Page 2 of 2
HP recently touted first quarter 2011 networking market share gains against Cisco, citing percentage points gains described by researcher Dell'Oro Group. Dell'Oro analyst Alan Weckel told CRN, however, that networking market share should be evaluated over a three-year period instead of quarter-by-quarter comparisons, and that HP's share claims could be misleading in context.
Rob Soderbery, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Unified Access Business Unit, also told CRN that Cisco has maintained port market share of 50 percent and revenue market share of 70 percent over the past few years, and that Cisco losing market share in the switch category is a "misconception."
But that Cisco is choosing to compare itself to HP at all indicates just how much HP has gotten to Cisco, Nielsen claims.
"The bottom line is that Cisco has never before seen competition like they are seeing from HP," Nielsen said in an e-mail follow-up to CRN. "This is proven by the fact that they presented a comparison side vs. HP switching -- a first!"
"Networking customers finally have a real choice for the first time in decades," he added. "HP brought competition to a stagnant and overpriced market. It's the customers who will benefit most."
A top Cisco solution provider that also sells HP told CRN that "marketing wars" will be a fact of life every time Cisco or HP introduces a new product and makes competitive claims.
"It's easy to find things to market against, on both sides -- they're both huge companies and they're at war," said the partner, who requested anonymity. "A lot of it is noise and a lot of it is probably legitimate claims, and you see that from both of them. What it doesn't do necessarily is help partners tell the right story for customers. We, the partners, have to spend a lot of time filtering what customers have read about the companies, you know?"
HP's aggressiveness will ultimately help Cisco, the partner said.
"Competition in this space is a good thing," he said. "If it motivates Cisco to do better, that's a good thing."
In the meantime, said the partner, the fight continues.
"Ding ding," he said.