Core Technology Slip in Vendor, Reseller Mindshare

If not diligent, leading technology vendors like Cisco run the risk of neglecting the core products that account for the majority of their sales as they ambitiously pursue newer, high-margin areas of focus.

Breaking ground on new and emerging technology areas is what keeps this industry alive and kicking. Yet established, market-leading technology vendors face a tricky balancing act when they set their sights on new frontiers. At the same time they are opening their wallets and committing their engineering teams to innovate the next best thing, companies can neglect the core products that drive their revenue engines. Over time, complacency can result in eroding product quality or simply lack of innovation or enthusiasm. That's a prescription for customer defections the next time a refresh cycle for core products comes around.
It's already happening in the case of companies such as Cisco, according to some solution providers in the field. Cisco has launched ambitiously and with great fanfare into sexy, high-margin areas like unified communications, blade servers and virtualization. But the networking giant also has been accused of taking its eye off its core switching and routing gear.
For integrator and hardcore Juniper partner Chris Burgy, CTO of Archer Technology Group in Southern California, Cisco's distraction hasn't been a bad thing. Several large customers, disappointed with the quality and innovation of Cisco's core networking gear, have hired Burgy's company to install alternative products.

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