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1Ciscos Worst Enemies

HPHP’s acquisition of 3Com certainly splashed cold water on the union between it and Cisco. Now that the deal’s gone through, the two vendors broke up their partnership and Cisco is going after HP-3Com market share as HP targets Cisco’s stronghold, enterprise networking.

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PolycomAfter revamping its channel in mid-2009, Polycom has been setting its sights on Cisco, which this spring closed on a deal for Tandberg, Polycom’s biggest rival in the video conferencing space. With 34 percent of share compared to Tandberg’s 43 percent in 2009 according to Wainhouse Research, Polycom will be working hard to close the gap now that Cisco is in the mix.

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JuniperA long-time thorn in Cisco’s side when it comes to the carrier routing market, Juniper has also turned up the competitive volume over recent years with enterprise Ethernet switching and, more recently, a push to cater to cloud and data center customers.

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DellAs Cisco leans into Dell’s territory with the Cisco Unified Computing System and its converged networking, storage and server platform, Dell is fighting back. Last fall Dell partnered with Brocade to take Cisco on with its own system, V/OE. It’s too early to see who will come out on top in this fight, but it’s bound to be bloody.

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AvayaAfter picking up Nortel’s assets at fire sale prices, Avaya is already gunning for Cisco’s share of the unified communications market. According to Infonetics Research, Avaya showed a 25 percent gain in PBX revenue last quarter after absorbing Nortel’s enterprise solutions business and trailed Cisco only “by a hair” in that market.

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NetgearEven as Cisco has poured money into the SMB and consumer markets over the last year, Netgear continues cruise along in this space, leveraging its longtime focus on SOHO to gain customers’ confidence. According to financial gurus, Netgear exceeded expectations in 2009.

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Alcatel-LucentWhile Cisco lost about 8 percent of its share of the carrier edge routing market in 2009 — down to 43 percent, Alcatel-Lucent shot up to 20 percent and took over the number two slot. While Cisco may have double the share of Alcatel-Lucent, this competitor together with Juniper is giving Cisco headaches in this realm.

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RuggedComCisco announced recently that it would make a foray into the smart grid market. The move makes sense, but existing utilities industry players aren’t just going to roll over for Cisco. With more than 50 percent market share in smart grid networking according to GigaOM, RuggedCom is a force to contend with.

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AppleWith Cisco’s recent unveiling of its mobile collaboration business tablet, the Cisco Cius, Apple and its iPad tablet computer are likely feeling a little bit of a chill. iPad sold 3 million units in the first three months of sales, but with Cisco going after the mobile business collaboration market with its HD-video capable tablet, can that momentum last?