If You Want My Attention, Do Not Call My Office Phone. It is a Decoy for Unsolicited Vendor Calls

A NetApp on NetApp Perspective


By Mary Jo LeBlanc, NetApp IT


Ring-ring-ring! Remember that object that sits on your desk called a telephone.


What purpose does it serve? I use mine primarily to screen calls from vendors looking to sell me something. If I don’t recognize the number, I don’t answer the phone. Besides a dial tone, unsolicited inquiries are the next most predictable thing I can expect from my phone.

As IT professionals, I bet most of us do our utmost to avoid vendor phone calls­, especially if it’s a new or unknown vendor. 

So how is a vendor supposed to get our attention?

It’s an interesting dilemma. During a conversation I recently had with a colleague we discussed one important way a vendor could get my attention: Help me solve a specific business problem without increasing my working OpEx budget.

Timing is everything—even for the most perfect solution to my problem. If I’m between budgeting cycles, it either has to be OpEx neutral or it could be months before the next budgeting cycle. And if it takes months, I might not need the solution any more.

We agreed that a vendor has to 1) take time to understand the problem which IT is trying to solve; and 2) then suggest solutions that allows the flexibility to add costs into the IT fiscal budgeting cycles in a consumable way. 

Another perspective came from our NetApp CIO Cynthia Stoddard who also avoids vendor phone calls. When it comes to vendor recommendations, she relies on trusted relationships with members of her team or a fellow CIO in the industry. 

Has a vendor solved one of your IT problems lately? If so, how did they go about getting your attention? 

Let’s share experiences and have a conversation about what works and what doesn’t work when a vendor wants to engage IT.

…And just for the record, I don’t accept messages from carrier pigeons either.


The NetApp-on-NetApp blog series features advice from subject matter experts from NetApp IT who share their real-world experiences using NetApp’s industry-leading storage solutions to support business goals. Want to view learn more about the program? Visit www.NetAppIT.com.