Rethinking Value on Transceivers and Networking

Quality refurbished product is an option we firmly believe in at Techbuyer, but it is not the only low-cost, high value solution we offer our customers. We stock a large range of new components from “third party” manufacturers, well respected names with a lower brand profile than giants like HP, Dell and Cisco. We have always known they offer identical performance at a fraction of the price. Now industry analysts are proving it with transceivers and networking.

Industry research giant Gartner has released a report with a blunt title: “How to Avoid the Biggest Rip- Off in Networking”. It has some good things to say about non-branded transceivers, one of the product lines we stock here at Techbuyer. It states that organisations should resist the fear, uncertainty and doubt created by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and take advantage of the massive cost reduction offered by the non-branded alternatives.

Since network transceivers make up 10% to 15% of enterprises’ network capital spending, saving opportunities are significant. Two environments that the report mentions specifically are data centre networking and wired campus switching.

Massive savings on identical equipment

Transceiver technology has been around a while, and the basic components used in most networks are commodity 1G and 10G products. Some aggressive network OEMs and their sales channels try to frighten customers away from non-branded alternatives by saying using them will “void the warranty” or that it is “illegal” to use them. We have evidence from our customers that this is not the case, as they have tested third party components in their networks with no conflict. The Gartner analysts support this information, saying the scare tactics are “simply not true”.

The report also points out that most transceivers that OEMs use are just relabelled versions of equipment from third party manufacturers anyway, which means buying transceivers with a cheaper label results in exactly the same equipment but at a fraction of the cost. The report mentions Finisar specifically in relation to this, one of the third-party suppliers we stock at Techbuyer, although there are others too, notably Prolabs, Brocade and new-comer Ortial, which is in the running for a “One to Watch” Storage Magazine Award this year.

Product by product pricing saves money

Another finding of the report was that many organisations end up paying way over the odds for transceivers because they negotiate a blanket discount for the whole networking bundle. They may enjoy an overall discount of 30% on this. However, transceivers are the most cost-effective component to make, so a 30% discount on this list price is still way above how much money can be saved on each component. This is a big benefit of buying through Techbuyer, because we are used to quoting part by part. Our pricing is transparent, and we will always go the extra mile to give our customers the best deal possible.