Cisco and EMC have said that they will cooperate in development, sales, support and marketing activities. They have also set up a joint venture called Acadia, which has the separate goal of speeding Vblock market take-up by providing implementation services and advice to other integrators and service providers. Acadia will have approximately 130 staff when it begins its operations around January 2010, and is a legal entity mostly owned by Cisco and EMC, with Intel as a minority stakeholder.
Quality of support will be key
Businesses already stitch together data centre systems from multiple vendors products, but the resulting systems require technical support from multiple suppliers. Instead of this multi-sourced support, customers want the proverbial one throat to choke when things go wrong. EMC and Cisco have promised that their alliance will provide exactly this. However, they have been very vague about how they will do that. That is no surprise, given the challenge of tying together multiple support groups from two different companies.
Dont wait for a Cisco-EMC merger
Given their size, a merger would be so risky that the two would not even consider it until the benefits were absolutely certain. But in a few years time, it could be feasible.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.