What Should We Expect From The Cisco-HP Split?

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How will Cisco Systems and HP go on serving common customers and providing innovative products when they cannot share proprietary information?

Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard, once the best of friends in selling each other’s IT software and hardware into large data centres and distributed IT systems, corporately called it quits on 18 February. Their channel partner, systems integration and global service contracts end on April 30 and will not be renewed, Cisco has proclaimed.

Reasons for this long-simmering unease can be found in this eWEEK article. Naturally, this corporate clash of IT titans raises a number of concerns. Among them: What does this separation mean for the two companies’ many thousands of shared customers? How does this affect their channel sales partners and VARs? How much of an opening will it give to other systems integrators, now that HP has been fired by Cisco in this area?

Perhaps the most important question is this: How do two companies like these go on working together with common customers and providing innovative products when they cannot share proprietary information?

What Customers Can Expect from Cisco, HP Breakup

For insight on these and other questions in this winter of corporate discontent, eWEEK sought opinions from several industry thought leaders.

Analyst Bob Laliberte of Enterprise Strategy Group said he thinks that, realistically, the two companies cannot go on working together.

“Basically they don’t [work together anymore]. There may be some type of basic reseller agreement put in place, and they will figure out a way to support existing customers, but moving forward, the lines have been drawn and they will be competing against each other for business,” Laliberte told eWEEK.

“The cutting-edge solutions will be either all HP or all Cisco (and Cisco partners). For example, in the Cisco camp is the Vblock technology utilising VMware, Cisco’s UCS, and EMC storage and management software. For HP, that may be HP-branded QLogic SN6000 FC switches integrated with HP servers and storage and controlled by the Simple SAN connection manager.”