LOW: Feb. 2010: Adios, HP
Cisco spent much of its 2009 Partner Summit in attack-dog mode against Hewlett Packard, throwing down the gauntlet between the two once-friendly vendors by virtue of the fact that Cisco was barging into HP territory with its UCS play and HP, through its expanding networking footprint, was starting to take switching and routing deals away from Cisco. Partners felt pressured to choose sides, and by the time February 2010 rolled around, many solution providers were already sick of the non-stop mudslinging between Cisco and HP.
Still, leave it to Cisco to draw blood just as things seemed to be calming down a bit: a very public cutting of ties with HP as a reseller partner. Goodwin and other Cisco channel leaders spent a lot of time that spring telling the channel it was overblown -- Goodwin himself told CRN that the media had made too big of a deal out of it -- but it's something that rubbed partners, particularly those that spend a lot of time playing Cisco vs. HP diplomacy, the wrong way.