Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Enterprise Communications published today in which Tim Zimmerman, Joe Skorupa and myself profile four “cool” vendors including Cumulus Networks, Nuage Networks, Pica8 and Plexxi and also revisit a former “cool” vendor, Aerohive. So what does it mean to be considered “cool”? Certainly, it is a somewhat subjective definition as evidenced by this picture.
My definition of “cool” is rather simple: Coolness is the ability to help customers address challenges in new and innovative ways. These challenges could be in terms of cost, management, agility, operations, etc.
Cumulus and Pica8 focus on switching software that can be run on top of physical switches, an approach called disaggregation. Plexxi provides a programmable and self-learning switching fabric that dynamically configures inter-connectivity via an optical backbone ring, while Nuage provides an SDN overlay solution that nicely stitches the overlay/underlay together and cleanly extends beyond a single data center.
Unlike incumbant networking vendors, these guys are unencumbered by specific margins and/or a large installed-base (to protect) which allows them to look at things in a fresh manner; ultimately enabling them to tackle long-standing network problems in new and innovative ways.
Side note: Contrary to popular belief, that is not me in the photo although I’ve popped a collar or two in my day and do own sweater vests… Image courtesy of http://www.maniacworld.com/four-popped-collars-cool.html
Read Complimentary Relevant Research
100 Data and Analytics Predictions Through 2021
Over the next few years, data and analytics programs will become even more mission-critical throughout the business and across industries....
View Relevant Webinars
Will the Cloud Save Me Money? Or Am I About to Waste a Lot?
The cloud is often seen as a great way of saving money, but there is an emerging trend of organizations that cannot prove a ROI. We examine...
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.