John Chambers has led Cisco into becoming too broadly spread, undisciplined and caused three quarters of poor results disappointing investors. Now he wants to turn the tide and get Cisco back on track. The company's performance in the past three quarters has gotten Cisco to the point where Chambers has had to do something …
It is news because...
"We have disappointed our investors"
As opposed to our customers. That we've been consistently doing for the last decade, and more.
...how long until they plug their storage hole with NetApp?
The problem is that
Cisco's competitors are selling cheaper and better products.
I drank the cool-aid for far too long...
I was a believer for more than a decade. 2.5 years ago I switched companies and inherited a network choc-a-block with Dell switches. WTF?!? I immediately created plans to replace them all with "better" cisco gear. When budget realities slapped me in the face I was forced to re-think my biases.
Fast forward 3 years. Not that I recommend Dell over HP, but most of those PowerConnects are now going on their 5th year or more in constant service and they continue to do what they are supposed to do: switch packets. Some have up times approaching 4 years. And I've never ever had to call Dell (thank goodness) for support or replacement due to hardware or firmware issues. I used to have Cisco TAC on speed dial.
Now-a-days I look to HP also because their stuff works but mostly because of the free lifetime hardware/software support. Never needed to use it though.
but give credit where credit is due: Cisco's support website is unparalleled in all of IT. I still maintain my CCO account and use it for design and protocol assistance even when I'm not deploying their gear. And of course the ASAs are tough to beat.
"And of course the ASAs are tough to beat"
WHAT?! The ASAs, like everything else coming out of Cisco lately, is a load of CRAP. It's near Netgear on the feature scale.
Cisco's day has come and gone. They got too comfy and lost focus, and their competitors flew right past them.
ASAs aren't crap. I work in ISP Network Engineering and I deploy them where required. Rock solid.
I did re-design the network and replace core 7600s with Juniper MX gear because they are WAY better. Love those Junipers.
But I always deploy cisco switching gear as they are the best at it.
I strongly believe that most of the snide comments here are from admins that don't understand what they are dealing with. If you are talking about DELL vs HP then you are a small enterprise Windoze admin because only someone of that ilk and ability would go to a desktop or server supplier for networking gear.
Having Cisco TAC on speed-dial for a switch plainly shows you for what you are. I wish you luck with that.
Spoken like a classic cool-aid drinker
Define "best". If you mean best at butt-humping and budget crashing, then yes, Cisco switches are the best. If you are talking about switching actual packets between hosts then your colors have been truly shown as the lackey you are.
"Oh, I work in an ISP and I know everything". Shut up. Seriously. If you want to compare dicks then here it is: I've held a CCNP since 2001, passed the R&S CCIE written in 2003 (never bothered with the lab since my company at the time wouldn't pay for it) and have been designing networks since 1995. Were you even off your mother's teat by then? I've designed, built and architected networks for Fortune 500 companies around the world. And you have done what? Oh yea, you work in an ISP. Big whoop. I eat ISP networks for breakfast.
Regardless of where you are, if you aren't looking at the cheaper and just as good, often better, alternatives to Cisco switches then I'm afraid for your career. It's gonna be tough for you when someone like me gets brought in to show you how to build a proper network with a proper budget.
In my experience, the only people who only buy Cisco are the ones who can't do it with out Cisco crutches like PVST+ and EIGRP. Learn some MSTP and BGP before you try playing with the big boys.
MY COCK IS BIGGER!
24 port unmanaged 100Mbps Dynamode swtich. How do you like me now, bitches?
Focus on investors???
Is all fine and good for the Street, but how about a focus on customers? That Chambers sent out an email TO THE EMPLOYEES about how the investors were let down speaks volumes about where management's priorities are. That kind of email is fine to send out to Investor Relations, the Controller and CFO and their immediate staff and Wall Street/institutional investors, but the rest of the company should be customer-focused, not beancounting-focused.
Cisco will be fine in the mid-term I think. They basically got too spread out and inefficient and unfocused running up to the dot-com bust, and the discipline instilled by the bust helped fix all that. I believe that they can do it again. But they need to get customer-focused first.
And who is surprised?
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has had any experience of dealing directly with Cisco. Their lack of customer empathy is astonishing and their attitude to a customer who chooses to use a different vendor is nothing more than disgusting. If they had an ounce of collaborative nous in their set-up, they could have diverted a lot of this many years ago but they had an all consuming desire to achieve world domination and now it is hopefully blowing up in their face.
Indifferent products, arrogant employees, badly focussed management and a proprietary aspect to everything they do. It had to only be a matter of time before the market woke up to this.
A Cluster of problems
Products are still sound but the service levels over the last 4 years I have dealt with them have dropped dramatically
Personally I think the server Business was a very bad move from the start as automatically IBM, Dell & HP who where all Cisco Gold Partners stopped selling Cisco.
And from the testing I can see why Procurve has been winning marketshare, I will also note for a 1000 seat organisation I haven't seen my Cisco rep for 2 years and yet I have to get my pricing approved from the faceless goon.
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