Winner: Cisco Systems
The Enterprise Networking Infrastructure category goes to Cisco Systems, which edged second-place finisher Juniper Networks by final scores of 82.4 to 80.1. In last year's ARC awards, the roles were reversed as Juniper posted a slim margin of victory. But this year, a series of technology updates delivered a victory to the San Jose-based networking giant.
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"We refreshed the entire switching portfolio over the last 18 months from the Catalyst 2000 all the way up to the Catalyst 6000," said Wenceslao Lada, vice president of Borderless Network Architecture for Cisco's Worldwide Partner Organization. "We are now better able to integrate routing, switching, security and mobility, while at the same time wrapping all of this around solid network services that help both the partner and the customer manage the data carried over the network."
Lada stressed Cisco's ongoing commitment to the channel, particularly expressed through profitability and enablement by various efforts such as helping partners to develop their own service practices. The vendor won the overall partnership subcategory by a slim margin, ceding the channel management, ROI and ease of doing business criteria to Juniper.
"The network is becoming even more relevant than it used to be," said Lada. "It has become much more intelligent because you need to know who is on the network, what applications are being used, and how those applications are delivered. So you need to balance between flexible deployment and the need for comprehensive control and management. Our network services ensure that the partner and the customer are dealing with solutions that are robust and easy to manage."
Lada's message resonates with John Kingsolver, president of Advanced Network Management, an Albuquerque, N.M., partner. "We consistently see them upgrading and putting more value into their products," he said. "With the advent of the 3750Xs and the 10-gig capability, those devices are becoming more suitable for core switching. We are also seeing a lot of interest from customers in the Cisco Nexus line."