Two recent studies, one of enterprise router users, the other of LAN switch users, confirm that customers consider Cisco the top dog of the router and switch industry.
The studies, released by analyst firm Infonetics Research, validate a trend seen in previous years. When asked to rate manufacturers on a number of criteria, such as technology, roadmap, security, price-to-performance, pricing, and support, router and switch buyers consistently rate Cisco the highest. Cisco received especially strong marks for security, technology, financial stability, and service and support.
Router respondents rate Juniper second overall, giving them high marks for technology and product roadmap. Switch respondents rate ProCurve second and Dell third overall, giving each of them high marks for financial stability. Dell also scored well on pricing, and ProCurve scored well on support.
The only category in which the competition beat out Cisco was pricing, although Cisco still comes out on top for price-to-performance ratio, albeit by a small margin. In other words, customers may not like Cisco’s pricing, but they feel they get a good value for their money.
“Based on the results of these studies, incumbent manufacturers are in a good position, since most companies will try to stick with their current vendor,” said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research. “Medium and large companies have big, complex networks, and they tend to employ a single vendor strategy and are reluctant to swap vendors. This bodes well for incumbents, but makes it hard for smaller vendors to expand their market share. However, there are areas that could cause buyers to defect, namely value and support, and vendors that are under-delivering in this area could be in for a rude awakening.”