My product is greener than yours. Here comes green marketing.
Nortel in a unique assault on its chief rival is airing ads about the “Cisco energy tax,” which it claims is what IT departments pay for Cisco’s energy gulping products. There’s a lot of marketing in these ads so I cannot only verify that Nortel is using green to make its case. I cannot verify the accuracy of Nortel’s claims.
Nortel asserts its products use 40% less energy and that the total Cisco energy tax is $6.1 billion over the past five years. In other words, Cisco customers have spent that amount on energy costs they would not have to pay if they used Nortel products. That’s the pitch, anyway.
It has enlisted several third parties (clearly for hire) to make its point and has a calculator on its web site that adds up the energy savings using Nortel products. The calculator looks a bit like a gimmick to harvest contact information. And Nortel is running ads that show folks with piles of cash that they wasted on energy with Cisco networks.
Cisco gave us the following written response, which I would have thought would have been stronger. But had it been, Cisco, the market leader, would be dragged into a contest that would have disputed Nortel’s claim, but validated its contest:
“While Cisco does not comment on competitor marketing campaigns, Cisco believes – and our customers have reiterated — that there is a strong need for an industry standard around “green” that is an apples-to-apples comparison and measure of what customers are asking for in evaluating LAN switching power consumption. To that end, Cisco is leading discussions within a number of international standards organizations including the ITU, METI, ATIS and the Green Grid on the development of industry standards that take into account entire network system capabilities and efficiency. The standards must take a holistic approach to environmental metrics for networking equipment, looking beyond ‘per device power draw’ and examining energy use, entire system capabilities and efficiency, and other critical networking measurements.”
Cisco also claims that it has it has the first switches with a green designation but at the same times calls for standards for measuring green. Indeed, the playing field has to be level and the standards meaningful to folks who buy and use the products as well as pay for the energy to power them.