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Cisco ejects HP from privileged partner camp

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Updated HP is being booted out from the circle of Cisco's confidantes receiving confidential Cisco product roadmap details, as the competitive war between the two gets fiercer.

Time was when HP, with its servers and storage and who-could-care-less ProCurve networking operation, was a terrific partner to Cisco, giving Netzilla an entry into HP accounts for its routers. Not any more. HP ramped up ProCurve into a serious networking play and Cisco got into servers and storage with its California hardware and EMC/VMware deal.

HP, already with its Matrix competitor to California, and striking a three year Hyper-V-centric deal with Microsoft, is buying 3Com, strengthening Ethernet competition with Cisco switches and so, now, Cisco is booting it out of its favoured partner circle.

It is refusing to renew HP's System Integration contract, meaning HP will no longer be a certified Channel and Global Alliance partner. That means it won't get access to future product details and nor have access to partner profitability initiatives.

Keith Goodwin, Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organisation SVP, said: "HP [and Cisco have] evolved from [partners] to companies with different and conflicting visions of how to deliver value to customers."

"We have already reached out to HP to begin the discussion around a new agreement that ensures business continuity for existing customers and better reflects the current state of our relationship. We will also honor Cisco customer service contracts with HP for their duration."

Of all the server vendors, HP has taken the strongest actions following Cisco's server and storage play with EMC and VMware. There is much interest in how Dell and IBM, the two other server vendors most afected by Cisco's move, will play their hands.

Update

HP issued this statement: “History has proven that customers and the market demand both co-opetition and collaboration between IT vendors. Most major players compete in one deal, and partner in others to best serve the client’s needs. We do not believe it is in the customer’s best interest to take a proprietary stance.

“We will provide clients with consulting, integration, management and support services for their heterogeneous environments and ensure that our hardware and software platforms are optimized for all leading networking platforms.

“Our strategy and platforms will continue to be market driven to create advantage today and into the future for our clients.”

HP is not rejecting Cisco as a partner and will continue to ensure its products work well with Cisco's, even though that work will now, clearly, not be able to start as early as before since HP won't be privy to Cisco roadmap details. ®

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