Watch Out For Corporations With Salesmen

“it is a basic principal of our free-market economy that competition between vendors leads to lower prices and higher quality products," the report states. "Yet, instead of using an open competitive bid process to attempt to receive the lowest possible price and highest quality product, the State of West Virginia simply relied on Cisco’s goodwill."see West Virginia auditor blasts Cisco, state for "oversized" router buy – Network World

Amen. The idea that certain suppliers should be blessed above all others is a trap for everyone, resulting in voluntary monopoly. It causes people to disregard common sense. It’s the same with operating systems. There are organizations which will have only M$’s stuff on their PCs and servers by default, not though any necessity or advantage.

When I was working in schools, contractors almost always installed M$’s OS and Cisco’s switches. When I equipped a medium-sized school, I used GNU/Linux and TrendNet, saving a ton of money and being able to buy more/better hardware where we needed it on servers and clients. The file-server doubled as the router… I never maxed out those servers and I only maxed out the network a few times in tests and making backups. Both provided years of trouble-free services. M$ and Cisco are not the only ones who know how to do things. They have no intellectual, manpower or technological advantage worthy of monopoly so don’t give it to them on a plate. Make them work for a living like everyone else.

I recommend Debian GNU/Linux for clients and servers.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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17 Responses to Watch Out For Corporations With Salesmen

  1. DrLoser says:

    Dr Loser open bid is not talking about dumpster diving. What it real remind of of the example of the one person giving plastic bag and a stick and a person giving away dollar coins/notes.

    Did I mention dumpster diving? No. Is it relevant? No.

    Where do you get this fruit-loop comparison of sticks, plastic bags, and dollar coins from? Have you been a naughty boy and taken the tin-foil hat off again? I’ve warned you repeatedly not to do that.

    Its a funny one the person giving away dollar coins and notes without packaging most likely will not give away one. But the person giving away bag with stick(that has no value) will be able to give lots away.

    Not in my universe, Hamster. Not in anybody’s. Not even in yours.

    You really are capable of inserting the most etiolated drivel into any inconsequential argument you care to dream up, aren’t you?

  2. oiaohm says:

    ram https://www.tenders.gov.au/
    Open bid process is quite alive and well in Australia.

  3. ram says:

    I haven’t seen an open bid process in the English speaking world for decades. Fact is, the ex-British empire has a terminal case of systemic corruption.

  4. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser my answer was directly to Ivan not you over the fact there are many USA companies you can get routers and switches from. Cisco System is not automatically the only selection.

    –Unless you are suggesting dumpster dived hardware and a home rolled solution, it’s not germane to the topic.–
    Open bid process is not dumpster dived hardware. Its simply getting vendors to put up the best price and quality they can offer for new.

    Open Bid process can clearly state must be new hardware.

    Open bid process does put propriety against FOSS.

    Open bid process internal staff can bid against external contractors as well. FLOSS library (books) management system in a Open bid process can be put head to head with a closed source offering. Now the winner is the one that provides the required features.

    Dr Loser open bid is not talking about dumpster diving. What it real remind of of the example of the one person giving plastic bag and a stick and a person giving away dollar coins/notes.

    Its a funny one the person giving away dollar coins and notes without packaging most likely will not give away one. But the person giving away bag with stick(that has no value) will be able to give lots away.

    This is why there are proper processes to performing a open bid process. To make sure that the items you are buying is not some form of fancy packaging that does really nothing.

    The truth of the matter not using an open bid process you can end up doing a very expensive form of dumpster filling because you acquired items that don’t do the tasks you need them todo.

  5. The FLOSS ILS I was using at that school was either KOHA or EMILDA, another one that never quite took off. There are several these days. I really don’t remember which one I installed.

    KOHA, these days, is a 20.7MB Tar.gz, an awful lot of perl, javascripts, sql and data for a server. It can scale from a personal library to a regional library with multiple branches. About 20 companies support Koha and it has been evolving since 2000.

  6. DrLoser says:

    That’s nice, but what the hell does this have to do with government contracts for routers and network switches? Unless you are suggesting dumpster dived hardware and a home rolled solution, it’s not germane to the topic.

    I hate to repeat things, Hamsgter, but it’s the only way to get simple facts into your extraordinarily thick head.

  7. oiaohm says:

    Ivan netgear, netcomm, Hewlett-Packard(3com) and IBM just to name a few still have production of particular models of routers in the USA. Yes they still have operational factories in the USA. Even that they also like cisco have factories in china.

    Supporting USA businesses on routers does not mean buying Cisco systems. Yes a 5 way+ bid process was possible. In fact just to be killer some of the USA made Cisco Systems devices in fact come from netgear and netcomm factories just with Cisco Systems branding placed on them. Yes it can be what quality difference Ivan. The difference in the price is the Cisco branding in some cases.

    Hewlett-Packard and IBM do have silicon production in the USA. So they can make a fully USA made routers. So if the cat is 100 percent USA made you still have more than 1 company to contact and ask.

    Ivan support USA is one thing. It does not mean not using open bid process. Heck if there it only 1 and you do a open bid process you will only get 1 company bid.

    There are also some smaller electronics produces in the USA as well.

  8. DrLoser says:

    It might not be germane, but let’s be fair: the FLOSS books management system might actually be a Very Good Thing.

    What with it being FLOSS, Robert, I assume you are not merely prepared, but eager, to provide links to it. Help me make the world a better place!

    Chuckle.

  9. Ivan says:

    Supporting Cisco can mean not supporting other hard-working citizens. That’s not right.

    Point to another manufacturer of routers made in the U.S.

    If a government talks to salesmen from other companies they may be able to make a deal for less and get a factory/support/training facility opened locally

    Do you expect a Corporation to spend billions on a contract that will only be worth a few million?

    I once worked at a place where a new IT system was rolled out. I planned and gave them a FLOSS library (books) management system on Day One. WIthout even trying it they spent an additional $4K on a “commercial” one because the consultant they hired to train staff knew the “commercial” one. It was weeks before they could use the new “commercial” system because they could not get the damned authenticating key to work. Do you not think they could have done much better using the FLOSS by not hiring that consultant and getting help with it? From my point of view they wasted $thousands on nothing of value. They are now locked in to using the propietary files etc. forever.

    That’s nice, but what the hell does this have to do with government contracts for routers and network switches? Unless you are suggesting dumpster dived hardware and a home rolled solution, it’s not germane to the topic.

  10. ram says:

    In most of the world, perhaps even where you live, governments base their procurements on one essential factor: bribes, kickbacks, gifts, graft, corruption.

    A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) said:

    “Where I live, the politicians, the public servants and especially the tax office are considered so corrupted that people, en masse, refuse to pay tax. There is so relatively little revenue that the government cannot afford to pay its public servants properly. Teachers, nurses, soldiers and policemen earn starvation wages. So they derive their real incomes from graft. And so lucrative are these black, secret taxes on ordinary public services like paying registration fees and sending children to school, that jobs in the government are the best ones going, and most applicants must pay large sums up front to get them.”

    Yup, sounds like where I live too! How about where you live?

  11. Der Balrog says:

    Der Balrog funny you are to the point of just insults.

    If the truth is insulting, then you’d better not leave the house.

  12. oiaohm says:

    Der Balrog funny you are to the point of just insults.

  13. Ivan wrote, “That US States shouldn’t support US Business?”

    The purpose of governments is to do collectively things that are difficult/impossible individually. Supporting businesses is the job of the business and its employees, not governments. That written, governments can and should encourage their populations to be gainfully employed by wise management of taxes and investments. Why should Cisco get the front position in the queue for purchases? Why not Joe Schmoe who lives and works nearby? Supporting Cisco can mean not supporting other hard-working citizens. That’s not right.

    e.g. If a government talks to salesmen from other companies they may be able to make a deal for less and get a factory/support/training facility opened locally. All possibilities should be open, not just taking some expensive default.

    e.g. I once worked at a place where a new IT system was rolled out. I planned and gave them a FLOSS library (books) management system on Day One. WIthout even trying it they spent an additional $4K on a “commercial” one because the consultant they hired to train staff knew the “commercial” one. It was weeks before they could use the new “commercial” system because they could not get the damned authenticating key to work. Do you not think they could have done much better using the FLOSS by not hiring that consultant and getting help with it? From my point of view they wasted $thousands on nothing of value. They are now locked in to using the propietary files etc. forever.

  14. Der Balrog says:

    Peter Dolding, if this were the 18th or 19th century, then perhaps you’d have a slim chance of being recognized as a Universalgelehrter. But, alas, as this is the 21st century, you’re just universally recognized as a loon.

  15. oiaohm says:

    Ivan an open competitive bid process does not mean in the end you will not buy from Cisco systems.

    There is more than 1 company in the USA that makes routers. So even restricting to pure USA supply there is more than 1 company to consider.

    No matter how you look at it Ivan State of West Virginia did wrong. Heck just because it Cisco does not mean it core parts were not made in China. The box might be the only part USA made in some Cisco branded items.

    –That US States shouldn’t support US Business?–

    If you wish that it should be stated as a requirement of the bid process. Open Competitive bid process does not mean you cannot place conditions to meet include country the device is produced in.

    Ivan basically without a Open Competitive bid how do you tell it was not a bribe under the table by some sales person in the process.

    Ivan Open Competitive bid processes has a very formal define.

  16. oiaohm says:

    This is being questioned more and more.

    The days of under the table deals are coming to the end.

  17. Ivan says:

    What are you trying to say here, Bob? That no one should buy a router from Cisco? People should pick up discarded computers off the curb and use debian to build their routers? That US States shouldn’t support US Business?

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