When Vendors Attack

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • Vendors sniping at each other is nothing new – it’s just business
  • Increased competitiveness cannot be a bad thing for IT buyers

Who out there really could be offended by Cisco’s recently launched attack campaign on Juniper? Well, Juniper of course—but Juniper is a massively successful multi-billion dollar company perfectly capable of handling itself in such matters. My view is that pointing out competitor deficiencies—real or imagined—is part of the process; indeed, a healthy part of the process if done above board and within legal parameters. It’s a sign of heated competition and fear, and as we all know there is fun in fear. In this case, the fun comes from suppliers slapping each other silly, decreasing development cycles while increasing pricing pressure – you know, generally making the world a better place for IT and networking buyers.

The folks expressing dismay about Cisco’s direct attack on Juniper are doing so not because of the attack itself—a pretty tame affair compared to others we’ve seen—but because it is Cisco doing it. Cisco has spent its entire life as a company operating above the fray, as if competition did not exist. So, yes, in that regard it may be surprising, and the company may not be covering itself in glory. The Cisco attack hinges on product delivery cycles that may or may not have been met on the highly touted Juniper Qfabric data center switching and other technology initiatives. So one hopes Cisco’s record in this regard is snowflake pure. It had better be, because the hypocrite tag hangs heavy.

But frankly such details hardly matter. What matters is that two of the networking titans are going after each other. Let ‘em tear each other apart. The result, if fear- and competition-driven market forces work properly, will be more positively-focused activities, better products, delivered faster and maybe cheaper, too. And, besides, it’s a bit of fun, don’t you think?

What do you think?

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