Before I see a movie, read a book, or eat at a restaurant, I check out the reviews.

The Internet enables us to share ratings on most every product and service, capturing insights that help us make better choices. This is why NetPromoter Score (NPS) matters. What better litmus test than how strongly would you recommend something to a friend in your shoes?

The Pure Storage team came together out of a profound dissatisfaction with data center storage. We were convinced the current products were too complex, too slow, too fragile and too expensive. In fact, our original mission statement was to deliver storage that customers love. We thought that appropriately provocative— storage tends to be tolerated or despised rather than loved. We were confident we could deliver a better product and better support, and we knew that if we got it right, that quality would be reflected in our customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores. So from the very early days we have been managing the business to NPS using Satmetrix, arguably the gold standard of CSAT. Richard Owen, CEO of Satmetrix explains that “Satmetrix provides customer experience software, data and expertise for unrivaled insight into customer sentiment across industry sectors.”

Given this history it is hugely gratifying to share that in surveying Pure Storage customers, Satmetrix has recorded one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings they have seen in tech with a NetPromoter Score of 79. How does that compare with other vendors? The Temkin Group Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2015 published the Net Promoter Scores for 62 Tech Vendors with scores ranging from 1 to 57, including NPS of other storage vendors. Pure Storage’s NPS of 79 is 30 to 50 points above the NPS from the Temkin Group study.

While there’s an opportunity for us to improve, we are most gratified to have achieved 79. It ranks Pure among the best brands in serving our customers. “With popular consumer brands like the iPhone and Samsung receiving NPS scores of 63 and 54 respectively in our consumer benchmarks, the fact that Pure Storage’s customers gave it a 79 clearly demonstrates its customer experience leadership in the B2B Technology sector. To have such a vocal fan base in B2B technology is an amazing accomplishment,” said Richard Owen, CEO of Satmetrix.

What’s more, this grade is now reflective of a broad footprint, as Pure has grown to over 1100 customers, each ranging in size from 1 to about 40 arrays. And most every industry vertical is well represented, from public cloud to finance to healthcare to manufacturing to government to education.

To what do we attribute our 79 NPS? It starts with a great team and a great product—Pure is the simplest storage you have worked with, requiring zero tuning and no maintenance windows, and affording secure cloud-based management from your smart phone. Pure’s support is also top notch, using cloud automation and predictive analytics to anticipate and repair issues before they become a problem. And we’re defining a better, evergreen ownership model for storage—making it into more of a SaaS-like service and ending the pain of perpetual data migrations.

For the storage customer, Pure’s NPS of 79 challenges two opposing buying patterns we occasionally see in the market:

  • First, storage is so business-critical that customers are inclined to just stick with their incumbent vendor – Lower NPS for legacy storage suggest that many of those customers are not satisfied with that choice.
  • Second, storage is now sufficiently commoditized that customers should buy from whichever vendor provides the lowest price – Again, a wide variance between our NPS and the NPS of legacy storage suggests that storage is a differentiated rather than commodity market, and value (such as how many terabytes of business data can I store per dollar) is a more important metric than cost alone (how many terabytes of raw flash can I buy per dollar).

What do competitors think about this? We encourage you to ask. If your storage vendor is not publishing a NetPromoter Score or comparable CSAT metric, how come? Paraphrasing Lord Kelvin, if you’re not measuring it, you cannot improve it. When asked about Pure’s NPS, one legacy storage employee remarked that Pure is currently small and smart, but when Pure gets big they will suck too. Fair enough. Rest assured our goal in measuring NPS is to make our products and support even better, rather than simply to avoid future mediocrity. Can we do better than 79? We think so. For Pure this is still the early days, and we have a great deal of further innovations yet to come.

For our customers and partners, huge thanks from all of us in orange for making that early bet and growing with us over the past several years.

And for the storage buyer, we will repeat our mantra: with flash and cloud, storage is undergoing the most profound disruption in decades. You owe it to your business to try out some of the next-generation alternatives in your data center on your workloads. In fact, we’d like to challenge you to try flash, and to try Pure. Pure is less expensive than disk storage, and offers more usable storage per raw TB of flash than competitive AFAs. Don’t take our word for it… head over to purestorage.com/challenge and take the Pure challenge! At most, you will find you can get dramatically more value for your money. At least, you will ensure your incumbent vendors have no sense of entitlement—that they will work as hard to re-earn your business as upstarts like Pure are prepared to work for you.

Hugely fun times for Pure. Thanks as always for reading. Cheers, Dietz