Cisco is having an interesting year, attempting to shave $1 billion of expense through layoffs and asset sales while beating both its own and Wall Street’s predictions of earnings as announced Nov. 9. At halfway through our Wave 9 Networking Study of enterprise networking environments, it is clear that Cisco continues to retain its prominence. The company has already jumped out to a 25% lead among vendors that respondents are excited about, and has a healthy 37% of respondents planning to spend more on its products in 2012 than they did in 2011 (vs. 21% reporting decreased spending). In terms of vulnerability, 7% of respondents report that they are definitely considering a switch off Cisco, which ties with Juniper (also at 7%) and easily beats Hewlett-Packard, where 18% are working out a switch.
Reflecting on Cisco’s continued entrenchment in enterprise environments, as well as its prominence in in plan implementations over the next year and a half, the question arises: can anyone unseat Cisco as the dominent networking provider? TheInfoPro asks just that question in its latest study, and finds the answer is largely “no”:
Digging into the preview data, in a number of categories with significant growth potential, Cisco is the leading in use vendor. For example, with 10 Gigabit Ethernet rollouts, 33% have upgrades to their core network in their plans, and 26% report the same with server upgrades. In both cases Cisco is the lead in plan vendor. Similarly, with the hottest technology in the voice and video category, Unified Communications, which figures into 39% of respondents’ plans, Cisco maintains its leadership as the top in use vendor, but in this case has the possibility of being passed by Microsoft.
A sampling of narratives gathered thus far on Cisco reflects the mixed sentiment users have similarly expressed in the past:
- “We are a Cisco shop, but we will look at other vendors and even some appliances to address performance issues.”
- “Cisco is always cutting edge, in my opinion. They are capturing market share in addressing application performance in a distributed networking environment.”
- “Cisco is our vendor of choice. Overall, they continue to perform as we continue to grow. They have great technical support, especially when we hit complex issues. They are not as responsive to the competition as they could be. I would like to see Cisco in a more aggressive posture against some of the smaller emerging vendors.”
- “Cisco has a great technical staff, great support and sales. Cisco is the leader in this space, no doubt. Cisco has more ways to lose an order. If you get to the right person their knowledge base is extreme, it is just getting there.”
- “Cisco is ‘losing it’ right now. They have not done a good job in delivery, pricing and bill of materials. Cisco sold us the wrong licenses and they could not explain what happened. They are trying to go into too many directions at one time, they need to find the right path and get on it!!!! The products are solid and they work, at least at the router and switch level.”
Of course we’ll have a more complete picture of what’s happening with Cisco in the enterprise at the close of our Wave 9 Networking Study.