Cisco Systems may have attempted to rain on Hewlett-Packard's partner parade by unveiling its own public cloud on the first day of the HP Global Partner Conference, but HP solution providers say it is Cisco that is coming up short in the cloud battle.
Partners say HP's broad product and services portfolio, including Shark converged systems combining server, storage, networking and applications, along with critical software assets like cloud services automation software and the company's HAVEn big data platform make HP the better cloud partner.
"From a practical standpoint, being able to bring a converged solution to your customer is just easier with HP. It is not easy with Cisco, and I will tell the Cisco execs that this week because we are also participating in [Cisco Partner] Summit," said Kris Rogers, senior vice president, partner and product management for PCM, a $1.5 billion national solution provider power that is a top HP and Cisco partner.
Cisco's VCE partnership to sell converged infrastructure with VMware and EMC is simply not as easy to pull together as an HP converged systems cloud solution, said Rogers. "VCE is not simple to deliver from a partner perspective," she said. "Those are some of the challenges Cisco faces to be competitive."
What's more, Rogers said, HP's PartnerOne channel program is a much more profitable program than the Cisco channel program. "HP has a much more robust program," she said. "HP puts their money where their mouth is."
The progress HP has made in the last year with PartnerOne "is nothing short of amazing," added Rogers. "The changes in PartnerOne, the changes in leadership, the collaboration of the pan-HP [business unit initiative] is more real than it has ever been."
Mike Strohl, CEO of Entisys Solutions, a Concord, Calif.-based HP Platinum partner, said that he also sees HP's PartnerOne program as the No. 1 channel program with a broader and deeper portfolio than Cisco.
"HP is viewed as a more strategic business partner with customers, whereas Cisco has been viewed more overall as a networking partner, if you want to call it that," said Strohl. "It is a different approach just because of the breadth of the [HP] portfolio."
What's more, HP is working closely with partners on the cloud opportunity, making it "easier for us to work with them from a services perspective between the customer and the HP cloud offering overall," said Strohl, referring to HP as a lot more "mature" cloud vendor than Cisco. "HP is already established in this marketplace," he said.
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