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Research Duquesne Advisory delivers in-depth analyses of Information and Communications Technologies, their implementations and their markets. Research is based on critical observation of the market by the analysts and their on-going contacts with the vendor community, together with hands-on, practical experience in consulting engagements.

Guest analyst Martin Hingley : Why buy Networking from HP, Servers from Cisco?


Martin Hingley of ITCandor is a well known and influential IT market expert. In this guest contribution, he shares some thoughts about the pros and cons of consolidating vendors.


Guest analyst Martin Hingley : Why buy Networking from HP, Servers from Cisco?
Symantec organised a great trip to see Renault Formula 1 team in Enstone just before Xmas. The facility is full of racks and we even saw some technicians upgrading memory and disk.

The CIO mentioned the HP sales rep had already been round suggesting a move from Cisco to HP networking.

It got me thinking about vertical integration and cross-selling, not least because Cisco wants you to use its servers as part of Unified Computing System (UCS) as well.

So what are the pros and cons of consolidating vendors?

HP wants networking business, Cisco wants servers

HP as a network supplier had a share of just 5% of hardware sales worldwide in 2010 (if you include the 3Com business at the beginning of the year as we’ve done in Figure 1), but is filling out its portfolio, stretching from core to edge networking.

The addition of 3Par a year ago added products but not much revenue. It is linking its networking business (the ‘N’ in ‘ESSN’) to HP services which includes maintenance, implementation and even outsourcing. Its acquisition of TippingPoint also gives it advances in network security.

Cisco as a server supplier had a 2% share of the world market in 2010.

It offers an interesting integration into UCS complete with all of its networking expertise. You might also get a call from the VCE rep as Cisco has joined VMWare, EMC and BMC to offer data centre solutions.


Guest analyst Martin Hingley : Why buy Networking from HP, Servers from Cisco?

Consolidating vendors: pros and cons

HP had a 23% share of the server market and Cisco a 63% share of enterprise networks in 2010, so might need a lot of persuasion. The two companies are increasingly competitive, but you shouldn’t read too much into their statements. HP being Cisco-free refers to Randy Mott’s internal systems not to all of the Outsourcing customers it inherited on acquiring EDS.

As alternative suppliers HP knows far much more than Cisco about server workloads and Cisco about IP infrastructures – so jettisoning one as a vendor might require alternative advisors to fill the gaps.

From a facilities management point of view consolidation could have advantages in simplifying management regimes and cut down the number of external people coming into your data centre. It should also cut down the hassle of vendor management.

Of course these moves are part of the grand centralisation and vertical integration going on throughout the ITC community.

I’m telling everyone to be careful that reducing the number of suppliers to one can lead to lock-in down the line. So if you choose to simplify make sure you cover the get-outs down the line – a good supplier will help you move away as well as into their solutions.



A word from Duquesne Group about our guest, Martin Hingley

Martin Hingley, is a well known IT market expert, with many years experience working in the computer market research and vendor consulting area. He has formed business relationships with the most senior leaders in the IT industry and understands the mechanisms of this complex and dynamic market. His company offers ‘pen for hire’, ‘speaker lounge’ and ‘market stats for startups’ services.

As an analyst he believes in employing strong methodologies and accurate measurement as the basis for informed opinion and guidance.

You can visit his blog at: http://martinhingley.wordpress.com/

Monday, May 16th 2011
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Duquesne Advisory

Duquesne Advisory Ltd is a European firm, headquartered in the UK, dedicated to researching, understanding and advising clients worldwide on opportunities and trends in Information and Communications technology.

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Duquesne Advisory delivers in-depth analyses of Information and Communications Technologies, their implementations and their markets. Research is based on critical observation of the market by the analysts and their on-going contacts with the vendor community, together with hands-on, practical experience in consulting engagements.

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The analysts of Duquesne Advisory leverage the Firm’s ongoing market and technology research to undertake high added value consulting engagements for both ICT users and ICT providers. Focused on client service, their approach is rigorous and methodical, and at the same time pragmatic and operational.