Cisco announced in June that “a whopping $9 billion worth of Cisco gear will hit end of life this fiscal year starting August 1,” SearchITChannel reports. The company is positioning the move as an opportunity for partners to sell more Cisco gear, but many Cisco partners see it as a headache: The VARs will have to take the bad news to their customers and bear the brunt of customer complaints.
At a time when small companies (and, let’s face it, pretty much all companies) are feeling squeezed and worried about their bottom line, a massive forklift upgrade is the last thing anybody wants to pay for — especially for functioning equipment. Cisco, along with some of its partners, maintains that it is up front about its EOL policies and adhering to a normal schedule for dropping support on older equipment, and touts the EOL cycle as a modular upgrade opportunity for resellers. But resellers (and Cisco) could lose out in the end if financially burdened customers decide to take another path — buying from HP or Juniper, or even scouting for used equipment on eBay.