There's no doubt that Cisco and Ericsson will be generating many headlines this week following the news of their global partnership agreement. (See Cisco & Ericsson Forge Killer Partnership and Cisco + Ericsson: Friends With Benefits.)
But while such a relationship will involve many handshakes and a lot of backslapping amongst those at the top end of the management food chain at the new best buddies, the challenges related to managing a wide-ranging partnership that is set to involve reselling, licensing and joint business and technology development will be fraught with complications and potentially generate tensions around customer ownership and revenue recognition, notes Patrick Donegan, chief analyst at Heavy Reading .
"There's no doubting the breadth and depth of this partnership," says Donegan. "A lot of the language is going to be around 'joint governance' across both companies, from R&D to sales. The sales part is going to be among the most challenging: Let's see how the two respective account leaders for, say, Vodafone or Verizon go about negotiating the terms of the next customer engagement. Not to mention which dollar of revenue goes in which company's revenue column for this or that quarter.
"The view from the trenches can look very different from the view back at base," adds the analyst. "The Ericsson-Cisco message that they are looking outward, where competitors that are merging are looking inward, is potentially powerful -- but only so long as they can get that part right."
What do you think will be the most challenging aspect to the relationship for the networking giants? Share your thoughts on the message boards below.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading