Cisco Fires Second Shot At Microsoft And Hewlett-Packard
Today’s Cisco Partner Summit keynote focused on collaboration. But the bigger theme was Cisco Systems attacking (and dismissing) Hewlett-Packard’s unified communications partnership with Microsoft. Cisco Senior VP of Software Don Proctor took a number of shots at the HP-Microsoft deal. Here’s the scoop. Plus, HP’s previously stated views on this matter.
First, the good. Proctor said: “We partner with Microsoft in a number of areas. In unified communications, we compete and integrate.”
Now, the negative. “But a few weeks ago, HP and Microsoft announced a front-line alliance,” said Proctor. The deal, he added, involved several key words: “build, sell and service — remember those words.” Translation: Will channel partners be involved?
Proctor alleges that the HP-Microsoft deal affirms Cisco’s unified communications strategy. “The network matters,” Proctor said. “We knew it all along.”
Then, the fireworks started. Proctor alleged that HP’s networking technology isn’t up to the challenge. “When it comes to collaboration, dumb networks lose 10 times out of 10,” he said.
Crossing the Line?
Still, Proctor’s comments pushed into a questionable area. He compared the HP-Microsoft deal to previous unified communication pushes and partnerships involving Siemens and Nortel Networks, respectively.
Of course, Siemens has struggled in recent years and Nortel has imploded. Frankly, lumping HP in with those two companies sounds like a stretch — though HP is a niche (but growing) player in the networking market.
Proctor’s parting shot on the HP-Microsoft deal focused on the channel. “This is about HP and Microsoft taking the business direct and cutting you out of the [business].”
This is becoming a familiar message from Cisco. In the company’s channel blog last week, Channel Chief Keith Goodwin alleged that the HP-Microsoft deal didn’t involve partners. Alas, HP and Microsoft failed to mention the partner angle in the original press release about the relationship.
HP Sees It Differently
But let’s give some equal time to HP. Adrian Jones, VP and GM of HP’s Americas Solution Partners Organization, posted a comment on TheVARguy.com last week ensuring partners that they will participate in the HP-Microsoft partnership.
The fireworks will surely continue later today, when Cisco is expected to launch its unified computing servers — another potential assault on HP’s business.