In the middle of putting out a proposal for a very large client/tender at the moment. Well over a life time’s earnings in servers and an as yet un calculated retainer and service rate at this stage – electricity and bandwidth and human hours all cost money.
I always try to get the best prices within the scope of common sense for clients. Mainly because as a integrated stack vendor, the pricing on one component can blow out the total price of the whole stack. And hardware is the first place to start (given an understanding of the management systems and risk credentials of the project at hand already).
One thorn in my side is mandated “Installation and Configuration” charges. Which are basically extortion attempts.
On the one hand no tech from SUN or IBM from their mainframe/mini computer division is going to know or be able to setup all variables in our system as we need – and as we will do over a long period of time – IE: the process of “Configuration” is Iterative and not finite to one small window of time. :-\
And going back to that whole vertical stack business. Why should a client pay a hardware vendor for support and then pay the integrator for support? These built in service charges make it harder for us to win business and sell anything as we have to protect ourselves as we will be doing the support – and that usually means that the client pays twice!
As much as these hardware firms like to chase the integrators and system builders as a great “Channel” to their products buyers in the market place. Mandatory setup and Configuration fees (Yes they apparently are mutually exclusive in charging if not in the vernacular of the Queen’s English!) are a great way of say “Up Yours” to said channel partners/integrators.
It is not yet clear who will get the Gold Medal – but the race is very competitive!