REPOST: The lemming way…how Cisco jumped off the cliff.

So I was talking to one of my guys at work tonight and he indicated that my shots have Cisco have been a recent thing in my career.  I told him he was wrong and went back to a post that I had taken private.  It ends up being this post.  I want to start by saying I took this private when I went to a Cisco Gold VAR.  I did so because after this post I had seen some good indications of change and I felt like it was a bit to hard of a slap in the face for people who were in large part paying my salary.  That said after re-reading it I think I had lots of things right.  So without further adieu here is my original post Published on: May 11, 2007 @ 13:52 taken right from my WP Dashboard.  Enjoy!

Cisco is the 1000 pound gorilla in Enterprise and mid-size networking. But what if they decided to take a header off of a cliff by pissing off one of the most successful customer bases in the IT industry? Well I think they have, but like a train or a ship trying to stop this fall from grace will take quite a while be fully realized. Cisco has moved into a model that is not only hostile towards its VARS but even worse is that it is openly hostile towards customers. Cisco for years has followed a model that is a pay to play for IOS features sets. This wasn’t so bad considering the features set differences were pretty big, such as L2 IOS to L3 IOS on product lines such as the Catalyst 3550 and 3560 series. As Cisco has announced their new model will be a single IOS image per device type that you will pay t0 have features enabled on. This is already being seen in both the 12.4 IOS releases as well as the PIX 7.X IOS.

You can see some of the pain associated with this model demonstrated in this (Sorry Lost this Article awhile Back.  Talked about the Pain of double SSL Lic on the ASA.  Now a commonly known issue.) Shortly I need to post an update to that article that concluded the pain and hassle that we have fought through with Cisco ASA support and software licensing. Add these issues with combative Cisco Sales personnel, muddled support offerings, and a lack of a unified support offerings (TAC is not unified with partner support which is not unified with SE and local support) and it is only a matter of time till the partner and client base revolts helps them off the cliff.

As I say all of this Cisco has also identified the end of their era in Network hardware. Since 2000 I have had been told over and over again by Cisco sales and engineering that Cisco is a software company. As a client and now as a partner I have not been impressed with what Cisco has had to offer from a software perspective outside of IOS. However since the Cisco acquisition of Protego networks and their MARS product management interfaces such as SDM (Security Device Manager) and ASDM (ASA Security Device Manager) have come leaps and bounds form the old web and PDM interfaces. All you should have to do to confirm that Cisco is looking past routing, switching and security products and to the future of Google like greatness is their acquisition list which includes social networking and client applications providers from far and wide.

Time will only tell if I am correct on what appears to be suicidal behavior on Cisco’s part. However companies like Juniper, HP,Foundry,Bluesocket, Shoretel, F5 and Extreme are chomping at Cisco’s heals and are poised to take advantage of Cisco taking advantage of their loyal customers.

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