Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

HP Seeks to Block Competitor From Revealing Its Pricing

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the whaddya-mean-the-price-tag's-showing? dept.

HP 144

Matt Asay writes "On October 13, 2008, Hewlett-Packard sent a complaint to an open-source competitor, GroundWork, asking GroundWork to stop revealing HP's 'confidential' pricing. CNET has posted the letter, which indicates that HP doesn't want its pricing revealed, but which doesn't question the veracity of the pricing (which, not surprisingly, is 82 percent higher than the open-source vendor's). Does HP think its pricing is really a secret? It's publicly available at GSA Advantage. Guess what? HP software costs a lot of money, but presumably feels that it can justify the high prices. Why try to hide the pricing information?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Differential Pricing? (5, Insightful)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915101)

Maybe the price of the software varies significantly from customer to customer. I mean if you just found out that you paid 2x as much for software mentioned here you'd be pretty annoyed.

Plus there is always corporate paranoia..

Re:Differential Pricing? (4, Insightful)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915163)

Companies don't like to release pricing, because then they would be more compelled to compete on price.

Re:Differential Pricing? (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915321)

Actually, they do not like to release pricing because it would take away one of the best bargaining pieces they have: the ability to lower the price during a sales meeting. Enterprise vendors love to tell a customer that they are going to lower the price by 50%, 60%, 80%, etc., because in the end, it works out for everybody. The customer goes back thinking they got a deal and the vendor still turns a profit (because the list price is marked up significantly). Once you are forced to reveal your list price to the world, it becomes more difficult to convince your customers that you are even willing to give them a discount or negotiate, because they have already seen the price and assume that is what they will be charged. The order in which things are revealed to a customer will determine whether or not that customer is willing to close the deal and buy the product.

Also happens at the consumer-level (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915603)

For example: Mark-up on Monster cables.
DVD blanks are also marked up. Even when it's on sale, they're still making a profit.

Re:Differential Pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915721)

So what's wrong with adding an ad bubble "discounts available".

Re:Differential Pricing? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915897)

Everyone would take advantage of it, and I'm sure they make a hell of a lot of money on the companies too stupid to think of asking for a lower price (or go lower than they already requested).

Re:Differential Pricing? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915917)

Couldn't they just set their list price at a significant markup to compensate for it?

If the real value of their software is $5,000, but they start the negotiations at $10,000, then they should list it somewhere between $10,000-$12,000.

Re:Differential Pricing? (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916755)

The problem with that theory is the effect it has with people who look at the pricing and say "there are some other solutions that work well enough at cheaper prices".

I would think that software marked at twice their real world value would scare a lot of people away before the chance to bargain ever comes into play. You don't really want people to consider other people's/company's software before yours just because of a marketing ploy. That's actually what is happening in this case with HP claiming confidentiality except the marketing ploy is another company's. You have a lot less control over other people and companies then you do over your own so unless your the only provider of the software, I wouldn't think it would be beneficial.

Re:Differential Pricing? (2, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915919)

So HP salespeople are deceitful, trying to mislead customers into making them feel they got a good bargain (even though they paid exactly what everyone else pays). Sorry but I prefer honesty. I prefer openness. Same as any other retailer like Walmart or JCPenney. The list price is there for all to see, and not hidden behind a bunch of marketing BS, and sleight of hand.

I'd tell HP to go frak off. If I want to tell my friends, colleagues, whoever that I was able to get HP software for 50% off the list price, that's my right of free speech to do so. If HP does not like it, then too bad. My mouth is my mouth and I will continue using it no matter what the HP CEO thinks about it. He can bend over and sck my ___ for all I care.

Stupid arrogant corporations. I hate them. They are becoming modern-day versions of kings & tyrants.

Re:Differential Pricing? (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916355)

salespeople are deceitful

you didn't already know that? (I don't disagree with the gist of your post)

Re:Differential Pricing? (2, Interesting)

isj (453011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916543)

The salespeople may be forced to do this. There are industries (eg. telco) where the procurement managers won't sign a contract unless there is a discount. If the salespeople know that then they are forced to advertise a higher base price.

On the other hand, in some cases the discounts and negotiations are ridiculous. I once experienced a router vendor salesman responding to a coworker's concern for the price with "oh, no problem. You can get 50% discount". That is a bit silly.

Haggling over the service, options and price is ok. I don't like haggling over the price only.

Re:Differential Pricing? (0, Troll)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916759)

Sorry but I prefer honesty.

No, you don't. You do not want to know how cheaply some other gets the same service, it would make you feel bad.

You want to feel good.

Don't deceive yourself thinking that everyone should get the same price.

Re:Differential Pricing? (1)

wiz_80 (15261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917595)

You also have to remember that the product is not worth the same amount to different people. One user might be very happy to shell out a million bucks and still consider it a bargain, while another will stretch to justify a hundred grand - for the exact same tool. I have seen this happen first hand.

What happens then is that there will be a list price somewhere in between what the two users would be willing to pay. The first customer has a second item tacked on to the quote to make up some of the difference between what the tool is worth to them and its list price, while the second customer gets a substantial discount on the list price. This is possible because the cost of a single copy of the software is next to nothing, once the development has been paid for.

Re:Differential Pricing? (0, Flamebait)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916867)

So HP salespeople are deceitful, trying to mislead customers into making them feel they got a good bargain (even though they paid exactly what everyone else pays). Sorry but I prefer honesty. I prefer openness. Same as any other retailer like Walmart or JCPenney.

Guess you can't seem to think about the "Instant Discounts", "1 coupon Rebate", "Mail In Rebate", "1 Check Rebate", which Wal Mart and JC Penneys (you REALLY wear the clothes you purchase there, that deserves a down-mod on general principal) both take advantage of.

Marketing is everywhere. Just because you look at the world in a different light than the rest of the sheeple really doesn't matter.... You can take your dollar elsewhere (where, I really don't know, since ALL retailers use these tactics)... The stores still have idiots taking "value" out of their homes and spending it on little Juan's clothes so he can look as good as Julio (who's parents are doing the same thing).

--Toll_Free

Re:Differential Pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915949)

This is an important thread for anyone who purchases enterprise software. I didn't sign on to the company to be a purchasing agent. We actually have staff for that. But sometimes the product is so technical, I'm in the best position to negotiate the price.

After years of doing negotiations and watching others, It seems to me that almost all enterprise software will come down at least 40% from list price. Many will come down 50% to 60%. I've seen some come down as much as 80%. This includes things as common as antivirus, security suites, patch management, communication packages, and even specialty software such as risk management and compliance software. There are exceptions, some vendors don't budge much. Higher quantities often get higher discounts.

I'm currently evaluating URL filtering software. All of the vendors have moved between 40%-90% off list. Most around 50%.

If you are paying list price you really need to look at negotiation. Even 20% isn't that good of a discount in most cases.

One of the best ways to negotiate is to get two or three vendors/VARs competing against each other. Tell VAR 1 that VAR 2 offered you 40% off, but if VAR 1 gives you 45% off you will buy now. Things like that.

Happy Black Friday!

Re:Differential Pricing? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25917023)


I'm currently evaluating URL filtering software. All of the vendors have moved between 40%-90% off list. Most around 50%.

Squid does this beautifully and is free & opensource. We run it on a triad of caches in front of ~3500 users.

Re:Differential Pricing? (4, Informative)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916059)

You're right, except I don't think making their list price public makes a whole lot of a difference. No one pays full price, it's just like a car dealership. So if a particular vendor has a higher price but a good product, you're probably still going to at least look at that product and get a custom quote. From there you decide if the product itself is a good match for you, and if it is then you can start working with the vendor to reduce the price.

I just got my first IT job about a year ago fresh out of college. One of my first projects was to research, recommend, buy, and implement a particular product. I did some research and ended up being convinced this certain vendor has the best product for our needs. Their list price on their website was $29,000, +25% for each additional CPU over one, +20% support per year. I then called them, had a couple web demos, and began exchanging phone calls with the sales rep. What we wanted came out to about $75,000 with a 5 year support contract. Within a couple weeks (hey, this was my first time so it took a while) I had talked him down ~$40,000 with a 5 year support contract. It was easy, it didn't take a lot of negotiating, and I think I could have got him down more if I really wanted.

My point is they will lower their prices without so much as you asking them to, and that is what they are counting on -- you get interested in the product, they sell it to you for less than list price, and you're a happy customer who hopefully has repeat business based on your positive experience. List price means very little.

Re:Differential Pricing? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916631)

Some people pay full price. My friend from China paid full price for an Acura car, because he didn't know he was supposed to haggle. He thought the price on the window was what everyone paid - just like in a store.

Re:Differential Pricing? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917205)

He didn't get TOO ripped off, I think, unless the car guide sites are showing inflated values. The dealer margins are big, but not far from 10% of the invoice price*, at least in the "budget" car regime.

*Yes, I know about dealer incentives. Tack on another 5-10%, depending on where in the model year you are. It's still not, percentage-wise, nearly as much markup as, say, that $5 foot-long at subway.

Re:Differential Pricing? (2, Interesting)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917283)

they sell it to you for less than list price, and you're a happy customer who hopefully has repeat business based on your positive experience

However, the next time you *will* pay full price or at least closer to it.

Or worse, over full price. A friend of mine asked his regular Dell accountmanager for a quote. When the quote turned out to be over the expected amount, he checked the website, and lo and behold -- the website price was lower :-) Turns out they give you a very low first price, then sometimes try to errrr... make up for that :-)

Re:Differential Pricing? (1)

wiz_80 (15261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917617)

Something else to bear in mind is that many companies sell you the software with an attractive discount, but then charge maintenance on the list price. Maintenance is typically somewhere between 18% and 20%, so if you score a 40% or 50% discount on the software itself, you are in for a nasty shock when maintenance renewal time comes up.

Re:Differential Pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25917449)

Yeah, I remember you, I thought what a dumb guy. Usually I have to go with the price down to $25,000 and 10 year support.
Have a nice day.

Re:Differential Pricing? (1)

durdur (252098) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916301)

Another reason not to publish prices is that it facilitates unfair comparisons. An analyst firm or a competitor comes out with a report that says your software is 30% more expensive than a competitor's. That's probably bogus because of discounting and most people will realize that. But it can hurt you anyway.

Re:Differential Pricing? (4, Interesting)

wiz_80 (15261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917555)

Actually actually, that's not how it works at all. I work for an enterprise software vendor, and the list price is where we start quoting from. If you buy ten seats, you get list price. Buy a hundred, we round it down to the closest round number. Buy thousands of seats, you get a big per-seat discount.

We do this because we make it up on volume, not to mention the services large installations require, the kudos associated with big-name references, and so on. We never inflate list prices in quotes. In fact, I believe that is a termination offence at my current employer.

That's not to say, of course, that some quotes don't get padded up before getting slimmed down again in front of the prospect's purchasing team, but we are talking about things like 24x7 support which can be negotiated down to 10x5, or using one pricing model when another might be more advantageous, but all of these are based on an unalterable price list.

Re:Differential Pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915523)

blah blah'

Re:Differential Pricing? (4, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915355)

That's exactly what happens in the whole construction material industry (at least in Europe).

Every client (craftsman's business) gets a different price (or discount as they call it), depending on how a "good client" they are. (Depending on how much they like to keep you because you buy much and pay early, and so on).

I'm pretty sure HP does the same. It makes sense to handle good old clients different than that new company that can't quite guarantee a quick payment.

Of course, if that "bad" company starts to know how much they really can push the price, they might start making demands.

On the other hand, this is a typical monopoly problem, because in working economies, the client can do the same, and pay more for quality suppliers.

Re:Differential Pricing? (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916833)

That and public display of pricing often cause consumers not to Apples vs. Apples type of purchase.
Organization X get product A for $3,000
Organization Y is told their software will cost $5,000

Now the reason could have a huge amount of reasons.

Organization X can be good at paying the bill while Organization Y takes forever and needs numerous calls to get it paid.
Organization X has been a steady repeat customer. While Organization Y will purchase a product and will not purchase anything else in a long time.
Organization X may have less need or proven to to be less of a support sink, while Organization Y is a constant problem.They
Organization X may put a Powered by Your Company on its page. While Organization Y will not.

They don't want their prices public because they don't want to know how they rank and value their customers. This is not evil or greedy, it is business. You want to keep good customers for the long term so you will be willing to cut your margins. But if the company is a problem and you don't see much opportunity take what you can get.

You tend to do the same thing as an employee. You are willing to work for less per hour if you know you job is relatively stable like you will have consistent paid work. vs. if your a 1090 employee where you charge 3x as much per hour for your work because you know there could be weeks or months you may not get paid for, and if your quality isn't up to snuff you may not get paid for your work. Or if there is a job you don't like or have to work hours you don't want to you usually ask for more pay to do undesirable work. The same thing with companies and their customers. If the customers try to rip them off then the company will build in padding to prevent this.

Some big companies will take a 10% discount off the top if they pay on-time for your services as part of the contract (after they agree the rate) so what happens when it is time to re-contract the rate the client will add 20% to the price. While their other client who is more friendly may get a deal which is 10% less then the the first company at start because they have been good at paying on time.

Companies like to reward good customers. But unfortunately if the reward is public bad companies see it as being punished as bad customers.

The bible passage explains this well: Matthew 20:1-16 (You don't need to believe in the mythicism but take it as a philosophical example)

Re:Differential Pricing? (2, Interesting)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917263)

bad companies see it as being punished as bad customers

So where's the problem ? If I'm fed up with a resource-hogging deadbeat, I let them know and they are free to hog someone else's time instead. They stick around because they have nowhere else to go, or they know the competition sucks...

If HP has a legitimate reason to charge a different price, I think they should man up and be perfectly frank about it, like saying "Shitty clients pay more, because they cost more to support".

Coddling those shitty clients only leads to more shitty clients draining your resources, often at the detriment of your awesome clients... unless you're in the business of cleaning shit up.

Re: Corporate paranoia (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916885)

How dare you suggest the possibility of corporate paranoia in the upper echelons of HP! Such a thing could never happen! Hell would freeze over first.

Damn, where's that chilly draft coming from...?

Re:Differential Pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25917871)

HP is evil

High Prices? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915107)

I thought that is what their name stands forâ¦

Huge P... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25916149)

When I worked at HP
it stood for Huge Penis

Re:Huge P... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25916315)

Was that before or during Fiorina's reign?

Re:Huge P... (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917647)

Because of, I think.

Re:High Prices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25917581)

Can you reveal your name and address, mister AC, so we can take all legal remedies?

Jim Haselmaier
Director Strategy and Operations
HP Software Business Service Management
Hevlet-Packard Company

It's a stupid practice... (4, Interesting)

Enter the Shoggoth (1362079) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915111)

but "Enterprise" software is normally never sold at the list price, so I suspect that HP doesn't what the list price used in a comparison, because they aren't actually going to sell it at that price.

Re:It's a stupid practice... (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915937)

I don't know about "enterprise" marketing, but in retail marketing that's called false advertising. If you advertise a list price but never sell anything at that price, it's an illegal and misleading act. HP should be held to the exact-same standards.

Re:It's a stupid practice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25916295)

I don't know about "enterprise" marketing, but in retail marketing that's called false advertising. If you advertise a list price but never sell anything at that price, it's an illegal and misleading act. HP should be held to the exact-same standards.

How can it be false advertising if you don't advertise?

Re:It's a stupid practice... (3, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916963)

It's not technically illegal. As long as the consumer knows how much they are paying before the sale is final, that's all that matters. If you go into discounts retail shops you will see the price listed as the manufacturer printed them on the box. This is the list price (MSRV) and then somewhere there will be a sign saying "All X some percent off" or even "all X this price".

You can and do have price points in marketing and certain customers can and do get different points based on a number of things too. I have one vendor that gives me almost 50% off the lists price if I spend over $10,000 a month (they have steeper discounts but I never have hit higher then this for an average). The rest of the time, the price point set me at 35% below the price. Where it becomes deceptive is where it costs more then the advertised price or when the customer doesn't know the real price before ordering/paying.

I'm willing to bet that if you check your state's false advertising laws or deceptive business practices laws, there is some requirement for it to harm consumers or be potentially harmful to consumers before it can be enforced.

Re:It's a stupid practice... (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917955)

I don't know about "enterprise" marketing, but in retail marketing that's called false advertising.

First, they're not advertising it. In fact, this very article is about them preventing it from being advertised.

Second, "false advertising" really refers to the product, not the price. Prices are almost always variable. If a commercial comes on TV and says "buy product X for only $29.99", but your particular favourite store has it on sale for $19.99, do you complain that it was false advertising?

In this case, the point is that there really isn't a true list price. There is just a starting point from which to negotiate the actual price.

Software feels it can justify the high prices (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915113)

How arrogant! What's next, software that feels it doesn't need programmers?

barbara streisand effect (5, Insightful)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915129)

another fine example of the barbara streisand effect in the making.

see...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect [wikipedia.org]

stupid. sometimes I wonder how these executives think, or even if.

Re:barbara streisand effect (0)

Darundal (891860) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915309)

It is fair to note that most of the people who end up initiating the effect have spent most of their lives in a world where such an effect, for the most part, didn't exist, and in which their actions would be far more effective.

Re:barbara streisand effect (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915329)

When they dispatched the Pony Express to deliver the letter, did they send out a few extras to ensure that at least one made it past the velociraptors?

Re:barbara streisand effect (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917155)

Well, it appears that the Incas of Puru did. Not only do they depict dinosaurs attacking [omniology.com] and being attacked in their art, pottery, and clothing, we have seen duplicate Inca message strings [msn.com] which were supposedly coded messages that runners would take from one location to another. It has been suggested that along dangerous routes, multiple messenger runners would be sent to ensure the probability of them getting through.

If you watch south park, they just recently did a two part video making fun of the Inca dinosaurs connections where they did the land of the lost giants and portrayed them all as Guinna pigs and Guinna pigs related creatures.

Re:barbara streisand effect (5, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915357)

And free publicity for GroundWork. With this Slashdot article I guess the number of people who are aware of that alternative to HP has multiplied ;-)

Re:barbara streisand effect (1)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917047)


Indeed! I've never heard of Groundwork before and sent myself email at work (on holidays) to have a look at it when I get back.

Erm... (3, Interesting)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915141)

I thought this was pretty much standard in a large number of industries, especially when contracts are involved.

If your prices become well known, you leave yourself open to being undercut or pissing off other customers who weren't as good at negotiating a deal. Conversely, if you're making a bid for an exclusive licence and the amount you're bidding becomes public, a rival can come in and bid slightly higher to sabotage you.

Re:Erm... (4, Insightful)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915279)

Erm... this is called open market.

Re:Erm... (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915661)

And? An open market means they're free to price their goods at whatever they want to whoever they want and people can choose to buy or not buy at those prices. It has nothing to do with making their quotes confidential.

It's pretty hard for a single company to be a cartel or fix prices by themselves in a competative industry.

Re:Erm... (2, Interesting)

syntaxglitch (889367) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916787)

And? An open market means they're free to price their goods at whatever they want to whoever they want and people can choose to buy or not buy at those prices. It has nothing to do with making their quotes confidential.

On the other hand, a free market itself isn't all that great. For a free market to provide optimal results, a variety of other conditions must be met, one of which is that all market participants have perfect information.

Trying to keep prices secret is one popular way that companies try to give the middle finger to the Invisible Hand and profit off of engineered market inefficiency.

Session Terminated (3, Funny)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915145)

That "publicly available at GSA Advantage" link from the article goes to:

Session Terminated Your Advantage! or e-Buy session has been terminated for one of the following reasons: ...

So was it really publicly available?

Also they'd have to state that HP authorized it to be public on the GSA site. Otherwise you could just have two sites referencing each other saying the info is already public.

Re:Session Terminated (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915601)

That "publicly available at GSA Advantage" link from the article goes to:

Session Terminated
Your Advantage! or e-Buy session has been terminated for one of the following reasons: ...

So was it really publicly available?

Also they'd have to state that HP authorized it to be public on the GSA site. Otherwise you could just have two sites referencing each other saying the info is already public.

Well, considering that GSA Advantage is readily accessible and searched from gsa.gov; it's pretty much publically available.

The only disclaimer on GSA Advantage's main page is:

*** WARNING *** This is a U.S. General Services Administration computer system that is "FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY." This system is subject to monitoring. Therefore, no expectation of privacy is to be assumed. Individuals found performing unauthorized activities are subject to disciplinary action including criminal prosecution. Privacy and Security

which is a pretty standard US Government disclaimer; what constitutes "Official Use?" is certainly an open question; especially since much of that info is probably available via a FOIA request anyway I would doubt that simply searching prices would cause any problems.

Interestingly, the disclaimer seems to be aimed at US Government employees because it refers to "disciplinary action including criminal prosecution" rather than just criminal prosecution.

Re:Session Terminated (1)

Warped-Reality (125140) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915767)

"For Official Use Only" is a type of non-public but unclassified government information. Which means that either that website shouldn't be there or the banner shouldn't be there...

Wiki page on FOUO [wikipedia.org]

Re:Session Terminated (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917953)

"For Official Use Only" is a type of non-public but unclassified government information. Which means that either that website shouldn't be there or the banner shouldn't be there...

Wiki page on FOUO [wikipedia.org]

I'm not sure that it's a FOUO classification but a statement of use similar to US Gov vehicles that say FOUO but certainly are not document.

I'd say the banner was incorrectly used if they really meant it to be FOUO.

Re:Session Terminated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25917459)

I was under the impression that once something was available to the public, it was public - regardless of who released it first, or under what circumstances?

Sad. (4, Interesting)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915171)

I remember when HP was run by Engineers, not the marketing and legal department.

Re:Sad. (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915297)

I remember when HP was run by Engineers, not the marketing and legal department.

They still are, but they changed name to Agilent.

I picture a world / asteroid where.. (2, Funny)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915961)

All the lawyers, marketeers and traffic wardens could live in 'harmony'.. then the rest of us can get on with doing other things..

Mmmm.. *warm fuzzy feeling often exerienced during waking*

Re:Sad. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915527)

I've been a software developer at HP for a little while since my previous employer was aquired. The amount of sales propaganda bullsh*t we get fed is rediculous.

HP has an online 'garage' thing where staff are supposed to submit ideas in the hope that their ideas are supported and developed. It's aimed at the technical staff to 'foster innovation', and yet the ideas are judged on how much money they can make HP and how fast. Nothing to do with making the world a better place, despite what their propaganda (like "the HP way") spews.

It should be noted that I view the average slashdot poster as a naive socialist hippie compared to myself, but maybe HP could do with some of that...

My impression of HP is that it's a massive hypocritical money-grubbing sales team.

Re:Sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915971)

Huh, I'm also a developer at HP. Yeah, they do keep on going on about "Business Value", don't they?

Re:Sad. (4, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916231)

This is why judgments on corporations or people should be made on what they do, not what they say. It's easy to say anything. It's harder to make actions lie.

That said, people that believe corporations aren't out to make the most money that they can really don't understand how corporations generally work. They're not out to improve the world unless that's where they make the most money. I think you can blame stockholders for that, and maybe more specifically, day traders on the part where corporations look for the quickest bang for the buck, those people are often the kind that are eager to make a quick buck, not build wealth over the long term.

Re:Sad. (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916375)

Sounds like you need a new job big fella...

Re:Sad. (2, Insightful)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916973)

My impression of HP is that it's a massive hypocritical money-grubbing sales team.

If you find a company's culture objectionable then leave, it's not like you've been drafted into the army or something.

Re:Sad. (1)

Trojan35 (910785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917373)

It's aimed at the technical staff to 'foster innovation', and yet the ideas are judged on how much money they can make HP and how fast.

If I were an HP shareholder, I would be absolutely appalled to find out they were trying to make me more money. Appalled I tell you.

Re:Sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915641)

yeah... the pre-Carly days.. She must have been a hooker, cuz she really screwed that company....

A Marine's Tale (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915175)

There are two things Marines are always taught
1)To keep your priorities in order
2)Know when to act without hesitation

An atheist professor was teaching a college class and he told the class that he was going to prove that there is no God.

He said, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes!"

Ten minutes went by.

The professor kept taunting God, saying, "Here I am, God. I'm still waiting."

He got down to the last couple of minutes and a Marine just released from active duty, and newly registered in the class, walked up to the professor, hit him full force in the face, and sent him flying from his platform.

The professor struggled up, obviously shaken and yelled, "What's the matter with you? Why did you do that?"

The Marine replied, "God was busy, so He sent me."

Unfortunately for the Marine, God didn't give a shit if the professor pressed charges or not, so when the police came to arrest him no force in heaven or Earth interceded. He was processed and put in a cell. While in the cell, he met an atheist hobo who claimed there was no God, so he beat that guy up too. over 9000 other inmates attempted to haul him off the hobo, so he beat them up as well. One of them suffered severe blunt force trauma and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. His bailed was not made and he waited in prison until the day of his trial.

Because of this, the marine was found guilty of four counts of aggravated assault and one count of 2nd degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years time served in state penitentiary, with parole opportunities after 7. Unfortunately, the judge was a well known, avowed atheist so the marine felt compelled to give him a piece of God's mind. The marine leaped onto the defense table and, using his scheming Jew lawyer as a lawn dart, struck the judge in the face. Parole opportunities were revoked.

While in jail the marine found himself very busy fighting anyone who showed the slightest lack of faith in God. Unfortunately, one afternoon in the sixth year of his incarceration, God instructed him to pick a fight with a particularly large man of Hispanic descent and, although he prevailed in the initial conflict, the 27 Latin Kings members who fell upon him following his victory quickly delivered blows sufficient to render him incapacitated.

Because of the severity of his injuries, he was given a bed at the prison hospital. While there, the prison psychiatrist conducted extensive interviews, ultimately determining that the marine was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and late onset schizophrenia. He was immediately put on a extensive array of powerful anti psychotics and anti depressants; all of which he secretly was not taking, because God had told him the medication was from the devil and was being used by heretic Muslims and atheists to sever his ties to the Lord, his God. His condition continued to worsen and he spent more and more time locked in solitary confinement for his disruptive behavior. While there he would cry and scream and pray to the lord for guidance. In turn the lord would fill his eyes with visions of ultimate triumph over evil; the streets of pagan cities, clotted with the thick heart blood of the nonbelievers; abortion clinics fat with flies and the rotting flesh of the defilers; the righteous dancing in the vaulted crypt of the world as the sky turned to red ash and caught fire. He wept with joy as the profound visions filled his soul; the nourishing screams of the nonbelievers as they were dragged down into perdition, filled his ears and echoed in his head like beautiful music.

Unable to attend church in solitary, the marine began to despair. God then gave him the power to transubstantiate anything, so he began tearing great chunks of his own flesh from his body, at which point he would transform them into the body of christ and raise them to his mouth with trembling hands and consume them greedily. Likewise he transformed his blood to that of his savior, so that he could receive sacrament. He truly understood how well loved he was by his creator as he lay in his cell, weak from blood loss, cupped in the hands of a loving God.

Some time later he awoke again in hospital. This time he found he was strapped to the bed with thick leather restraints. He could no longer refuse to take his medication; they were delivering it into his bloodstream with needles. He cursed at them and tried with all his might to break free, imagining himself not unlike Samson. He knew they were all secret atheists and were working against him, working against GOD. But the loss of blood and effects of the medication made him too weak to fight back. So instead he lay there glowering.

Days turned to weeks. As time wore on the voice of god diminished, though never truly left him. Occasionally he could hear far off whispering coming from radio static or the rhythmic humming of the prison buses. It wasn't the same, though. God was no longer in him; he was more like a scent one occasionally catches hanging in the air, or riding on a breeze through the room, before disappearing entirely. His mind was dulled and slow and nothing made sense. Movement was laborious, like the air around him had turned to pudding. He slept more, no longer worked out. Fat replaced his muscle and stubble was upon his chin at all times. Before he was medicated, he had a sense of purpose and clarity that was almost terrifying in its starkness. But now... nothing made any sense. Without god he felt small and confused and alone.

It wasn't so bad, however. In the state mental institution he was moved to shortly after his second release from the hospital he had cigarettes and magazines. The paper was available on Sundays and he had been eligible to take part in the patient work program. He enjoyed working in the garden. Planting made him feel close to the earth and like he was accomplishing something. Most weekdays he sat and watched television in the commons with the other patients. Sometimes god snuck into the tv. Most times not.

Five years into his stay at the institution, God intervened again, in the form of Ronald Reagan. His groundbreaking movement to privatize the mental health industry made it no longer feasible to house patients of staff many asylums and so the marine, having completed his sentence, was released into the world. Without access to medication and therapy he quickly relapsed into psychosis.

Wandering the streets, his head full of divinity, the marine slept in alleyways and preached on street corners, spending what money was given to him on malt liqour. He collected cans and as he did so he sang hymns of his own design and screamed and spat and those the Lord pointed out to him as unbelievers. He came to live beneath an overpass for a time, until the cops chased him and the other squatters away. Eventually, he caught a ride on a departing freight train, getting off at a stop near Austin, Texas.

In Austin he witnessed a great congregation of evil, the likes of which he had never seen in all his travels throughout the Midwest. Queers, idolaters, the vain and the godless; fools and sinners all, ran the town. It was obvious that God had sent him there for a reason. There was much work to be done and he could hardly wait to begin.

That first night there he began preaching on the steps of the public library. God filled his voice with fire and he in turn filled the ears of the passerby's. Most laughed and jeered and moved on; some looked simply uncomfortable at his presence. They were how he knew he had power; his righteously acted as a divine rebuke against them, and they could not bear to look upon a man of god.

One day, months after his successful entrance as a fixture of Austin life, while he was preaching the word to any who would hear he was approached by a couple. They looked young and stylish, in a intentionally shabby way- common elements of what another hobo revealed to him was a subculture calling itself "hipsters". This hobo had gone on to explain that, while he didn't understand what it was they did or believed in, they sometimes gave a lot of change.

"What are you supposed to be," the man said. "Some kind of preacher?"

The marine wasted no time, "I am that which lies beyond in all of us. I speak the truth and so am transformed by the truth I know what I am, I know what you are. I know beyond knowledge and you had better find the lord before he finds you, child!" he said, flecks of spit gathering in his beard. His chest heaved as he labored to catch his breath; it pulled his t shirt up halfway past his belly. He pulled it down with the hand not holding his bible.

The girl laughed at this and lopped her arm through the man's, pulling him closer. "He's really weird."

"Yeah, a regular coco-nut. Man, you're a little crazy, aren't you?"

"I am the only one here sane enough to see, to see, to SEE the dawning of the Lord's wrath! He is with us now; he is judging us, preparing to reveal himself and exercise his GREAT WRATH!"

"Check it out, Marie. He's panting, haha."

"C'mon, let's go. He's a little intense. I think he might be on drugs, or something." The girl tugged at his arm.

"No, wait. Poor guy. He needs help, you know?"

"C'mon Charlie; let's go."

"I said wait, Marie. Jesus. Hold up while I help this guy. Hey, hobo Joe. Hey, look at me!"

The marine met the man's gaze with a fixed stare. God painted thick black lines of corruption over the man's body. He could see how dark and venal this creature truly was.

"Listen, I'm to help you, hobo Joe. See, you're a little wacky in the wicky woo, you know? All this god stuff ain't helping you either. If you wanna get your life straight you have to go get help. And you have to realize there is no such thing as God."

Lightning shot up the marine's spine. This one was placed before him by the divine hand of providence. He remained silent, as he had done before, and waited for the right moment.

"You know what I mean? It's a fairy tale that some people made up to feel better about things and your crazy brain just took it too serious. But there isn't any God."

"There is a God," the marine said quietly.

"No man, there isn't! Listen, God punishes the wicked, right? Well man, biblically speaking, I'm the wickedest man around. Now I'm not a thief or a murderer or none of that, but I sure as shit don't believe in God. To make it worse, I say horrible things about your imaginary God all the time. Not just to friends and family; I have a talk radio program that broadcasts to over 10,000 listeners and I say horrible stuff about your God to them all the time." He pushed a floppy lock of black hair from his brow "and I'm still here."

The marine gritted his teeth and balled up his fists, shaking almost imperceptivity with rage, "You are," he said.

"Right, so shouldn't I be dead right now if the God of that bible you're holding is real and doesn't like to be made fun of? Should he get back at me somehow? He's not, man; I sure as hell live a lot better than you. At least I don't smell like piss and Wild Irish Rose."

The marine was silent.

The man looked up at the sky and continued taunting God, "I'm standing right here, God! Do something to show this man you're real, or he's gonna have to admit you ain't there!"

The Marine waited a few minutes, then when he felt God's presence in him say the word, he stepped forward and grabbed the young man by the hair and swung him in a 140 degree arc, so that when he put him down the man was trapped between the Marine's body and the large stone lions outside the library. His woman screamed his name, but the Marine didn't care. The man curse and tried to fight back, but even with youth and health on his side, he was no match for the brute force of the marine's muscle, long hidden under thick layers of fat. He turned the man around, forced one arm behind his back and with his free hand (the bible had clattered to the ground when he advanced on the atheist) grabbed a thick handful of the sinner's greasy hair. He pulled it back with all his strength, bringing the man's head back with it.

"Ahhh, fuck! What the hell are you doing?" the man said.

He said nothing. The woman began to beat on his back, screaming at him, so he let his back leg out real quick, using a kick they had taught him in the core. He didn't see, but he could hear the greenwood snap of her ankle, the squeal of pain and the thud as she hit the ground.

"You're ffffucking crazy, you..."

The Marine cut him short, smashing the man's face as hard as he could against the stone. The first few times, the man struggle back with surprising force, but after the tenth time, he did little more than gurgle, a fair share of his face now smeared across the stone or caved into deeper recesses of the skull. When the Marine was sure he had done all that God wanted him to, he dropped the body and turned to leave.

By now a sizable group had gathered. It was so good to have a congregation, the Marine thought, and he gave the man's corpse a solid kick in the midsection to emphasize the point of his sermon. As the people in the front began to see what he had done the screamed and pushed away against the crowd. The glory of the lord is truly hard to take sometimes, he thought, but we must all bear witness.

The Marine could see the cops pushing through the people now, guns drawn. He knew he wouldn't be taken alive this time. God had made that clear. It was now his job to die a martyr and lead other souls into the glory of the way.

The woman at his feet looked up with tears of rage. "What's the matter with you? Why did you do that?" she said.

The Marine replied, "God was busy, so He sent me."

Re:A Marine's Tale (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916083)

Join the Core - see the world..

Re:A Marine's Tale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25917027)

Corps*

Re:A Marine's Tale (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917225)

True. Thanks :)

Pricing is marketing (5, Interesting)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915181)

This one is easy. They keep their pricing quiet, because they use it as sales and marketing manipulations - give them a list price that's insanely high, after you've vaguely got them interested, but then negotiate a discount of some huge percentage.

This is a long standing scam, where there person 'handling' the deal gets credit for saving oodles of money on the list price, and the salesman has negotiating room to figure out just where he's padding his commission. The list prices are therefore completely unrealistic, and they don't want them published because that might stop people talking to them in the first place.

I can tell you for certain that we (as in, large financial sector company) get 50-75% _discount_ terms with quite a lot of our vendors of IT hardware. I don't know what the rate is with HP hardware (we do use it) but I know it's a substantial reduction on 'list' price.

Same case for CAD/CAM/CAE software (2, Interesting)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916101)

Just try to get a price on the higher end CAD/CAM/CAE software with out talking to a vendor or some other middleman. I can't stand the way the prices are secret. It is like they give different prices to different customers. Just tell me what it costs to buy. If there is volume discounts (for more seats) fine, publish that as well.

Re:Same case for CAD/CAM/CAE software (2, Insightful)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916127)

Q> How much is it?

A> How much have you got?

IT pricing (4, Interesting)

pegdhcp (1158827) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915223)

Most IT related producers, prefer to have very high (higher than reasonable) prices in their GPLs, and then apply a big discount to that price when an actual customer shows up. This is useful for seller, because s/he can say, "see how much we value your business, and cut into our profit just to have you as a customer" and is also useful for buyer, because it is not easy to convince suits, that IT is something you need to spend money on and you cannot use advices from 14 years old neighborhood kids. So by claiming it was sooo expensive and you bargained a big chunk from seller, you can get the signature for backup tapes you need since last week. However as any kind of trader tends to make bigger favors to bigger customers, sellers need to keep their discount rates secret, in order to be able to keep negotiation power.
Just to keep regular IT types in the dark, some firms claim that their GPLs are trade secrets etc. but in fact that is not right. For example a big Network firm, who is obsessed with blue-green boxes and originated from San Francisco, do not give GPL to customers publicly, but their sales representatives hand out them as a very secret, job risking (!) favor. And while everybody know that their regular discount rate in my country starts at 32%, I saw some certified engineers of that company on the customer side, claiming obtaining an amazing 20% discount, thus buying equipment 17% above the market, and showing themselves as indisposable negotiators to some upper level managers, who do not know the difference (or lack of, depending on the case) between a computer and calculator...

Re:IT pricing (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915531)

+1 to all above, and in addition:
Pricing is seldom just ordering of a specific licence or service. HP (and any other big vendor) will want to consider what other services they'll be selling alongside that, and make a pricing decision based on the bigger picture. E.g. we've just got a 75% discount on Oracle licencing - partly because it's their year end coming up and they want the sales numbers, and partly because they know that the project the licences are being used for will scale up and up over the next couple of years and they'll make a boatload of money. It makes most economic sense for them to snag us by discounting the licences now.

They're just enforcing an NDA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915281)

HP found out that one of their competitors (GroundWork) has HP's confidential documents. They shouldn't have those - somebody has obviously broken an NDA. Do GroundWork have any other NDA'd documents that would allow them to unfairly compete against HP? HP probably don't know. So HP are investigating, and one way they are doing that is by asking GroundWork where they got the document from. (Oh and they also ask for the document to be returned and for GroundWork to stop using it; that doesn't stop GroundWork from quoting HP prices because they can just get the prices from the GSA site).

GroundWork is doing a very good job of spinning this so people report "HP don't want everyone to know they're expensive". And that's a nonsense story - anyone seriously considering buying HP is going to ask HP for a price, they don't need to find out from GroundWork! (And GroundWork can quote the prices from the GSA site anyway). But it pushes GroundWork's key marketing message - "we're cheaper than HP" - and gets them namechecks and sympathy on blogs - so congratulations to GroundWork for excellent marketing.

Re:They're just enforcing an NDA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915453)

Your tone makes me think you're a tool.

Re:They're just enforcing an NDA (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915515)

GroundWork is doing a very good job of spinning this so people report "HP don't want everyone to know they're expensive".

But that may very well be the truth, nothing you've said is a lie. HP may very well have a much higher "list price" even if they don't usually end up selling at that price, though some businesses with lots of money I'm sure do buy it at that price allowing HP to rip them off. It's information that should be known any way and you shouldn't be able to violate the freedom of speech with NDAs.

It's corporate BS like this that makes life suck for everyone else. Competitive pricing is one thing businesses try to hide as much as possible so that they can backstab others. I'm glad it's being publicized, and I hope it gets HP to lower their list price so they won't be able to fuck over so many consumers and will have to start actually competing fairly. How could you stand up for fuck-you-over corporate tactics when this information should be free and they shouldn't be able to do that?

Re:They're just enforcing an NDA (0, Troll)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915759)

It's corporate BS like this that makes life suck for everyone else. Competitive pricing is one thing businesses try to hide as much as possible so that they can backstab others. I'm glad it's being publicized, and I hope it gets HP to lower their list price so they won't be able to fuck over so many consumers and will have to start actually competing fairly. How could you stand up for fuck-you-over corporate tactics when this information should be free and they shouldn't be able to do that?

Which is off course much worse than selling software other people wrote for free and competing with companies that pay their programmers.

/. is the unbeatable major-league BS champ when it comes to open-source marketing.

Re:They're just enforcing an NDA (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916977)

So these developers that developed the software for free were somehow coerced into doing it, or did they do it fully willfully and while being aware of the possobility of their work being sold later? Maybe those developers even included a licence with their code that explicitely allows others to do precisely what GroundWork is doing... who knows.

Re:They're just enforcing an NDA (1)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917707)

I don't believe they were fooled by the company in any way. I don't believe that Groundwork takes advantage of backdoors or fools the developers. What I do believe is that this whole story is BS: the "poor little open source company" is portrayed as a victim of a mad greedy multinational. It's the kind of stereotypical reaction you get whenever a /. post has the words "microsoft" or "open source" in it. It's been going on for a couple of months [thevarguy.com] , BTW. As what appears to be the rule here lately, /. is bringing stuff like this as a breaking news story when it is in fact old and cold. The crowd spits out some clichees and moves on to the next "article". There's no depth, novelty, insight or interpretation in this post. Have a look around the internets and you'll see that the story is "somewhat different" than how it is presented here. HP isn't the aggressor.

Re:They're just enforcing an NDA (2)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916181)

How could you stand up for fuck-you-over corporate tactics..

Isn't the 'fuck-you-over' redundant in the sense of 'wet water' ?

Sour grapes much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25915617)

Sounds like you're a disgruntled HP marketer. Sorry your prices got out. Turns out, sometimes the truth hurts.

Re:Sour grapes much? (2, Interesting)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916623)

Nobody outside retail reveals pricing. Pricing is almost always secret, from first class flights for executives to building materials to software.

Ever noticed that websites have "call for quote" instead of a price on enterprise goods? They want their sales people involved and they want to quote you a price based on your size and volume.

This is not Walmart marketing, this is very low volume sales in comparison.

Re:Sour grapes much? (3, Insightful)

fmoliveira (979051) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917375)

I never buy anything announced with an "ask us" price tag. Unless there isn't an alternative with a more clear pricing. I found that usually, when the price is hidden, it's a bad price.

Re:They're just enforcing an NDA (3, Insightful)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916329)

"Anyone seriously considering buying HP is going to ask HP for a price, they don't need to find out from GroundWork"

... why should I waste my time getting prices from different competitors when I could get all the information from one source? Sounds like bullshit to me.

Imagine if you went to a grocery store, but none of the price tags were there. You had to ask someone at the cash register for the price of each product (and negotiate your way down). So a competing grocery store that doesn't force you into these negotiations lets you compare the list prices and... you know the rest. Worse yet, there are only 4 grocery store chains in the world, 3 chains have the no price tag practice, and the remaining one doesn't have the brand names and shiny colours that your children like. Talk about getting in the way of the free market.

The only difference here is that only corporations are buying the products, so it only affects the small % of the population that purchases\negotiates for them. Hence no public outrage. Also, instead of children, it's executives, but the shiny colours point stands.

Re:They're just enforcing an NDA... Bluffing.. (1)

FirstOne (193462) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916551)

"HP found out that one of their competitors (GroundWork) has HP's confidential documents. They shouldn't have those - somebody has obviously broken an NDA. "

NDA's are unenforceable, (have no legal standing), once the information can be obtained by legal means.. I.E. HP's official pricing disclosure to the GSA [gsaadvantage.gov] in order to secure government business, (required by law).

After that occurs, HP has no case and no standing to sue anybody for using that information.

Re:They're just enforcing an NDA... Bluffing.. (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917099)

Huh? GSA pricing is public information. GSA prices are only available to state & federal government entities.

For everyone else, HP gets to set "other" prices and these certainly are trade secret. And protected by NDA, I am sure. Clearly they are going to sue and find the leaker. This information is protected for a reason.

Re:They're just enforcing an NDA (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916633)

Of course, sending out their pricing under NDA with client-specific random differences in the pricing would allow them to know instantly which customer revealed the data.

Re:They're just enforcing an NDA (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917033)

GroundWork is doing a very good job of spinning this so people report "HP don't want everyone to know they're expensive"

Why would they be using NDAs if the latter is not the case?

545% higher, not 82% (2, Informative)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915647)

but which doesn't question the veracity of the pricing (which, not surprisingly, is 82 percent higher than the open-source vendor's

HP's pricing is 545% higher. That's some fine arithmetic there, Lou.

Price isn't the whole thing (1)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915939)

They do give different deals to different people. Price isn't too important in their market position. The main reason that Open Source Vendors have trouble competing is that if I hire HP for a solution and it sucks then HP screwed the company and you switch vendors. If I hire some Open Source vendor and they suck then I get fired for not having gone with HP or IBM or Microsoft.

Re:Price isn't the whole thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25916259)

Nice joke, and I'm paid consultant hourly rates to bring these opensource products to the customer.

shouldn't pricing be public info? (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25915941)

doesn't the FTC have clear rules on pricing schemes? Seems like it could be a bait and switch.

How to get discounts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25916369)

Where I used to work, the purchasing director got rock-bottom prices on Dell OptiPlex desktops. Every time the Dell sales rep told him "This is the lowest price I can offer", he replied with "Let me check with HP...", and Dell was always able to make the price lower.

Good work HP! (1)

infalliable (1239578) | more than 5 years ago | (#25916747)

Good work there HP! You just made 10s of thousands of people aware of this upstart that offers product at a reduced price with a bogus complaint.

Idiocy here (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917191)

I can't believe the comments here.

The basic reason that companies do not want to release pricing on B2B sales not just that they charge different prices to different customers. If you are an idiot and shopping for a large server you might look at web sites for pricing and choose solely based on price. You would be demonstrating to everyone that you are an idiot, but some companies do indeed employ idiots.

So you discover that the server with 1024 processors and 12 terabytes of RAM from an unknown company in Taiwan that is a reseller for a company in China has the lowest price. Quality isn't going to enter your mind - you are going to present your boss with an unbeatable deal based on price. And your expertise in selecting systems that will work. Of course your boss will love you for your low-price choice. For maybe a month.

So how do you compare large scale server systems from IBM, Dell, HP and others? Well, maybe the most important attribute isn't price. Perhaps price is so utterly unimportant for a mission-critical system that it is just a distraction. So disclosing price doesn't help anyone in reality - it helps anal bean counters and idiots that buy stuff based on price rather than features, quality and support.

And anyone that confuses GSA pricing with the prices that are quoted to non-government entities is in for a surprise. No, you don't get GSA pricing unless you are government. Sometimes you get better, sometimes worse prices. Sometimes government folks buy open market instead of GSA because they can get better deals than GSA based on things GSA doesn't take into account, like quantity discounting.

Re:Idiocy there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25917505)

So how do you compare large scale server systems from IBM, Dell, HP and others? Well, maybe the most important attribute isn't price. Perhaps price is so utterly unimportant for a mission-critical system that it is just a distraction.

So your customers do not know their own interests? The supplier knows that the customer should buy the premier/mission-critial stuff so he fakes the pricing just to prevent the customer from making a mistake? Should not the customer be allowed to make his own mistakes based on his own assumptions about the project?

Why not disclose all important info? If you can demonstrate your systems superiority over competitors when it comes to reliability, why not flaunt it? Perhaps it is more economical for the customer have a few low range servers die and to replace them than to buy the really expensive stuff?

So disclosing price doesn't help anyone in reality - it helps anal bean counters and idiots that buy stuff based on price rather than features, quality and support.

So by fiddling with the price and not competing on the free market you are actually helping the customers, giving them better quality products in the end?

Why the premium is needed. (1)

sgtsqh2o (1050154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917239)

I once worked for a company that bought a whole IT operations suite from one of the big-four vendors. There was much fanfare during the life of the project: fancy restaurants, regular hotel ballroom kick-offs/product presentations, IPods given out like candy to rank and file peons, hookers and junkets for junior execs (+ families). (How about flying an exec and his entourage half way around the world for a dog and pony show on the latest products on a chartered yacht?) In the end, the system didn't work. The IT operations suite was replaced by a bunch of temps pinging, looking at df's output, etc. for 24 hours and entering them in spreadsheets. Eventually, the temps were replaced by a bunch of open source projects woven together on PHP. So it is essential for big vendors to incorporate some premium into their products to offset their marketing (and extra marketing) costs.

hp stung by HD manufacturer (3, Interesting)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25917701)

I was working for Compaq during their merger and one thing that came to light during that time was that one of the HD suppliers was charging hp more (about $0.80 more if memory serves) for the same drives they sold Compaq. Not a lot for one device but in bulk it's huge. I heard there were some pretty heated "discussions" with the vendor shortly thereafter. This is why manufacturers do not like having their pricing known.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?