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Speaking in Tech: The worst government IT deal of ALL TIME

The one about the oversized Cisco routers

By Team Register, 16 May 2012

Podcast It's the eighth episode of our enterprise tech podcast – and it's a special one. The podcast is split up into two parts: in the first part, your hosts interview a journalist investigating the State of West Virginia's absurd purchase of drastically oversized Cisco routers – it's an incredible story you have to hear to believe.

The Dude of enterprise tech, Greg Knieriemen, master of all that is cloud and storage Ed Saipetch and web2.0 playa Sarah Vela speak to Eric Eyre of the Charleston Gazette about the paper’s investigation into a suspicious $24m Cisco router purchase by the State of West Virginia using US Federal Stimulus Funds for the purpose of “homeland security”. The enterprise routers, which are sized for at least 500 users and are typically used for thousands of users, were purchased for schools and libraries with a single computer. The original story appeared in the Charleston Gazette.

In the interview we learn:

  • A Cisco rep confirmed the routers were dramatically oversized.
  • At one library, the router cost more than the structure of the library itself.
  • The routers were purchased by the state without a formal "Request for Proposal" by a single person after consulting with a Cisco salesman.
  • The Cisco salesman retired after the $24m deal.
  • Of the 1,064 routers purchased, 366 were never installed and are sitting in a warehouse.

In the second half of the podcast:

  • We get unwound with our special guest this week – Fred Nix, a vSpecialist at EMC.
  • We dig into what a vSpecialist really does.
  • We explore how critical vSpecialists are to the culture of EMC.
  • We take a look at how EMC has evolved internally.
  • We recap Fred’s skiing accident...
  • Finally, we wrap up with “10 Big Questions” for Fred Nix.

Listen with the Reg player below, or download here.

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