A case against vendor-locking optical modules

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Mon Nov 17 19:28:31 UTC 2014

On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 2:12 PM, Jérôme Nicolle <jerome at ceriz.fr> wrote:
> Le 17/11/2014 19:54, William Herrin a écrit :
> > Change "can't" to "won't", because you find it inconvenient and
> > insulting to work around artificial and costly problems created by
> > your vendor. If you can't use their equipment then they haven't lost
> > any business but if you _won't_ then they have.
> Let's talk about the £800 gorilla in the room then : it's not an issue
> for a $20 LX SFP, it may be doable for a $120 LR SFP+, it's certainly
> not an option for an ER-DWDM SFP+ 8-40 waves set ($800 each).
> You're right about how inconvinient and insulting such restrictions
> feel, but my main concern is about costs, efficiency and logistics.
> Having to stock more spare optics, one per vendor, has its cost. Having
> to cheat the restriction by recoding the optics, also has costs in terms
> of time, tools and complexity. At the end of the day, everyone loses.
> Because it's absurd and induce more costs and complexity, I _can't_ fall
> into such trap. Because it's insulting and bordeline moronic to begin
> with, I certainly _won't_.

Have they had a bad quarter because they carelessly induced indirect costs
which priced them out of the market? This is something their CEO would like
to know about.

> Now, about discussing with a CEO, I'm not really sure it could be
> reached. Salesmen on the other hand have their own interest in both
> selling OEM modules to the corporate market, and unlocked equipments to
> the SP/telco market, to whom they won't sell anything otherwise.

You'd be surprised how reachable CEOs are, but if you have any trouble
making an appointment, call the CFO instead. CFO's are lonely. Almost
nobody ever calls them. The CFO will take the call from a
customer/investor, and unlike your salesman the CFO has the CEO's ear. And
if he's had a bad quarter, the CFO is even more in tune with the idea that
an indirect cost (which makes them no direct money) caused you not to buy.

> Is it unrealistic to hope for enough salesmen pressure on the corporate
> ladder to make such moronic attitude be reversed in the short term ?

Your salesman is not a corporate warrior. He spends his time working the
lowest hanging fruit he can find. Unless you have a *lot* of money to
spend, that isn't a customer who requires a change to corporate policy.

Bill Herrin

William Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
Owner, Dirtside Systems ......... Web: <http://www.dirtside.com/>
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