Cisco Partners: HP Is A Step Behind With Aruba Acquisition

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Hewlett-Packard partners called the company's acquisition of Aruba Networks a direct shot at Cisco, but Cisco partners argued the move is only evidence that HP is not quite keeping pace with its major competitor.

’Cisco’s acquisition of Meraki was quite a bit more prescient, they were ahead of the curve with a cloud-based wireless controller, and I think that HP is kind of just playing a 'me too' role in that capacity,’ said Tom Clancy, founding partner at New York-based Cisco partner Valiant.

Clancy went on to say that Cisco is not the only vendor moving more nimbly in the acquisition space than HP.

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’When Dell acquired SonicWall and had a really great firewall at the head of their network, Watchguard, of course, went up on the block as somebody that HP should be investing in, but they didn’t -- for whatever reason. That still presents a gap,’ Clancy said.

Gerry Baron, CMO at Cisco partner Cirrity, agreed that the move doesn’t feel like much of a threat.

’It will remain to be seen what HP actually does with that acquisition, whereas we feel really confident that we bet on the right horse for who we’re using,’ Baron said.

Josh P. Thomas, vice president at Aruba partner STSG, said he’s concerned about whether HP will even apply the technologies from his current vendor partner immediately.

’I’ve seen HP buy other companies before,’ Thomas said. ’And they kind of get buried for a while.’

Larry Hedin of Kansas City-based HP partner Heartland Technology Solutions said the move was a long time coming, but he’s just happy that HP made it.

’It’s a big move for them because that’s always been an area of their product line where we’ve had to outsource because our HP relationship’s pretty big, and that’s an area that’s needed shoring up for quite some time,’ Hedin said.