You have to connect the dots when it comes to Cisco dropping HP as an authorized reseller if you want to make any sense of this.

This move by Cisco was always in the cards ever since the beginning of last year. UCS started the ball rolling and then HP’s decision to enhance ProCurve to truly compete with Cisco was also a factor. Cisco also inked strategic alliances with Avnet and Comstor in Canada, while strengthening other broadline distribution pacts. And, if you want to go back even further asking Dimension Data to set up shop in Canada was also a brilliant move. Cisco has always been good an anticipating where the market is heading.

But, HP wasn’t just going to stand still. HP acquiring 3Com was a serious shot at Cisco and the market place they basically have.

So what choice did Cisco really have? They where not just going to unveil their future technological plans to HP because they were a channel partner. Cisco had no choice but to drop HP as an authorized reseller. If they didn’t in some kind of mis-guided hope of furthering co-opetition or an idyllic servicing the customer notion Cisco would have stunted its potential in UCS. HP would have a tremendous advantage and they would have exploited it.

In this high stakes chess match the real losers are channel partners and customers. Take for example those partners who have chosen to support both lines. They will be forced to choose. Does that really help the customer? It might, but it might not. Co-opetition is good for customers and that is what it’s really all about in the end.

This move really hurt HP Canada in my mind. It has serious ramifications for HP Canada’s group of independently-owned and operated resellers across Canada. I have no idea what their next move will be. A lot of them were really successful reselling Cisco solutions as a HP reseller. Customers will still get their Cisco gear through Dimension Data Canada, but even they will be struggling at the start. I do not think they have the scope of an HP in Canada.

HP Canada takes a hit here in the pocket book and they’ll need to intensify 3Com/HP solutions to market. That means a lot more training for solution providers who choose HP. And, they do not have a channel chief in place to start putting solution providers on board.
One quick hit before I go. Jilted lovers will like this story about Charles Philips, president of Oracle. Philips who was on stage recently detailing the Sun Oracle strategy was forced to admit he had an affair with a woman named YaVaughnie Wilkins after three large billboards in New York, San Francisco and Atlanta revealed the couple's relationship.  Those billboards have been taken down.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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