Recently, we asked readers what they thought about Cisco Systems' much-discussed price hikes this year. Here are some letters on the subject from the SearchNetworking.com mailbag:
Worth every cent
Yes, I think Cisco products and services are worth every cent we pay for them.
Loves the equipment, hates the prices
I think they are awful. I see so many companies not buying Cisco because of the pricing. I think if they lowered prices they would sell a lot more and get more market share. It is too bad because I love the equipment and don't want to work on anything else.
Jason A. Kunst
Tough road for the 'little guy'
They have these golden VARs around the nation who get an automatic 15% cheaper price for smartnet prices. It is impossible for a small business to have a chance with selling Cisco equipment. It is senseless for a little man to do anything with them other than to waste your time.
Suthin Computer Co.
Bunker Hill, W.Va.
[Prices are] too high already and it is old when you get it -- sometimes over a year.
Services lead to more services
Nothing could be more wrong then taking [Cisco CEO] John [Chamber's $1 salary] as an example. Instead of taking salary, he took stock options. Now, let's see, who has most control over stock value?
And as for the price thing:
1. Cisco will always discount strategic deals, no matter what. They just make their account managers work harder on showing when the discount is going to pay back.
2. Large accounts have the luxury of paying 15-25% more on hardware when the vendor's (not the channel/partner) sets tent in his communication closet. Large accounts often get this. Now guess where Cisco (and I guess most vendors) makes most of the money?
3. Hiking services prices, to me, means one thing. Products need more support, more CCIE at the field accompanied with DEs. We have seen more IOS 12.x problems (anyone saying voice?) that required a CCIE on site then ever before. Cisco is shifting its business closer to the end user and levels of support need a boost, CSEs respond fast enough but when your case goes to a DE, you get queued. Want better DE response? Here is our new service contract.
Teaching networking the Cisco way
What about Cisco's marketing policy? They have organized a worldwide network of the so-called Cisco Networking Academy. They teach networking as Cisco networking. Of course, they want nothing else but to sell their products, even to CNA students and instructors. Just study CNA/CNAP. They just held their annual conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Jumping ship to Dell
Given the fact that Cisco has already raised its maintenance disproportionately more for old switches and routers, I am going with Dell switches, as they give me the same throughput as well as manageability for half the price. Once again, we can thank our government agencies for standardizing with one vendor and sticking the taxpayers with the maintenance. Given the depressed technology market, with Lucent and Nortel on the verge of extinction, competition will likely languish, and monopolies like Cisco will continue increasing prices wherever possible. What else would you expect of the American free enterprise system? In regards to Mr. Chambers salary, don't feel too sorry for him, as I would much prefer the stock option plan that allows him to defer, if not avoid, taxes.