So James decided to put both vendors -- EMC and Xiotech -- in a conference room and let them duke it out. "Who knows the other person's product and weaknesses better than their competitors?" he says. James gave each company an hour to make a presentation and an hour to tear up the opposition. EMC dispatched a team of nine. Xiotech sent three people.
"It got heated," he recalls. "They both took it as a challenge. They had never heard something like this being done before. If you don't know a product, it's a good tool. Bring your two finalists into a room, and let them slug it out. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. "
In the end, James went with EMC's SAN for a simple reason: "I thought EMC had better support."
Michael Ybarra is a contributing writer for SearchCIO-Midmarket.com. To comment on this story, email email@example.com.
This was first published in August 2006