Resellers lap up switching price war

Resellers lap up switching price war

Just in case you didn't know, routers are out, discounted switches are in and ready to sell, and there are no buts about it.

That seems to be the hard-line word from internetworking duellers Bay Networks and Cisco Systems as both fight tooth and nail for leadership in the extremely lucrative switching market.

All this competition can only mean one thing for networking resellers: big bucks and lots of business.

Networking reseller JNA has welcomed the latest wave of switching price cuts brought on by Bay and Cisco. But, according to Patrick Zuluaga, JNA's marketing manager for network services, the key for resellers like JNA is not just to sell boxes but value-added services.

"Decreased switching prices will always be good for the customer and the reseller as long as the margins on product remain comfortable," he said.

Zuluaga cited add-on business such as network design, installation and configuration along with network support as key business drivers.

In synchronised announcements last week, Bay Networks slashed nearly $1000 from the price of its entry-level 24-port Ethernet switch, the BayStack 303, bringing it down to $3500 rrp (or $146 per port).

Bay cut its 12-port BayStack 304 Ethernet switch by nearly $500 bringing it down to around $2600 rrp ($217 per port).

Not to be outdone, the kids at Cisco performed some creative accounting to cut per port prices for its Catalyst 1900/2820 Ethernet switches by 50 per cent. New per port pricing for the 12 or 24-port Catalyst 1900 switch starts at $120 RRP, while the 24-port 2820 Enterprise Edition comes in at $160 per port (RRP).

Cashback promotion

Bay has done its bit to "sweeten the pot" by putting on a Switches to Riches promotion offering cashbacks on multiple sales of switches.

Bay says resellers will earn $100 when they sell at least two BayStack 303/304 Ethernet switches and/or BayStack 350 Autosense switches to a single account and an extra $50 for every additional BayStack 303/304 and BayStack 350 switch sold into that account.

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