Playing favourites

Many CIOs talk of the "closeness" of their relationship with their key strategic vendors. Every so often though we get an insight into which IT departments are truly valued by the big boys.

Many CIOs talk of the "closeness" of their relationship with their key strategic vendors. Every so often though we get an insight into which IT departments are truly valued by the big boys.

While some IT managers are hard pressed to say a good word about their suppliers, often citing impartiality, others are keen to talk their vendors up. Keep them onside, so the theory goes, and I'll be sure to receive top quality support the next time a server malfunctions.

But whose business do the big vendors really respect? Special events like Cisco's chairman John Chambers presenting at a business seminar in Sydney, and hosted by Telstra, give some idea.

Plenty of the big vendors had tables at the lunchtime presentation. Telstra, Cisco, IBM, EMC, Veritas and others all had tables booked to hear the Cisco supremo.

Just who the vendors invited to sit at their tables though makes for interesting reading.

IBM invited representatives from Westfield, RACV and the University of Wollongong to sit at its table. Obviously Big Blue is keen to extend its RACV contract, which can't be far away from expiry.

Telstra decided its guests would compromise CSR, ING, the Australian Navy, as well as others. More special treatment for ING after it handed Telstra's Kaz a five year deal?

Telstra couldn't have been too pleased at the sight of some of Cisco's guests, however. Sitting at the Cisco table at the Telstra-hosted event were several representatives from Optus.

The VeriSign table in particular compromised representatives of some big name customers. The big four banks, as well as Macquarie Bank, were all deemed worthy of a place at the table.

If one of the vendors mentioned above is a supplier of yours, were you deemed worthy enough of an invitation?

Or was yours lost in the mail?