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” Good Enough” Switching is not Good Enough for Public Sector Customers

March 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm PST

Public Sector customers continue to debate the trade-offs of prioritizing lowest price switching, point product solutions, over designing and deploying Cisco network architecture solutions which provide a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

On February 23, 2012, Deloitte Consulting presented the findings of an in-depth research study that examines the operational, financial, and risk factors associated with the use of single-vendor and multivendor approaches in different types of complex networks which may be viewed here along with the report itself.

They key findings are summarized in the following 7 items:

  1. Within the context of total IT spending, the use of single-vendor or multivendor architectures does not present material cost differences on a long-term basis. Initial cost savings realized in multivendor network implementations are mitigated by the incremental operating costs over the life of the equipment.
  2. Enterprise networks are considered critical production systems, key to business operations. Networks must be managed with an appropriate operational risk perspective.
  3. Customers prefer a single vendor to be responsible for all network components and services. The operational risk associated with network support, not the cost, is the primary factor when influencing the decisions to use single or multivendor architectures.
  4. Staffing costs are not significantly impacted by the use of multiple vendors; it is more influenced by the mix of functions supported and the types of network services provided.
  5. Using products from different vendors can bring down initial costs for certain products, but adds higher operating risk in service, support, and operational integration.
  6. The use of multiple networking vendors introduces additional operational risk based on the need for customers to assume increased risks for integration, interoperability and support.
  7. When using multiple vendors’ products, customers frequently do not recognize the interdependencies of functionality, long-term costs, and impact on operational risks

And be sure to watch Director of Public Sector Systems Engineering,  Dave West on youtube present his version of why low-cost, ” Good Enough” Switching is not Good Enough for Public Sector Customers looking for a reliable, secure, highly available, well supported and investment protected network.

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Multi-Vendor vs. Single-Vendor: Making the Choice

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti

The IT industry has long debated the benefits of single-vendor networks vs. multi-vendor networks. We sometimes act as though this discussion were unique or somehow surprising. But that’s not really true. After all, the people at Coke never asked you to drink Pepsi. And the folks at General Motors were never really all that taken with the idea of you tooling around in a Ford or a Lexus. So every time I hear about the benefits of single-vendor, a part of my brain thinks, “This just in!…… A sales guy thinks you should buy his products!”

But another part of my brain also recognizes that IT systems are different from cars. You buy your car from a single vendor. With the possible exception of hobbyists and other gear-headed types, nobody buys or designs cars that are part Chevy, part Toyota, and part Lamborghini. A Chevyoghini? Never mind.

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