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The Business Trap

We finally approved the PO for our training center equipment yesterday and along with the order for the tables, we're most of the way there. We went with Dell equipment because it's hard to beat their value, we're familiar and we already have a bunch of Dell servers we've purchased over the years.

So over the last few weeks we've been working on pricing and deciding what to buy. So we find that we can get PCs with a flat panel on their various specials for around $500, which is a great price. So we call up and talk to a rep to see if we can bundle this together with a few servers. She tells us

Limit of 5

Since we want things to be the same from the support standpoint, imaging, etc., we decide to just buy some. So the first quote for the specs we have is $1000 a PC. That's the Optiplex line. So we say let's look at Dimensions to be sure we can make this work on a bit of a budget. The quote comes back with Dimensions around $700 a PC. We're good with that, so we move to servers.

The first server gets W2K3 with 15 CALs. Since we were aiming for 12 people, this seems ok. The second server then has W2K3 with 5 CALs, the minimum you get. So we ask that they switch down to 10 CALs on the first server to make it add up and save a little $$.

We had SQL quoted, but then Andy and I both found SS2K5 copies from the launch with 1 CAL, so we just asked for 10 SQL CALs. We get server and 15 CALs.

Now this whole thing is in one big quote, like 15 pages and each time they change one thing, it's almost like they're changing something else to try and keep the price up. Like the Dimensions. They include Quicken, Acrobat, Norton, etc. in trial versions. We ask can that not be included. Sure they say and change the quote to Optiplexes, which don't have the preinstalls. And cost $250 more!

Eventually we worked it out and everything is now on order. Looking forward to seeing some of you in class!

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


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