I meant to publish something when I first saw this article in Network World. Apparently Gartner debunks the myth that a single vendor network solution is more cost effective and easier to manage. Pretty strong statement by Gartner and there were some pretty strong reactions if you look at the comments on the Network World site.
In a Wi-Fi world, I think Gartner's analysis is especially true. With the availability of controller-less and cloud based Wi-Fi solutions, Cisco's pricing and complexity is more than some are willing to accept. Branch offices don't need the same expensive Cisco WiFi infrastructure to support hot spot or in store WiFi applications. And in Cisco's case, even the first generation (or two) of the "single vendor" approach is often a sum of parts collected in an M&A spree. Because nothing was really designed to work together in the first place, adding additional capabilities to the WLAN such as security, compliance scanning, performance and disagnostics often requires another "box", additional licenses, and lets not forget the maintenance.
Sounds like Gartner touched a nerve. Maybe customers are tired of paying a premuim for something that requires even more IT resources to manage day-to-day? Show me hard savings NOW. Not some fuzzy ROI over the next couple years.
Love to hear what others think.