to you,” or “I installed Silver Peak and you solved my customer’s problems.” This type of comment is really gratifying and speaks a lot to the effort that the Silver Peak engineering, marketing, and sales teams have put into building the product and company over the years.

My second observation stems from something that happened on my flight to Las Vegas this morning. My flight from Atlanta to Vegas was around 4.5 hours, takeoff to landing, and on a 4+ hour flight there are two beverage services. When the flight attendant was announcing the second service, she said something I found interesting: “We are out of food, except for….” The “except for” was followed by a long list of items they still had, and it occurred to me that it would have been easier for her to say, “we are out of sandwiches, but we have everything else.”

Her strange choice of words made me think of how some of our competitors market their products. If you read a datasheet and see a lot of asterisks and notes something is wrong. A statement like “our product supports 1 Gbps of throughput” is really minimized when there are caveats about features that need to be disabled, or that the 1 Gbps is split between send and receive and is not bi-directional.

At Silver Peak we believe in getting what you pay for, and delivering on our promises. When you read a Silver Peak datasheet there are no caveats — if we say that our virtual appliances support 1 Gbps, it is with all of our features enabled (and it works bi-directional at that speed).

To go back to my earlier comment from the morning flight, at Silver Peak we aren’t out of sandwiches and you won’t get a minuscule bag of peanuts, we are full feature data acceleration and WAN optimization with no caveats.

Image credit: Michael Ocampo (flickr) – CC-BY-2.0