Why should you avoid grey equipment?

In many ways, it’s understandable why you may be considering purchasing Cisco grey equipment. You require a secure, functional and quick network, but you are also under constant pressure to reduce costs. Any hint that you could source the same equipment – especially that of a trusted and renowned networking specialist as Cisco – for far less outlay could be very attractive indeed.

But it isn’t quite as simple as that. When you buy Cisco equipment from the grey or secondary market – or “unauthorised channels”, to use Cisco’s preferred term – you can’t guarantee that the products are legitimate, and will therefore deliver the performance, functionality and all-round quality that you would desire and expect.

When you buy Cisco grey equipment, a lot of mystery can therefore surround its origin and history. The product could be second hand, counterfeit or stolen. It isn’t unheard of for such items to contain software viruses as well, potentially greatly imperilling your network.

The legal risks associated with Cisco grey equipment

Many companies that take the risk of buying Cisco grey equipment may not be aware of the legal context.

It is, of course, entirely legal to buy and sell real Cisco hardware, but in practice, as much as 15 per cent of unauthorised equipment is stolen or counterfeit. It places you at risk of conviction for handling stolen or counterfeit goods, even if neither you or the unauthorised supplier were aware of this.

In addition, you may be able to buy Cisco hardware from someone else, but you can’t do the same for the software license – the IOS – that is necessary to use it. You may remember requiring a Windows License when you last bought a PC, and in much the same way, your Cisco product purchase needs to be accompanied by an IOS authorised for your use.

If your business does use unauthorised Cisco software, it risks prosecution by Cisco. Whether or not this actually occurs, the additional risk is not likely to be appreciated by your compliance team.

Would Cisco grey equipment really save you time, hassle and money?

If there’s any reason at all for purchasing Cisco grey equipment that a company would tell itself, it would surely be the opportunity to save time, hassle and money. But are even any of these things true?

Certainly, it does not take any longer to source a good Cisco Certified reseller than an uncertified one, as you have probably realised, reading this on the Data Centre Shop website! Our name is a trading name of Proxar IT Consulting, a highly regarded Cisco support specialist, so even as you use the Cisco switches, routers, modules or firewalls that you purchase from us, you can benefit from a high standard of informed support – backed by Cisco itself.

Nor are you necessarily very likely to save any money in the long term, given the great uncertainty surrounding the quality of products from unauthorised channels. Do you truly want to be constantly replacing components far inferior to legitimate Cisco ones, with the considerable outlay that this entails? What about placing yourself at legal risk because of your use of software that you might not have even realised to be illegal?

Don’t forget the potential Cisco support issues

There can also be real Cisco support issues with unauthorised equipment, with Cisco not necessarily being willing to give service and warranty support. The general inability to place unauthorised equipment under a Cisco support contract adds further hassle to ensuring that your network remains fully operational and delivers the most optimal performance at all times.

So, why wait any longer to contact a truly certified Cisco reseller – like Data Centre Shop – today?



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