I recently participated in a study conducted by ComputerWorld, asking questions about IT management and strategic vendors, etc. The results were forwarded to me today, and I found them to be pretty interesting.
Of particular interest was the fact that Dell and CDW - two vendors that are well known in the market, but with whom we've not had great experiences - appear to be less important to companies the larger they get. Companies below 1,000 employees find Dell and CDW to both be very strategic, but beyond that, neither has made enough headway to be frequently considered a "top" vendor.
IBM on the other hand, is virtually off the radar until your company reaches 1,000 employees in size. If that's you, there's a 50% chance you would name IBM as your "top" vendor.
I once developed a PowerPoint deck entitled "Why Dell Doesn't Get It - A Summary View from a Customer at a Crossroads", and dropped the bomb on our Dell account team when they showed up for a visit one day. It outlined the atrocities they had committed toward us in the form of product design and support of our strategic OS platform, and in overall product quality.
From that day forward, our rep never showed up without first confirming a projector wasn't awaiting him in the conference room. That PowerPoint deck made it to a bunch of people at Dell, and we continued to give them opportunities to do the right things for us (fix problems they caused us). In the end, Dell took the position that an expenditure on their behalf to help correct a significant set of Dell-admitted issues with their RAID controllers was greater than our value to them as a customer.
We're no longer Dell customers.