A prospective buyer of data warehouse technology can learn a great deal from performing a benchmark specific to his or her firm's data center and operations. If an enterprise is contemplating spending millions of dollars with database warehousing and hardware vendors, it would be wise to perform a custom benchmark based on a firm's specific data profile. It provides an opportunity to verify that the investment will satisfy the requirements as well as an opportunity to negotiate with the vendor for concessions. However, if a firm already has significant experience with a vendor (for example, it already operates with the vendor's database or hardware), a benchmark is less useful or necessary, though by no means should it be ruled out on principle.
If a vendor thinks you are a serious buyer who may spend a million dollars, the vendor will often perform the benchmark at no extra cost (or minimal cost) to the prospect enterprise. Thus, the cost to a specific enterprise in terms of dollars changing hands in a transaction may be zero, provided the enterprise has built a credible case that it wishes to buy and provided the vendor succeeds in meeting the performance requirements.
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