One of the things that my group is responsible for is competitive testing. I really get chaffed when I see vendors make claims that are blatantly incorrect or require an impossible set of circumstances to occur in order for a customer to ever see the performance numbers that are claimed by the vendor. Why do people tolerate this? Why do vendors keep repeating the same offenses? Should you really be marketing a feature of a product that requires incredibly arcane steps in order to make it work?

I saw another example of this practice today where a vendor is claiming performance numbers that are based on the speed of a chip in their device but the device is only able to drive the chip to 20% of its capacity. Marketing the chip's speed may make for good PowerPoint or data sheet bullets but any customers that swallow that bait will get indigestion.

We always hear from our customers and prospects that they want information that will help them in their decision making process. So called "marketing numbers" have become pretty meaningless in the eyes of the end user because of these deceitful practices.

We've always taken the stance that our competitive testing should be open, honest and repeatable. Meaning that what we measure and how we measure things is fully reported and can be duplicated by anyone. Because of that, we may not win every conceivable benchmark - especially those that don't reflect real world scenarios - but we will ensure that the things that customers really care about are the things that make our products the only logical choice for them.

Those who continue to mislead potential customers will ultimately be wearing their kimono with the right side on top of the left.