• United States

CPE brand doesn’t matter to buyers

Jun 22, 20042 mins

* Standards compliance trumps brand, say buyers

Last month, the Webtorials community was asked to respond to a survey concerning their plans and preferences for customer premises equipment (CPE).  In a couple of weeks, the 2004 Webtorials WAN Equipment State-of-the-Market Report will be released.  But there was one result that we found so interesting that we wanted to go ahead and share it.

In one question, the Webtorials subscribership was asked to rank, on a scale of 1 (not at all significant) to 5 (extremely significant), the importance of a number of factors in their choice of new WAN networking equipment.  The selections spanned factors concerning standards compliance and carrier certification, cost components and various feature-set components.

The part that we found particularly interesting was a low-scoring item rather than a high-scoring one.  Remember the lip service that manufacturers give to brand loyalty?  Forget it.  Of the nine factors listed, “manufacturer brand” ranked second to last.  The only factor that was less important was “solving a single problem very well,” with a marked preference shown for products with a comprehensive feature set.

The most important factor? Standards compliance.

This lack of importance of a particular brand doesn’t seem to split sharply among any of the demographics.  When looking at large vs. small networks or at U.S. vs. non-U.S. responses, the answer is essentially the same.

We’ll be discussing other results from the study in future newsletters.  We’ll also let you know when the final report for the study, which was produced with support from Packeteer, is available at Webtorials.