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Third Party Pricing Guideline

The purpose of this document is to summarize key points of TPC benchmark specifications to help sponsors and 3rd party companies to adhere to benchmark pricing requirements.

The Goal of TPC pricing requirements is to represent the actual (i.e. "street") price a credit-worthy customer would pay for the benchmark configuration or a similar configuration. Discounts are allowed as long as they are not customized to the specific benchmark configuration. Similar discounts should be expected for similar configurations. For example, a litmus test of whether the discounts are real or not would be that a contact through a different sales representative from the pricing company would lead to a similar discount for a configuration that has 5% more of some components than are in the benchmark configuration.

Prices are not to be restricted to a specific region. They should be available for any region in the country where the benchmark configuration is priced.

Purchase Price Requirements
  • TPC specifications require that the total price must be within 2% of the price a customer would pay for the configuration. Test sponsors are required to publish an updated price if future changes vary the price of the configuration outside of this range.  As this requirement stands for the active life of the benchmark result, specific price quotations used in the benchmark do not require any “good for xx days” statements.
  • Line item pricing is required, although bundles of components that are identifiable with a single product identifier are allowed.  Line items should be priced at the value that the supplier would sell for quantity=1.
  • Discount information must be complete enough that the final discount could be determined from other information included in the quotation. Each line item could have an individual discount, or a group of line items could be discounted at a specific rate, or the entire configuration could be discounted at a specific rate. Discounts could be based on quantity, total dollar volume, or the relative value of the combination of components included in a discount. Discounts may not depend on any purchase other than the components included in the benchmark’s priced configuration.
  • Price quotations may be for the exact number of items bid or for a smaller number with an indication that it is good for quantities greater than the number. Since price quotations may not be dependent on past or future purchases, quotations may be used in more than one benchmark result, if they apply.

Hardware Maintenance Requirements
  • Terms of maintenance have been standardized between benchmarks. All TPC benchmarks require 24x7 maintenance for 3 years.
  • Maintenance requires a 4-hour maximum response time. This means that the service person has responded and is either continuing to work the problem or has resolved the problem.
  • For customer-replaceable parts, an alternative method of pricing 10% additional parts as spares with a mail-in replacement service contract is also allowed. The customer must be able to complete the replacement within a 4-hour period and mail-replenishment must be made with fully warranted parts.

Software Maintenance Requirements
  • Terms of maintenance have been standardized between benchmarks. All TPC benchmarks require 24x7 for three years.
  • Maintenance requires a 4-hour maximum response time. This means that the service person has responded and is either continuing to work the problem or has resolved the problem.  Support is not required for consulting or other actions that are not related to actual problems in the code supported.
  • Software pricing must include the ability to obtain regular "fix packs" and documentation updates for the duration of the maintenance period required by the benchmark.
 

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