The two industry giants today announced a comprehensive agreement that will cover technology development, integration of tools, service, and support in an effort to entice customers already using Internet and intranet technologies to buy all future equipment and services from them.
Cisco President and CEO John Chambers said industry partnerships often end up on the rocks because the two partners have different visions about their role in the industry. "If you look at HP and Cisco's view of where the industry is going, we're in complete lockstep," he observed.
"To move toward the next generation of applications, new efficiencies are required," added HP Chairman, President and CEO Lewis Platt at a news conference at Cisco headquarters.
Both companies view the joint opportunity this arrangement creates as a way to simplify the complex responsibilities of chief information officers and information technology personnel. They hope to accomplish this by offering complete integrated solutions that can free up administrators to concentrate on cutting-edge applications and content for users and not whether a particular app will run across their network without any tweaking.
"The customers are asking for this: make my enterprise easier to (manage)," Platt said.
The agreement is targeted at several areas:
HP and Cisco Systems are no strangers to each other. Besides work on a router module for HP's networking gear, the two companies announced last July that HP would integrate Cisco's Channel Interface Processor into its mainframe connectivity solutions package. The agreement allows, for example, IBM mainframes to be connected to an Ethernet-based LAN.
"We have a common customer base," Eileen Coe, a business development manager at Cisco, said of the HP-Cisco relationship. "I think we've been able to strengthen the computing solutions that HP provides."
"I think this makes a lot of sense on a number of levels," said Virginia Brooks, manager of network technology for the Aberdeen Group consultancy. HP has focused on the workgroup and found it hard to penetrate enterprise networks, but "to have a partner like Cisco, who has significant penetration there, is a real plus."
Cisco and HP officials said products resulting from the partnership and technology development will start rolling out this spring and will continue through next year.