Force10 Networks has launched a raid on Cisco’s channel in the wake of the networking kingpin’s spat with former ally HP.
The firm claims Cisco’s share of the 10GB Ethernet market slumped four points in 2009 and is luring in disgruntled partners with promises of higher margins.
Stephen Garrison, vice president of marketing at Force10, said Cisco’s channel was oversaturated, making it difficult for its partners to make significant margin.
He said: “Most of the margin that Cisco resellers make is on the services they sell around the product, but we can offer margin on the box too because there is not the same level of competition in our channel.”
Dietmar Holderle, vice president of EMEA at Force10, said the firm’s products should also prove an easy sell.
“The syntax underlining the technology is the same as Cisco’s,” said Holderle. “Partners and customers that are used to their solutions should be able to use Force10 products immediately.”
Garrison added Force10 was already reaping the benefits of Cisco’s decision to sever ties with HP, claiming it had generated $3.5m (£2.3m) worth of worldwide “pipeline business” over a three-week period.
“We have not taken an aggressive stance on this,” he said. “It is a reflection of how in tune we are with changes in the marketplace.”
Keith Humphreys, managing consultant at EuroLAN Research, said the vendor’s “opportunistic approach” to the Cisco/HP rift had yielded results, but may not in the future.
“It has made Force10 headlines, grabbed market attention and given its market share a boost,” he said. “But, most end users will take the line of least resistance and stick with what they know, so it is unclear how effective this vendor-targeted app-roach will be in the long run.”
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