These Xeon 5500 series Nehalem products are “unmarketable”

Having bounced from Engineering to Sales to Marketing in my career I have found some unique interactions between those organizations along the way. But I have recently come across something for the first time that seems particularly noteworthy. I am finding that many of the internal discussions I am having about our upcoming products are largely void of the usual marketing fluff. You could argue that this blog and my previous statement is itself marketing, but oh well.  I am also not saying that I don’t still visit an end user who is having trouble picking out a server topology, an infrastructure to virtualize on or maybe they are having datacenter challenges or power constraints and we provide them with advanced product info.  All of that still happens regularly and I expect it will continue for a long time. Rather, I am referring to the solutions we are starting to propose for those problems.

I am sure everyone in marketing can remember some product that they were responsible for that kept them up nights. The feature set wasn’t quite right, the price was out of whack, competition was breathing down their necks or competition was the incumbent in a certain area. Those are tough days and you only hope that the future products in the hopper are leadership and there is balance to your present day effort. For a while I have seen segments where products are “unmarketable”. You can pretty much leave the marketing guys at the door when you walk in to a High Performance Computing account, Financial Services Account or Internet Portal Datacenter. They want hardware and you can take your PowerPoint slides and “shove them $#@^%.” That may be a direct quote J

Still, that was certain segments. They did their own benchmarking and they made their decisions based on the exact workloads and configurations they are running. Many Enterprises, Datacenters and Small/Medium Businesses rely on third party data, benchmarks or word of mouth to make their purchase decisions. We have been talking to them under non-disclosure lately about our next generation Nehalem based products and the responses have been rather unique. In short, Nehalem appears to be “unmarketable”. I find myself pretty much trying not to mess things up when talking about the product. There have been some early public discussions about the performance and the message boards seem to be taking a keen interest in how the platform looks. The launch will happen later in Q1 and I for one am looking forward to seeing what exciting new things companies are going to be doing with them.