Brand Loyalty is real and it’s deep.

Cisco Systems Brand LoyaltyEveryone can relate to finding a product that they like and sticking with it. From specific brand of cars, to a certain brand of shampoo, everyone has a product that they stick with, through thick and thin. This same type of brand dedication is very common amongst IT buyers and data center managers. While it is wonderful to find an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that provides dependable products that suite your needs, it is just as valuable to know what other manufacturers are offering.

Now I am in no way trying to discourage anyone from sticking with a brand that they love, but simply stating that being blindly loyal can be bad for your business. Being blindly devoted to one, and only one brand of networking equipment like Cisco, Juniper, or Alcatel can hinder your data center from performing at its maximum potential.


But Why?

The basic desire of every single company that exists, across every market, is to convert first time customers into loyal customers Tunnel Vision comes along with too much dedication who return to their products time after time. All brand managers have an ultimate goal of inspiring every customer to be a blindly loyal customer. That is to say, a customer who will only purchase their products and will not even consider thinking about buying elsewhere. In fact, many of the top network equipment OEM’s spend copious amounts of time and money trying to persuade their customers to be loyal to their brand and only their brand. . Essentially creating a tunnel vision effect between loyal customers and their products.

As and IT manager, it is your job to ensure that your network is running as efficiently as possible and that your data center is equipped with the best network hardware to suite company’s needs. If you only purchase from one hardware manufacturer, without ever checking out what other network hardware manufacturers are offering, how can you know that the equipment you have is really the best for your network?

What Can You Do?

I do not suggest that you go immediately to your Cisco rep and tell them you are breaking up with them! You do not want to ruin a good relationship with your OEM. Especially if you want to continue purchasing routers, switches and firewalls from them.

blind loyalty can be dangerousHowever, the first thing I do recommend that you do is to remove the blindfold of loyalty that is currently clouding your vision. Once you allow yourself the freedom to research what other hardware manufacturers are offering, network equipment wise, you can fairly assess the compatibility and value of your current data center hardware. When all is said and done, you can feel confident knowing that the future hardware decisions that you make for your data center, will be the best ones. Not only for your network, but also for your company.


The bottom line?

Being loyal to your network hardware manufacturer has its perks but you should never pledge yourself to one brand without evaluating your other options. Options that are always evolving. Which means, it is imperative that you constantly research the newest equipment trends coming from all of the hardware manufacturers and steer clear of the blind loyalty void.

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