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The Channel

Saving Customers from a Faustian Bargain

by Michael Tennefoss on ‎10-20-2014 04:21 AM (2,680 Views)

Saving Customers from a Faustian Bargain

Michael Tennefoss

Aruba Networks, Inc.


In November 2010 Gartner analysts Mark Fabbi and Debra Curtis penned a report that would go down in infamy at Cisco.  Titled Debunking the Myth of the Single-Vendor Network, the document laid out the false economy of sacrificing best-in-class performance for a single logo on every box. Not once did the analysts encounter a single example in which operational cost savings offset the premium customers were charged for a single logo.


That prescient report is even more relevant today given the complexity of enterprises with mobile workforces, guest and BYOD access requirements, and a growing reliance on always-on connectivity.  As if to celebrate that complexity, Gartner analysts Tim Zimmerman, Andrew Lerner, and Christian Canales just released a new report titled Segment Your Network to Save Money and Reduce Vendor Lock-in. Client needs are best met, says the report, when networks are segmented into distinct building blocks, separated by functionally unique boundaries, and best-in-class vendors are selected for each one.


Two Gartner reports, published years apart, bound by one resonant message: single vendor solutions are a Faustian bargain.


When product differentiation supports key business objectives then the architecture – and vendor selection – follow. Salvation for vendors comes from designing standout products that address customers’ pain points. Fail to deliver that and it’s game over because buyers will focus on cost and substitution.  To paraphrase Marcus Aurelius, the best revenge is not to be like your competitor.


That mantra is driving Brocade and Aruba’s “better together” partnership. Our products are positioned within different functional boundaries, in which we’re masters of our respective domains. They integrate with each other and other best-in-class partner products to deliver unique and tangible value in target markets.  Not every market – target markets.


In the context of this partnership those markets include large, data intensive enterprises in which mobility, security, compliance, and HA are core requirements. Healthcare, government, and large public venues are sweet spots.


Let’s take healthcare as an example.  The dynamics of the healthcare market are changing on multiple fronts, and where there’s disruption there’s also opportunity:


  • Chronic disease treatment methods and costs account for more than 70% of total healthcare spending, so to control costs the legacy surgery-based model is pivoting to outpatient, clinic, and telemedicine;
  • Rapid advancements in diagnostics technology and telemetry are driving demand for new communication and mobility infrastructure to support them;
  • This market has vast data generation, transportation, and storage requirements that are straining legacy delivery, handling processes, and systems;
  • Medicine is becoming more “consumerized,” with patient/physician interaction evolving from face-to-face to virtual.


From a technology perspective these changes are driving medical applications at point of care, VDI on fixed and mobile devices, secure access to patient data from anywhere, unified communications, and mobile/remote patient monitoring.  Every one of these requirements is data intensive, includes a mobility component backed by high-speed wired infrastructure, requires end-to-end security and auditing, and must be resilient. All core strengths of our joint solution.




Mixed stacking to meet both budget and performance objectives

Wi-Fi suite meets all budget and performance needs from clinic to campus

Distributed services to all ports simplifies equipment selection and extensibility

Access management enforces policies across all ports, users, applications, devices, locations

Consolidated stack management as a single entity lowers set-up and Run state complexity

Unparalleled network visibility down to individual Lync UC calls, devices, applications


Finding the intersection of customer needs and vendor strengths is the fastest path to success. And that’s what Brocade and Aruba deliver in the target markets we serve: unparalleled performance, robustness, and value. You won’t have to divert resources to shore up or conceal the weaknesses inherent in less than best-in-class solutions. In single vendor solutions.  


So harness the power of the “better together” Brocade and Aruba partnership to drive your business. Entering a bargain for anything less than lead position will be compromise you won’t want to make.