Hewlett Packard and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings) announced today that they have formed a ten year global alliance. They hope to offer coordinated solutions that incorporate both IT and communications components to corporate customers and services providers alike. The general idea here is not particularly new. Networks and connectivity are as critical to the infrastructure of most companies today as the various IT hardware they use, and all are increasingly interrelated. In fact, I'm somewhat surprised the dividing line between telecom and IT equipment has remained even as clear as it has.
If everything works well, HP and Alcatel Lucent hope to generate billions in new revenue. Of course, those revenues have to come from somewhere - it's not like they are opening a new market. So in other words, they believe the alliance will help them gain market share. Will it work? Or will they just step on each other's feet? As always, it depends on how seriously both take it and whether their operations staff are really on the same wavelengths. There were lots of buzzwords in that PR, but any decent PR department can generate those. Let's see if it wins them some customers.
I do think we will see more convergence between the sectors over the next few years.
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