Flash back to 2009 and Cisco's Partner Summit in Boston, and HP was mentioned so much by Cisco during the show that you'd think it was an advertiser. "We are competing with HP. Period. End. It is competition," said then-North America channel chief Wendy Bahr in that conference's most memorable turn of phrase.
Fast forward to 2012, and Cisco hasn't lost an ounce of competitive aggression for HP. But it also seems to have a new nemesis: Huawei.
Cisco CEO John Chambers has painted Huawei as Cisco's most formidable long-term competitor and at a recent event slammed Huawei as not always "playing by the rules" when it comes to intellectual property protection. With Huawei hard-charging at Cisco's territory -- it kicked off a major enterprise networking push in North America last year -- expect Cisco-Huawei to be the next great enterprise networking industry rivalry.