Applications supported by the new partnership include IT asset tracking, presence-based applications, voice, and intrusion detection and prevention.
"Were extending the relationship to take advantage of some Cisco launches," said Brian Brouillette, HPs vice president for Mission Critical, Network and Education Services (aka HP Technical Services). "Were extending what we do with design and integration for the new WLAN [wireless LAN] products that Cisco is bringing out."
"HP has established a practice for pervasive wireless LAN deployments," said Ben Gibson, Ciscos director of Mobility Solutions Marketing. "Were seeing a second wave of deployments going beyond departmental or spot deployments and moving much more toward truly pervasive deployments. To do that, particularly with the larger deployments, are the associated applications and the associated business case behind that. Thats really the focus of this partnership."
The big change that brought about the HP/Cisco partnership is the way in which enterprises are moving to wireless.
"To date wireless LANs have been deployed on a rather tactical level," Gibson said. "What we really see is that wireless LANs are really growing up in the enterprise. There are other advanced applications that will also be enabled by that same network infrastructure. To do so requires more than just deploying access points and controllers."
"The Cisco products arent going to deploy themselves," Brouillette pointed out. "Part of the value HP has is highly repeatable ways to get these into your enterprise."
Brouillette said HP provides services for the deployment of the Cisco infrastructure. "Customers dont want the product to just show up at their doorstep," he said, "and they dont want to buy services without having a product theyre trying to deploy." Brouillette said it makes no sense to have one without the other.
"Where HP and Cisco have come together is that if youre thinking about these new products, you have services from HP to make your deployment successful," he said. This is especially important when an enterprise has an existing infrastructure that cant be down during the deployment, Brouillette said.
"You can ensure that these all work together as a system," Gibson said, "Thats where HP comes in." Gibson said that adding a wireless infrastructure to an existing enterprise can be very complex, especially if its a larger enterprise. There, the wireless network has to be completely integrated with the existing wired network.
"We offer a unified approach to a wireless network," Gibson said. "We have common implementation software and services capability that really reduces the IT departments burden of managing separate networks." With the new Cisco products, he said, "it doesnt matter if theyre a wireless or wired user."