Are public sector technologists driving Rolls Royce’s?

04/12/2015 12:30

Before we address the question let’s set a little context here. Since 2008’ish the public sector has been subjected to considerable reductions in funding allocations from central government. The response from local government, in many instances, has been to scrutinise its finance systems and top slice budgets from most service areas in order to achieve a specific saving target, perhaps not the best approach! The cuts imposed by central government have been sharp and deep and have ultimately led to some core services been scaled back to a level where they are hardly identifiable and for many a loss of their livelihood.

Anyway, I’ve digressed to a degree. A huge part of saving money when it comes to public sector organisations is not necessarily about spending less, more often than not it’s more about spending smarter.

Ok now for the relevance, we have learnt that many local authorities are using a particular brand when it comes to their voice and data network hardware namely, Cisco. Don’t get me wrong we love Cisco products and supply an awful lot of it to a vast array of customers. However, in terms of how Cisco products are deployed and utilised there are many other brand options that could do the same or more for less. There is also the option of buying refurbished hardware that mostly comes in at a much lower cost and usually with a better warranty than the original manufacturers.

One of the other brands worth seriously considering when it comes networking kit is Huawei. It’s the largest telecommunications manufacturer in the world and most of you won’t realise it but you are probably using their kit unknowingly. From your broadband router at home to the kit that carries your mobile phone data Huawei are probably somewhere in the mix of hardware doing the work we don’t see! On a recent procurement exercise with a large local authority we at Lobster Net provided a comparative analysis across performance, functionality and cost for the replacement of a pretty significant number of network switches, the Huawei solution was at best 60% cheaper than the incumbent vendor and around 40% cheaper than other manufacturers whilst delivering the same or more performance and functionality.

So to answer the question in the title, NO public sector technologists are not literally driving Rolls Royce’s, not that we’re aware of anyway. But,  what we are saying is that it’s always worth at least giving consideration to other network hardware manufacturers as you never know you may end up saving yourselves a considerable chunk of money!

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