What a week it's been for Hewlett-Packard
Just after the printing prince reporting a 28% earnings gain on 8% higher revenue in its first quarter, Cisco
Systems integrators are key to big-ticket technology sales, gathering and assembling collections of disparate products into functional whole systems. Both HP and its closest peer, IBM
For HP, Cisco had long been a preferred supplier. No longer.
It's difficult to know exactly how this break-up will affect both companies. But we do know Cisco's intentions, thanks to a webcast hosted by Keith Goodwin, senior vice president of the networker's partner organization.
"We are taking this action to be transparent to both partners and customers -- we will compete with HP for future business," Goodwin said in the webcast and an accompanying blog post.
He also pointed to changing industry dynamics and the "evolving role of the network," which smacks of code-speak for "customers want to deal with one vendor, and we want to be it."
If that sounds familiar, it should. About a year ago, Cisco began touting what it calls a unified computing system, whereby some of its networking switches -- once intended just for moving and managing data -- were being remade with other components to act as servers, like the kind you'd buy from (surprise!) HP or Dell
It's a vision similar to the one Oracle
Now, Cisco and HP have fiefdoms of their own to tend to. And in empire building, there's no room for partners.
What will Cisco's next move be? Make your voice heard using the comments box below.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Google, IBM, and Oracle at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool also owns shares of Oracle and is on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy has had enough for today. See you next week.