Networking equipment manufacturer Cisco and information management vendor EMC are in talks to create a joint venture that would provide services around their respective technologies, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
That such a joint venture, referred to in the report as Alpine, is even plausible reflects the strong position each company is in at the moment.
Although both have been struck hard by the recent economic downturn, both Cisco, with its forthcoming Unified Computing System. and EMC, with its majority share in VMware and recent acquisition of storage deduplication vendor Data Domain, have strong technology card in their hand.
This puts a strain on their respective relationships with IT services providers such as HP and IBM, with whom they are in competition. Setting up a global services function of their own would help the companies circumnavigate some tricky partnership negotiations.
EMC has already dipped its toe in the services arena, and boosted its Consulting arm last year with the acquisition of UK-based consultancy Conchango.