Gartner: WorldMark server price tag is misleading

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Gartner: WorldMark server price tag is misleading

Analyst group Gartner has warned NCR's Teradata customers against overpaying for the WorldMark servers that were introduced in May.

Gartner highlighted what it calls NCR's "illogical pricing practices" on the new server.

The research company said the new two-processor nodes that are used in the latest WorldMark 5300 servers provide only 75% of the performance available with the four-processor nodes used in the previous WorldMark 5255 servers.

But NCR is selling the new nodes at the same price as the older nodes, according to Gartner analyst Kevin Strange, who said NCR's prices "are not in line" with standard industry practice.

"By comparison, recent generations of Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun Microsystems high-end Unix servers effectively cut the hardware cost of processing power by increasing the processor speeds by up to 50% with little, if any, increase in price," Strange said.

Vickie Farrell, a vice-president in NCR's Teradata warehouse group, challenged Gartner's position.

"We sell a complete solution that includes hardware and software," Farrell said. "The list price on the box is totally irrelevant. We don't sell off-the-shelf hardware. We sell uniquely configured systems that meet a customer's particular needs."

In fact, she said, when performance is compared, a 5300 server costs 11% less than a 5255 at the same performance level.

Strange said the real problem lies in NCR's failure to publish list prices on its hardware. Unlike other vendors that have clearly published prices, NCR uses a bundled pricing model that gives customers very little idea about how much they're really paying for their hardware, he said.

"If NCR doesn't separately publish prices for its hardware, how do you know for sure that what you are getting is in fact cheaper?" he asked.

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