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FUD to Fact: HCI Workshop

Learn how we're addressing “what makes you different or better” with fact-based HCI evaluations.

June 4, 2020 6 minute read

We recently published an article on our view of the Gartner HCI Magic Quadrant and it generated good discussions. Some feedback praised the article, with folks saying they couldn’t agree more and others simply asked the question: "Well that’s great, but what makes WWT different?" The question is valid, and we'll be addressing it in this article.

World Wide Technology's Web: HCI Edition

Our team has been working on this idea for a little while. The concept isn’t new and was introduced to us by the co-author of this article, Matt Schell. We historically hadn’t found anything that met our needs or that we could leverage, so in true WWT fashion, we built our own. We dub this World Wide Technology's Web: HCI Edition. It's the most clever name we've ever come up with.

The great thing about the model is that it allows customers to come up with their own score for each technology being evaluated with appropriate weighting of the different categories based on what is important to them. This is one of, if not the most important part of all of this. 

If there's anything to take away from this article, it's this: You, as the customer, come out with your own score, weighted to reflect your requirements to help solve the problem(s) your organization is facing.

Why?

Before getting into the details, let's answer the burning question of why someone should go through this exercise. FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. Every day, we're faced with the never ending quest to find the truth but we are inundated with data points from every angle that may or may not be relevant. 

There's a quadrant, a wave or sales numbers that help make a decision on which HCI technology to choose, but why or how a single dot on a quadrant helps meet organizational requirements is unclear. The only real tangible data available, if asked, is a vague report from a re-print somewhere on the Internet. Going through the HCI workshop, and specifically this exercise, will help make much better educated decisions on which platforms are the best technological fit for the organization.

The data sheet that generates World Wide Technology's Web: HCI Edition graph can be a bit daunting at first look, but we’ll be there guiding the process, ensuring it is filled out properly and explaining the different scenarios. We believe we have something that isn't necessarily perfect but is customizable to every customer. The exercise allows customers to:

  • Take out biases with open discussions.
  • Include all criteria important to the organization.
  • Weigh each line item to align with organizational goals.
  • Make fact-based decisions.
  • Receive tangible documentation and justification for future reference.

World Wide Technology's Web - HCI Edition

There are many lines being scored during the workshop which, as mentioned above, are completely customizable. If there’s something that is not of importance to the organization, we can exclude it or assign a low weight. More importantly, if there’s something missing that is important, it can be included, weighted and measured.

Each line holds a weight which is derived from the customer and ties back to specific requirements. This is the feature that starts setting this model apart from others we’ve encountered. The decision isn’t made based on what we (WWT) or any other industry analyst says is or should be important, but what the customer knows is important to the problem(s) they are looking to solve. We are here to be the trusted technical advisor to guide customers through the process by bringing our previous customer and hands-on experiences to the table.

Evaluate with confidence

What does this all lead to? Below is an example of an output — your introduction to World Wide Technology's Web - HCI Edition. Before the question is asked, this is 100 percent made up and exaggerated for the purpose of showing an example. Attempting to guess who's who is a futile attempt!

world wide technology's web: HCI edition
World Wide Technology's Web: HCI Edition

The breakdown

Below is a quick breakdown of the image above. The closer the vendor’s line is to the outside, the better it scored in that specific area. Outer edges, good. Inner edges, not as good.

  • If Security is the most important thing, Vendor 1 (blue line) should be strongly considered.
  • If Disaster Recovery is a major requirement for the organization, Vendor 2 (red line) should be strongly considered.
  • If Expandability / Scalability is the most important thing, Vendor 3 (purple line) should be strongly considered.

Also notice that the title of the chart above includes "Weighted Scores" — this is where the focus should be for the different technologies, however, we also have a "Raw Scores" chart that can be compared side by side. Just because a technology has a fancy nerd knob, doesn't make it important to the organization or help in solving the problem(s).

Wondering why a "Performance" section isn't listed? We purposefully leave it off. Performance is arbitrary. To say a customer needs 10,000 IOPs is the same as asking how long a piece of string is. There are many additional details needed to accurately answer this. The good news is, not only can we help you get a score on everything else, we also have similar hardware across the leading HCI technologies in our labs where if performance testing is required, we can dig deeper and perform a full proof-of-concept in our ATC.

The possibilities with the data points are essentially limitless. We can show raw numbers, give outputs with individual technologies, give bar graphs, etc.; we can get creative to give useful documentation. As a matter of fact, there’s a whole lot more data that is generated as part of the process that we consider “raw” but can also be used for decision making. As mentioned above, this data is yours to keep and reference back to whenever needed. These efforts will typically take a full day of your time with the need for interactive discussions.

Get started

If you’re thinking about HCI, starting your research or even stuck in your decision making process and want to learn more about this, reach out to your WWT account team to schedule an HCI Workshop. As mentioned above, we are also able to perform proof of concepts in the ATC.

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