When I first asked Oracle about Netezza’s claim that Oracle doesn’t do onsite Exadata POCs, they blew off the question. Then I showed Oracle an article draft saying they don’t do onsite Exadata proofs-of-concept. At that point, Oracle denied Netezza’s claim, and told me there indeed have been onsite Exadata POCs. Oracle has not yet been able to provide me with any actual examples of same, but perhaps that will change soon. In the mean time, I continue with the assumption that Oracle is, at best, reluctant to do Exadata POCs at customer sites.
I do understand multiple reasons for vendors to prefer POCs be done on their own sites, both innocent (cost) and nefarious (excessive degrees of control). And vendor-site POCs can be done quite respectably. For example, the guy who first focused me on baseball-bat testing is Teradata’s chief of in-house benchmarking.
Even so, there are advantages to having a POC under your own control (or under the control of a consultant you trust). You can get a better sense of the work involved in getting the POC results, because for the most part you can physically see all the work. That helps you assess the product’s simplicity in the actual use-case being tested. More generally, you can play with the product as you want, without asking anybody’s permission. Indeed, you can play with it when the vendor representatives aren’t even around.
Bottom line: On-site — or in some cases cloud — POCs are simply more reliable as to their conclusions than ones fully under vendor control.
Edit: Chris Kanaracus has a story on a recent Netezza win (eHarmony) that mentions on onsite POC that took 24 hours to get up and running.