Opinion

Time to rally behind core Cisco business, says Comstor

Cisco distie Comstor is speaking up for its vendor partner after John Chambers used his keynote at the recent New Orleans partner summit to reaffirm the vendor's commitment to its core switching and routing business.

Talk in the industry was beginning to suggest that Chambers had possibly overstepped the mark in talking up his grand designs for new markets (he is particularly fond of data centres and has big ideas in the consumer space).

This concern was reflected to some degree in Cisco's last set of results, which disappointed Wall Street.

Last week, Network Noise spoke with Comstor worldwide president Jon Pritchard, who said that some of Cisco's core business partners had been left feeling a bit neglected.

"There's a school of thought, what with all the acquisitions, that they've focused on data centres and you never hear about switching and routing," Jon told us. "So it's great to see that now being reinforced."

"They've not lost any port share, they're just putting partners back into that game, and for Chambers to make core switching a highlight of his speech only reinforces what we're already doing."

But this is not to say that other areas of Cisco's business are being neglected. Its data centre lines, particularly its C-Series UCS servers, continue to do well, and Comstor is also ramping up its Tandberg business after snaffling that contract from Avnet in January.

The firm also reports that it is working to add WebEx to its own price list after Cisco said the collaboration platform was finally being added to its channel mix.

Conceding that it took a long time to bring WebEx to the channel, Jon says: "The challenge for Cisco was that it was a very different model, and they had to work out how to sell something like this in terms of compensation and billing models."

This was first published in March 2011

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