Gunning for Cisco

Investments in its networks division in the last couple of years, including some high-profile acquisitions to strengthen its infrastructure portfolio, HP has been consolidating its status as the clear number two in the networking market. And the seller is thinking of stopping there, as NME learned when he met alone with Marius Haas, senior vice president and general manager of business unit networks of HP on his recent trip to Dubai.

What is the purpose of his visit to Dubai and the Middle East?

My purpose of the visit is twofold. First, we had our quarterly review of business around the world, and secondly, we wanted to come here as a team in the world and meet our customers – 15 of them – in the days of our stay here. We also looked at where we will make additional investments in 2011. So overall, I’d say it’s a combination of business planning and investment strategies for the coming year, and meetings with clients.

Where does the Middle East in the overall strategy of HP Networking?

The Middle East is a very important part of our overall strategy. This region has done a phenomenal job last year from the standpoint of performance. The receptiveness of customers to the portfolio has been very good and HP wants to continue his campaign of increased coverage, which means both direct and indirect contact with our channel partners. We have an emerging markets initiative that runs through HP, and have revised the program to accelerate investment in this region in particular. Currently, we are presenting our plans to show how increased investment will generate greater opportunities for HP here.

What is the target market for HP in red – is purely the company?

We are targeting both the enterprise and home segments. We want to ensure we are able to meet the needs of all businesses, whether small or large organizations. Our clients include UPS, BMW and Marriott.

Many Middle Eastern countries continue to lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to access and availability of broadband infrastructure and networks of sufficient bandwidth. What kind of implications this has for your business here?

Well, this creates an opportunity for HP. We are seeing where the opportunities lie and what is the best way to ensure that the HP value proposition is well served, either by us directly or through our partners. In some municipalities, the government, we partner with our channels and channel service providers to cover the broader market. Our offer to clients from a solutions perspective, which means that not only is based on networking, but also covers storage, servers, management and services.

The client can actually choose to see what you have to invest for them, and that part of it will be positioned best for them. Based on the architecture of standards, our solutions can interoperate with any heterogeneous environment in which the investments already made. Having intellectual property in all areas, including servers, networks, storage, management and services, means we can help our customers migrate over time with the flexibility to offer from a business need and a financial need. HP now offers full capabilities of all the networks, right from the edge of wireless technology in exchange for the office LAN, the core switching data centers.

What trends that network administrators and managers to be ready for 2011?

This is how the transition from maintenance to more innovation spend spend. This means bringing together different silos of IT infrastructure such as servers, storage, network management and services to a converged infrastructure that allows the change of the relationship to spend more on innovation.

HP makes regarding the networking market as a two-horse race between himself and Cisco?

Yes Customers want choice. In the last decade, there has been a lot of options. HP is positioned as number two in the networking market today. If you look at the market share of the company, you have competitors Cisco, HP, and others far behind in the supply chain network. We believe we are in a strong position and our value proposition and progress in the growth we see in business is phenomenal. We have seen record growth in Q3.

Is there any conflict between the desire of vendors like HP to become a single solution provider and all working together to develop standards for interoperability?

After infrastructure components based on standards that fit together in a modular fashion that is optimal for customers is the first work for all of HP. We are committed to providing standards-based architecture with standards-based protocols that promote full interoperability, because at certain times of the 10 can run in an environment that is heterogeneous. So, by default, the answer must be that we have to work with others in the market that offer our customers the flexibility to change components on the basis of who can provide the best technology.

What has been the acquisition of 3Com’s strategy has changed HP Networking?

Previously, HP has participated Fi capabilities of the key exchange office. But what customers need also was the ability to deal with their data centers. The acquisition of 3Com was filled with HP’s portfolio of offers end to end, which is based on computing and networking standards and interface architecture. This panel is unique in its class management enables management of network devices based on a unique code, thus simplifying the customer in a model of total cost of ownership. We’ve simplified network management and made safer with the portfolio of Tipping Point intrusion prevention, and the total cost of ownership is anywhere from less than 35% to 65% from our competitors.

What type of cloud computing services is offering HP customers now?

Some customers want a private cloud environment in the firewall community, while others go to public cloud areas. Clients usually say that about 70% of IT spending is being used to keep only the environment, while only 30% is spent on innovation. Given the fact that about 75% of employees based businesses is becoming more globalized and distributed in nature, it is necessary to provide them with application availability and application performance as if they were sitting next to data center. To allow this to happen, we try to transform this relationship to be closer to 50/50, so that customers can spend more money on innovation and modernization of their application portfolio in the best possible infrastructure.

What about solutions from the point of view?

From a solutions perspective, our unit offering optimal infrastructure layer to a much lower cost is achieved through virtualization ecosystem of networks together. This translates into an infrastructure that works with much higher efficiency, as higher bandwidth and low latency. Any client that implements this solution has the ability to have more empowerment of cloud-based services. The Bank of Muscat in Oman, for example, implementing HP infrastructure solutions that allowed them to run an Avaya VoIP infrastructure based on the top of it, allowing the bank to provide the bulk of the network as a service type model.

How can HP networking products help customers reduce costs?

Cost reduction is one of the basic principles of our value proposition. Our main goal is to ensure that from a core network routing and switching perspective, we offer our customers the best product at the lowest possible cost. Our model of distribution and optimization of R & D enables us to create solutions and support on a truly global environment.