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Microsoft and HP Team Up to Take on Cisco

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hpweb_1-2_topnav_hp_logoMicrosoft (s msft) and Hewlett-Packard (s hpq) said today they’ve teamed up to push Microsoft’s unified communication software and HP gear to enterprise users. The two companies are jointly spending $180 million over the next four years on what they call their Frontline Partnership to develop and market ways to use Microsoft’s communications software in HP’s machines. The partnership can be read as a high-powered endorsements of Microsoft’s communications technology as well as a stab at Cisco (s Csco), which is pushing its own unified communications products.

Cisco has its eye on the collaboration market, which it believes will be worth $34 billion in the coming years. Google (s goog) is also pushing into this space with its Google Apps and other enterprise efforts. But Microsoft isn’t going to sit still while interlopers try to infringe on its business. And with Cisco releasing its own line of servers,  HP’s decision to buddy up with Microsoft makes sense.

As for the partnership agreement, the two companies will optimize several of their products so they work easily together, and will train a sales team to sell the optimized products to corporate customers. A quick look at the list of HP products that will work with Microsoft’s SharePoint and other communications gear makes clear how seriously HP hopes to put the hurt on Cisco. Check out what the two companies will work on:

  • Tweaking HP’s ProCurve networking products for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office Communications Server
  • Adding Microsoft Unified Communications qualification for the HP dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC, select smartphones and new HP IP desk phones
  • Offering real-time quality-of-service metrics for the voice and video network over the IP infrastructure using HP Business Technology Optimization (BTO) software and Microsoft Office Communications Server
  • Making HP Halo Telepresence Solutions and Microsoft Office Communications Server-based unified conferencing interoperable, enabling remote participants at any Microsoft Office Communication Server-enabled PC to join telepresence conferences

HP will also lend its services arm to the partnership, and will target communication service providers to enable them to offer hosted versions of the Microsoft and HP products. Service providers are key Cisco customers, and a clearly defined target for its new unified computing system. The trends of data and people always being accessible via the web is shifting the way data centers are being designed and provisioned, while the multiple ways to contact people make unified communications a huge opportunity. In this partnership, we’re seeing how Microsoft, HP and Cisco are reacting to these trends reshaping their markets.

6 Responses to “Microsoft and HP Team Up to Take on Cisco”

  1. As a guest of Denali Advanced Integration of Redmond, WA, Mark Hurd, HP Chairman and CEO and Adrain Jones, HP Channel Chief spoke to Denali customers and prospects, standing room only. Without hesitation, all attendees want an HP Pro Curve proposal to replace CISCO. HP Finance is in a position to help with Trade in /Trade up on CISCO investments…a real support team dedicated to drive real value to the customer…no secet services expenses..

    CISCO may have thrown down the gaunlet, PR hype…HP has the portfolio and scale across their entire product line, the Pro Curve value proposition, the R & D investments , the Channel reach and loyalty…Let the battle begin…My money is on the customer /HP/Choice…We sell CISCO, but we believe in HP as one of their ELITE partners across their entire product line…Ask us for an unsolicated proposal..we will present the value prop of both and let the customer decide. or

  2. Amit Daryanani

    My notes fron InterOP keynote session, where HP & MicroSoft provided details and demo on the unified solution.
    HPQ/MSFT Announcement – Focusing On Unified Communications & Collaboration – Comments from Anne Livermore.
    a. Invest 180M over 4 years.
    b. Differential – Will deliver the solution at a cheaper more efficient solution vs. peers
    c. Single point of accountability.
    d. Solution from – Desktop to servers to storage to networking to software.
    e. Transforming Communciations – Software powered solution, will enable servers to be more efficient for use of Xchange, SharePoint, other MS Apps.
    f. Integration and services
    g. Adaptive Infrastructure & Devices – New notebooks, smart-phones, IP deskphones, ProCurve gear
    h. Conferencing – Scalable solution, leverage Halo (HP offering) with MSFT communication offering. Enables better interoperability and scalability
    i. Networking – Will offer networking at a radically different price point. Only company with server, storage, services and software along with networking.
    Comments From Steve Eslop –
    a. Core strategy is to make businesses more efficient and boost business productivity and help lower TCO for customers.
    b. Breaking down the silos –

    Demo –
    a. Touch screen device & HP Mini.
    b. $300 on HP mini – that does I/O conferencing, (snds like a pitch to swap out of CSCO telephone).
    C. Halo – used for global meeting, office communicator – enables access to personal level when we don’t have access to halo rooms.

    11. Customers will come to HP/MSFT because of – Need & Risk Aversion.
    12. Easier, Less costly & More Productive – Mantra for HP/MSFT. Make video conferencing & networking as easy as IM is today.