Earlier this month, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins had noted that the two companies had signed a handful of deals together. During a press session at MWC, he mentioned with some pride that Cisco and Ericsson have collaborated formally for just 11 weeks.
“There seems to be a tremendous amount of impatience as to what we should be delivering together, based on the questions that I’m asked,” Robbins said.
Two products have come out of the partnership as well. Ericsson announced the Dynamic Service Manager on Monday, an Ericsson-branded product that includes some software developed by Cisco. Based on Ericsson’s OSS, the product targets real-time management of services that are being run on multivendor networks.
Aster is a TV provider in the Dominican Republic. It’s going to be using Ericsson’s Mediaroom TV platform and Cisco’s cBR-8 cable-TV gear. Details of the 3 Italia deal hadn’t been disclosed at press time, although Cisco noted the deal during Robbins’s press session.
Cisco and Ericsson’s collaboration varies from one deal to the next. They’ve established a “joint-deal desk” to decide each company’s role with particular customers, said Rima Qureshi, Ericcson’s chief strategy officer, during that press session.
That’s important, because the companies do overlap. Cisco’s recent acquisition of Jasper, for instance, gives it some connectivity opportunities in the Internet of Things — opportunities that Ericsson, with its panoply of cellular radios, will also be chasing.
“In some cases, we are competing,” Qureshi said. But it should still be possible for the companies to cooperate on IoT deals by covering different aspects of the deployment. “IoT is a huge market, and there are so many opportunities beyond device connection.”
Not every deal is being jointly negotiated. Ericsson announced Tuesday that some of its products, including the HDS 8000 converged infrastructure platform, were selected by Telefónica as part of that carrier’s Unica project for network functions virtualization (NFV). Cisco isn’t part of that deal yet, and it’s still being determined how Cisco will fit in, if at all, Qureshi said.