Importance of Pre and Post Sales SSD Support for OEMs

For simple consumer applications, like replacing a hard drive with a solid state drive in an individual’s notebook computer, limited technical support is required. At most, there may be some questions regarding specifications and installation which can be easily summed up in a brief document. What is a solid state drive used for might be handy.

But when an OEM is considering suppliers for a product application which will require reliable operation of many systems over a long field life, Pre and Post-sales support are critical.

From a Pre-sales perspective, a supplier should understand the OEM’s application requirements and be able to recommend the correct form factor, interface, and memory type as well as several other items of concern.

Technically, the OEM should expect the supplier to have detailed and clear documentation on every aspect of the SSD. This is especially true for Industrial SSD devices, which will be counted on for flawless operation over a decade or more in the field.

Technical questions should be handled by a competent applications engineer who has in-depth knowledge of their product and how to design it into the OEM’s host system. Offering advice to the OEM to make their system storage design as robust as possible and being able to answer design questions which arise is key.

Once a SSD is selected and a system has been released to the field, it is important for the supplier to ship the exact Bill-Of-Material (BOM) as the part which was qualified and tested during development of the OEM system.

The internal components in a SSD make a large difference in the performance and reliability of the drive.

If there are changes and the OEM is not notified, this opens the door for field failures due to incompatibility of an unqualified product. Since many companies do not notify OEMs of BOM changes with a Product Change Notification (PCN), it leaves the door open to this possibility.

Finally, an OEM supplier should be there after the products are shipped to the field. If there are issues that arise after time or at temperature, a good supplier should be there with technical and sales support to understand and correct the issue ASAP. Ability to perform failure analysis to determine root cause of the issue is very important.

At Cactus, we are interested in your OEM applications and make the effort to understand and recommend the right SSD. We have an unmatched knowledge of the Industrial flash storage market and a willingness to help.

Selecting a SSD supplier is more than just looking at a few specs. It’s finding a PARTNER that will be there from design to maturity of your OEM system. We would be honored to assist you with your OEM design. Please contact us for more details.

Steve Larrivee has over 30 year's experience in the data storage market, including 5 years at Seagate Technology and 10 years at SanDisk. He joined Cactus Technologies Limited as an equity partner and Co-Founded Cactus USA in 2007 with partner Tom Aguillon. Learn more about Steve on LinkedIn.