Channel Marker

Jan 11 2010   6:56PM GMT

HP, Cisco partner events face off

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Talk about counter programming. Hewlett-Packard slated its partner conference directly opposite  Cisco’s previously planned partner summit.

Here’s the VAR Guy’s take on this move–which will put joint Cisco and HP VARs–and there are plenty of those –in a tizzy in a few months.

Cisco’s event is on for San Francisco April 26-28. HP’s is in  Las Vegas for the same days.  This kind of stuff puts hard-working channel partners in a bind. Already several partners who work with both vendors have complained that they’ve already been caught in the cross fire as HP and Cisco compete for more of the data center hardware business.

HP and Cisco had nurtured a fairly fruitful data center partnership where VARs often sold HP servers and Cisco networking gear into the same accounts. Now they’re being pressured to push the “unified” data center hardware from HP OR Cisco, not both.

“Mark Hurd decided to go to war and I guess we’re along for the ride,” said  one New England VAR.  Actually you could say that Cisco’s John Chambers started things rolling last spring with the announcement of Cisco’s Unified Data Center server and that Hurd reacted with HP’s take on converged data center hardware.

Cisco’s had its summit on the calendar for quite some time; HP just recently confirmed its plans. HP’s recent buyout of 3Com–and its networking gear–just adds fuel to this particular fire.

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