Changing the Channel: Networking VAR news

Aug 13 2009   3:40PM GMT

Cisco gear end of life sparks controversy

AmyKucharik Amy Kucharik Profile: AmyKucharik

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.

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  • Ktrost
    Will be interesting to see how this plays out! Many organizations are on top of EOL schedules and have budgeted accordingly, but those who have not will indeed be looking for alternatives. Options I see: asking the VAR to extend support, purchasing used equipment (our research shows this is happening more often), or looking for leasing options. Leasing of equipment is an option all resellers should be offering right now!
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