Cisco breaks up with HP

The networking firm, which recently moved into the server business, has dropped HP as a certified channel partner
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Cisco has dropped HP as a certified channel partner and global service alliance partner, and intends to compete with the company for future business.

In a YouTube video posted on Thursday, Cisco's Worldwide Partner Organization chief, Keith Goodwin, said his company's relationship with HP had "evolved" from partnership to "companies with different and conflicting visions of how to deliver value to our customers".

The two companies have had longstanding partnerships in server switch and unified communications technology, but Cisco's move into servers during 2009 saw an increasing rivalry between the firms in the datacentre.

Goodwin said Cisco had to align with partners who share its "network-centric vision", adding that it "no longer makes sense" to give HP partnership benefits such as access to product roadmaps and partner profitability initiatives.

"We recently notified HP that we will not renew its system integrator contract when it expires on 30 April, 2010," Goodwin said. "We will compete with HP for future business."

Goodwin added that Cisco was in discussions with HP regarding a new agreement to ensure business continuity for their existing customers, and would "honour customer service contracts with HP for their duration".

In a statement on Friday, HP said "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 clients' needs," the statement read. "We do not believe it is in the customer's best interest to take a proprietary stance."

HP said it would provide clients with consulting, integration, management and support services for their heterogeneous environments and ensure that its hardware and software platforms are optimised for all leading networking platforms.

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