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2/22/2010
03:31 PM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
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HP Responds To Cisco Alliance Cutoff

Hewlett-Packard is taking the high road in response to the Cisco's impending cut off of its reseller relationship. Click ahead to read HP's statement.

Hewlett-Packard is taking the high road in response to the Cisco's impending cut off of its reseller relationship. Click ahead to read HP's statement.The statement was forwarded to me by an HP public relations spokeswoman, in response to my query as to whether they had anything to say about Cisco's plan to terminate on its system integrator contract with HP. That will happen on April 30, at which point HP will no longer be a Cisco Certified Channel or Global Service Alliance partner.

Here's what HP e-mailed me:

"History has proven that customers and the market demand both coopetition and collaboration between IT vendors. Most major players compete in one deal and partner in others to best serve clients' 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."

Let's do a quick, 30,000-foot analysis of this statement. On the one hand, it's clearly high-minded and non-confrontational -- keeping a cool head in a crisis -- which is a good public persona for HP to present. As well, it goes out of its way to emphasize a best-of-breed strategy, which is also a good thing in terms of reassuring customers.

On the other hand, this is a difficult statement to get much hard information out of, since it addresses the questions at hand more from a philosophical perspective, than from the tactical aspect many people are curious about. As in, what's going to happen when an HP customer wants a Cisco switch?

Perhaps HP is kicking the can down the road on this question, until it can firm up its strategy. Certainly, this must bode well internally for HP Procurve, which will be elevated even further as the go-to networking option for HP data-center solutions. (In that regard, see my interview HP ProCurve Chief Technology Officer Paul Congdon. )

The thought that HP is still mulling its response is further underscored by the fact the fact pages spotlighting the Cisco alliance remain cached throughout HP's site. (Screen grab below.)



A blurb on the HP-Cisco alliance, cached on HP's site.

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Alex Wolfe is editor-in-chief of InformationWeek.com.



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