Avoiding (Cisco) Feature Creep

My father-in-law used to say (he was in video technology), “I give my customers what they need, not what they want”. He certainly wouldn’t have allowed feature creep to get in the way of delivering on this philosophy.

When we buy a car, while we may look at car magazines and day dream about owning a fully featured whatever (insert your favorite car here), many of us would narrow it down to the features we really want/need, and consider performance, maintenance costs and energy efficiency in making a purchase decision. We would be crazy to pay our hard-earned cash for features that we will never use (though there are many who go for a higher prestige to debt ratio!), and then pay again for increased gas consumption, maintenance costs or whatever.

Unfortunately, data networkers do this every day.

They buy technology based on the Cisco feature list (who have hundreds of features that seldom are used by any given customer) rather than on their feature requirements. As a result, they pay premium prices, and create unnecessary complexity which can impact performance, security, reliability and TCO. On reliability alone, it’s no secret that software complexity (multiple versions of IOS, features you don’t use, and resulting config errors) is a major contributor to failures.

One customer, Executive Director of Information Technology Services at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, did their homework and reported “We chose a Nortel data network solution over other vendors because it delivered superior resiliency, performance and a lower total cost of ownership."

So figure out what you want, or pay a consultant to help define your needs (not just create feature lists) and then get the facts on performance, energy consumption and reliability.

The opinions and views expressed in comments, blogs, etc. are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of TMC, TMCnet, or its editors. TMCnet reserves the right to edit, delete, or otherwise make changes to the content that appears on these pages at its own discretion and as it deems necessary.
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