Cisco: Yep, HP's a Competitor
Everyone knows this. It's just that Cisco has tended to skirt the topic. When asked about increasing competition with HP or IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Cisco officials tend to emphasize that a lot of big companies end up being both partners and competitors at different phases in time -- which is true.
But giving introductory remarks at the company's financial analyst conference today, Chambers noted that some partners "will become competitors or will get closer to us."
And HP? "You're going to see some players like HP be a competitor," Chambers said, tossing grammar around like a true Valley legend.
As for the other category -- companies becoming closer friends -- Chambers listed several examples including EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC). That's a nod to the tightening of Cisco's partnership with that company and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) in cloud computing.
Cisco brought itself into the server market -- into HP's house -- by launching an all-in-one data center package called the Unified Computing System. It's possibly in response to this that HP has decided to acquire 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS). (See Cisco Dreams of Data Center Unity, HP to Buy 3Com, and HP/3Com Battles Cisco.)
Cisco typically doesn't talk about the competition in detail.
"We don't spend time talking about competitors. I know you want me to talk about HP; you want me to talk about Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. ," Chambers said. "If you're reacting to what a competitor does, you're looking out the rearview mirror. You're three to five years behind."
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading