In early 1997, the first HP-Cisco alliance was first formed. HP was Cisco’s first publicly announced strategic alliance partner. The agreement between the two companies focused on technology collaboration, product integration, professional services, and customer support. The first contract lasted until February of 2002, when both HP and Cisco decided to further formalize and expand their alliance by signing a new contract. Shortly afterwards in March of 2002, HP merged with Compaq Computer, Inc. This temporarily slowed alliance activities between HP and Cisco. The “new HP” needed a few months to reorganize with the addition of Compaq.
A few months later, in August of 2002, the alliance activities began to move forward once again. The alliance was a win-win for both HP and Cisco. Both companies were widely respected global technology companies. At the time, Bill Russell and Jim Heal of HP and Steven Steinhilber and Mike Thomas of Cisco Systems were at the forefront of the management teams responsible for forging a stronger, more formal alliance between the two companies.
The original mission of the alliance formed in 1997 was to provide co-marketing enterprise networking solutions to HP and Cisco’s join customers. Through this alliance, HP and Cisco developed and sold four joint solutions – IP telephony, service and network management, mobility/wireless, and Utility Data Center. All four of these ventures were successful. Revenues generated from these programs steadily rose from 1997 to 2001. Value was being added to both HP and Cisco.
In 2002 it was time to expand the alliance. Due to HP’s merger with Compaq, the alliance generating activities were sluggish at first. At both HP and Cisco, the primary responsibility for the management of the alliance fell on the alliance manager. The role of an alliance manager was “to develop a business strategy for optimizing the value of the alliance, disseminating the strategy...