The top three priorities for CIOs in 2012 are security, wireless LAN and Ethernet switching, according to a survey conducted by investment firm UBS.
In querying 100 CIOs (60 in the United States and 40 in Europe), UBS found that not only were these topics high priorities, but by an even wider margin this quarter than in its previous surveys.
The findings bode well for Cisco. Not only are they leaders in WLANs and Ethernet switching, 27% of the CIOs surveyed expect Cisco to gain share vs. competitors on a global basis. This is the strongest result for Cisco in the past four UBS surveys, the firm notes.
“We view Cisco as more likely to preserve/ gain share in networking after it restructured through 2011, and this is consistent with the view of 80% of respondents,” UBS analyst Nikos Theodosopoulos stated in a report on the survey. “We expect continued Cisco gains in the blade server market.”
On the competitive front, UBS found that Juniper’s QFabric is most likely to be part of the company’s 2013 product cycle. It’s still in early evaluation for now, UBS notes, and 10% to 15% of the survey respondents plan to trial the product this year.
No surveyed CIOs actually plan to deploy either the top-of-rack QFX or the more complete QFabric Interconnect system in 2012, the UBS survey found.
“The challenge for Juniper is that other competitors continue to enhance their offerings including Cisco, Brocade, Arista, Dell/Force10, and others, while Huawei has re-entered the enterprise market,” Theodosopoulos states.
Huawei’s enterprise re-entry doesn’t scare Cisco, even though Cisco views Huawei, which competes on much lower price, as its toughest competitor and with the tinge of contempt. CEO John Chambers already said the Chinese company “doesn’t always play by the rules.” And at the recent Cisco Partner Summit, he and Executive Vice President Rob Lloyd had more critical observations of the company’s enterprise efforts.
“They’re coming after the networking channel and they’re finding that the interest from the Cisco networking channel is very low in the value proposition that they bring,” said Lloyd, who heads Cisco’s worldwide sales. “They are copying our [channel] program, they are emulating what we say to our partners, but what we deliver is based on trust and relationship and a deep understanding as to how the service model works, and that’s not the actual capability that Huawei brings. So we feel very encouraged that at this stage, the Cisco channel is rejecting the attention of Huawei and we’re very happy that they’re successful at the expense of our other competitors.”
Said Chambers: “Our win rate is going up pretty rapidly vs. Huawei. Cheap isn’t necessarily cheap. It’s what can you do to really change a marketplace.”
Things aren’t as bad as Cisco portrays, according to Huawei.
“Such comments are unfortunate,” says William Plummer, vice president of external affairs for Huawei. “Huawei has great respect for Cisco and, like Cisco, Huawei has earned trust and respect in the over 140 markets in which we do business, supporting over 500 telecommunications operators and connecting almost one-third of the world’s population. Huawei also takes pride in having developed and deployed fresh and future-oriented channel programs, which, contrary to suggestions otherwise, have been met with sighs of welcome relief from partners who have been starving for alternatives to the dated models and solutions of the past.”