There have never been more ways to connect with customers—and it’s never been more challenging.
That’s why forward-thinking companies are integrating data across channels. And they’re doing it
now... Page 12
Choose a hardware vendor that delivers products that are on the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). Microsoft supports HCL products. Your vendor should also offer 24-hour support and have both a solid industry reputation
For instance, many companies invested heavily in equipment from Bay Networks only to find those investments lost when the company was purchased by Nortel Networks, which did not support Bay Networks equipment. When Hewlett-Packard/Compaq CEO Carly Fiorina was fired in 2004, there was industry concern about HP's future in the server space, and several large companies jumped vendors only to find a strong earnings report in the last quarter of the year. Dell's low-price marketing strategy has resulted in a perception of low quality, making some companies look elsewhere for fear of Dell's long-term viability. Clearly, there are many factors -- both technological and environmental -- to consider and weigh when choosing your hardware vendor.
Hilary Cotter Hilary Cotter has been involved in IT for more than 20 years as a Web and database consultant. Microsoft first awarded Cotter the Microsoft SQL Server MVP award in 2001. Cotter received his bachelor of applied science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto and studied economics at the University of Calgary and computer science at UC Berkeley. He is the author of a book on SQL Server transactional replication and is currently working on books on merge replication and Microsoft search technologies.