Will Cisco's Server Move Trigger A Channel Battle

Channel networking giant Cisco is supposedly preparing to enter the $50 billion server market, which would greatly round out its product strategy and propel it into new competition with vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell and IBM. According to this report, Cisco's new server would come with virtualization software, setting it apart from the other hardware competitiors.

The channel has a huge stake in this. Cisco and the hardware vendors have worked closely in the past, a relationship that has benefited all. Cisco will downplay the potential for conflict here, contending the server will be a natural complement to the company networking, router and hub products. And Cisco's server will be differentiated by the included. virtualized software.

Good arguments, but Cisco's entry into the server market, expected in a few months, will have big ramifications for channel partners. Cisco will depand heavily on the channel for sales, support and service. I'm sure its competitors, who are also long-time channel players, wll enhance their own channel strategies. The company with the most comprehensive channel strategy is likely to win the coming battle for server dominance.

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