Networks price war looms

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Networks price war looms

Antony Adshead

IT organisations could benefit from a price and services war among network infrastructure suppliers.

Last week 3Com announced its return to the wide area network market with Campbell Morrison, director of Wan products, promising its routers would cost 30% to 50% less than equivalent products from Cisco.

The market shake-up has occurred as the Computer Weekly IT Expenditure Survey predicted spending on networks would rise. Other surveys, including those from analyst group Datamonitor and investment bank Goldman Sachs, reported similar findings.

Gartner vice-president Mark Fabbi urged users to take full advantage of the changing market. “Enterprises that do not competitively bid and re-evaluate supplier, platform and technology with every infrastructure upgrade are fuelling supplier profits, not their own bottom line,” he said.

According to Fabbi, Cisco has not reduced its prices in line with the market average during the downturn and he urged users not to pay more than a 20% premium for Cisco products.

Cisco said it was competitive and emphasised value over cost. “IT investment is a value-based decision, not a cost-based decision,” said Nick Watson, commercial director of Cisco Systems UK and Ireland.


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