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The Network Dating Game and the Acquisition Myth

June 14, 2011 at 9:24 pm PST

When your customers are shopping around for the right network, it’s a bit like being on “The Dating Game.” For those who aren’t familiar with the TV show, it first aired in the 1960s and featured an eligible bachelor or bachelorette hidden behind a wall. Said bachelor or bachelorette got to interview three candidates to find out which one would be most appropriate and worthy of a date. The candidates could not see each other so had to rely on the person’s answers to determine the best fit.

Customers looking for the right network may feel like the eligible bachelorette or bachelor on “The Networking Game.” Is contestant number one trustworthy and able to meet both current and future needs? Does contestant two offer security and flexibility? What about three: is that one stable? Can one network meet really meet all of those needs?

There are quite a few variables to consider when customers are shopping for a network, especially when 20% of a typical enterprise IT network budget is spent acquiring hardware while a whopping 80% goes toward operating costs.

Yet some industry pundits and vendors look only at acquisition and maintenance costs when calculating TCO, ignoring functionality that may improve productivity or business opportunities that are lost when the network goes down. That’s a bit like choosing a date based on a single factor, like a voice, rather than looking at the entire package.

We continue our coverage of the “Good Enough Network” myth series with myth #6: Acquisition Cost. Read More »

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Is Your Customers’ Network Covered by a “Good Enough” Warranty?

June 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm PST

When budgeting for equipment to run enterprise networks, buying equipment that requires the least amount of upfront capital may sound like cheapest in the long run, but what about the cost of repairs and tech support?

Settling for a “good enough” network means your customers get a “good enough” warranty to go with it. Next-generation networks offer more support staff, diagnostic tools to keep networks up and running, as well as more robust warranties.

In our continuing coverage of the Seven Myths of the Good-Enough Network, we delve into myth number five: The Basic Warranty Myth.

Most enterprise networking equipment includes limited support and maintenance. With vendors like HP, according to Michael Rau (myth dispeller and Vice President, CTO for the Borderless Network Architecture at Cisco), a warranty service call is limited to answering only the most basic questions. A support rep will typically ask, “Have you tried rebooting your switch?” If that’s not the issue, a replacement is sent with no effort made to troubleshoot the problem. If you want more in-depth support you have to purchase the extended support contract – which is not free.

Here are five things customers should consider when purchasing network equipment. Read More »

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It’s Your Lucky Day, We’ve Got Your Top Cisco News Headlines

May 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm PST

Many believe that number 13 equals bad luck. And on Friday the 13th some may take extra precautions to ensure nothing bad happens. There are literally hundreds of myths out there around things that could bring bad luck: a black cat crossing your path, walking under ladders, and breaking mirrors, to name a few.

One thing that’s guaranteed to bring good luck to all, however, is watching the latest Partner Update newscast. What could be more lucky than getting all of the latest Cisco partner news in less than five minutes?

It’s been a busy week! In this newscast, we share ways that Cisco is simplifying and making easier to do business with us, we cover the top networking myths, new IT cloud and print solutions, give you a recap of our B2B lead generation and marketing webcast with tips on turning leads into customers, a way to turn your customers’ old networking equipment into money for you, showcase B2B blogging tips, and highlight our Tweet of the Week.

Keep reading for highlights and links to everything we covered in this week’s Partner Update along with timestamps so you can easily jump to each item. Read More »

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How to Help Customers Plan for the Future of Their Networks

May 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm PST

The network needs to be fast, run all of the latest applications, adeptly handle video, not to mention offer stability and security. Oh, and the network should also be scalable and serve users’ needs.

Whew. Needless to say, we expect a lot from the network. And so do customers.

With all these features on customers’ network wish lists, all too often acquisition costs are the only consideration when planning for the future. But Bob Cagnazzi, CEO of Cisco Master Partner BlueWater Communications Group, says that’s a big mistake.

BlueWater provides a lifecycle suite of services around the network, including: collaboration, video, virtualization, and cloud computing for a range of clients in the tri-state New York area. We caught up with Bob on a recent trip to California to get his thoughts on why it’s important for customers to understand both short- and long-term costs associated with the network.

What questions does Bob ask his customers when they’re planning for the future of their networks? Read More »

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Webcast Recap: Debunking the Myth of the Good Enough Network

How will the explosion of mobile devices, security threats, video, and cloud effect how customers build their networks?

What are the pitfalls to taking a tactical (or good enough) approach to networking?

And why is good not good enough for enterprise networks?

These were among the questions tackled when Cisco’s Rob Lloyd, EVP of Worldwide Operations, and Mike Rau, VP and CTO, Borderless Networks, hosted a 45-minute webcast to debunk the Myth of the “Good Enough” Network. Along with Bob Cagnazzi, CEO of BlueWater Communications, Rob and Mike discussed:

• IT industry trends driving the evolution of the network
• Common misperceptions about taking a “good enough” approach to networking
• Real world benefits of investing in the network as a strategic asset and innovation engine

What are the seven myths of the Good Enough Network? Tune in to the replay of the webcast to find out!

Related Links
• White Paper: When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough
• Video: NetNoGo Video
• Blog: Seven Myths of the Good Enough Network

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