While working on a product selection as part of a larger SIEM contract for a client, we put out price requests to a number of vendors that had made it to our shortlist. We asked pricing for a very specific piece of hardware and requested an indication of the expected maintenance and operations costs of their solution.

A few days after the request was sent out, I got a phone call of one of the companies. In it, the representative stated that "just selling hardware" was against their policy and that the product that we were asking for was so complex that it could only be deployed successfully if it was accompanied by a full consulting track.

I politely told the person that he might be right, and that I would be the consultant doing just that, thank you. I also recommended him to give us a price based on what we asked for, and that he should leave out the rest.

Much to my surprise, the company responded to the request by giving us a full-fledged project proposal for a full consulting track, which including some of their most senior people. As expected, the consulting would amount to about 5 times the price of the hardware that we asked for.

What is this about? Is it an attempt to project acquisition? Did the guy not listen? Does he really think that the product is so complicated that they are the only ones who can successfully deploy it? If so, why would we choose that product in the first place?