In our Networking Study, interviewees are asked to self-select a vendor they would like to discuss, and then to share whether there were any plans to switch off that vendor to a competitor. These responses are offered both by percentage and rolled up into an index for comparison among networking providers.
Dell, Avaya, Check Point and Brocade all had vulnerability scores that were worse than the study average. Juniper Networks, F5 Networks and Riverbed all had the most loyalty from current customers. Only 3% of current customers stated they were definitely considering a switch away from Cisco’s products. The top reason for switching is product functionality, cited by 40% of interviewees. The second most cited is solution cost, at 33%. Of the only 7% of network managers who switched vendors last year, 55% of those switched from Cisco to another provider. Aruba Networks was a leader in terms of respondents who had switched to it in the past year.
Technical lock-in strength, a measure of how difficult it is to remove a vendor from a networking environment from a technical perspective (and thus it would take that much more pain to actually take the step of removing them) benefits Cisco, with 48% of respondents saying removing Cisco products would be very hard. F5 Networks comes in second, with 40% seeing removing F5 as very hard. In contrast, Riverbed is seen as somewhat easy to remove: 29% said removal would be easy, and an additional 33% said it would be a normal effort.
Respondents made the following considerations about changing the vendors used in their environments:
- “A little bit price, and a little bit about our needing to put in access control. Juniper and Aruba both have very nice NAC switches that respond to theirs best. Juniper would win on price right now.” – LE, Education
- “Only upon failure – if it’s no longer in warranty and fails, we’ll probably replace it with Cisco. But no plans until/unless failure.” – LE, Consumer Goods/Retail
- “[Cisco is] a more robust, resilient solution and provides more detail; it’s a cloud solution in terms of controller management, and it’s cheaper.” – LE, Services: Business/Accounting/Engineering