HP’s new regional networking chief is looking to its existing partner community to aggressively grow market share in the networking market.
The integration of the HP and 3Com businesses will take place in Australia on June 1. Recently appointed HP Networking boss for Asia-Pacific and Japan, Paul Robson, told ARN it will continue to run the HP, ProCurve and 3Com partner programs in tandem for the next six months, then start rolling out an integrated channel structure from November.
While local channel details are still being finalised, HP has already announced plans to launch a global accreditation program for individuals to compete with Cisco’s existing CCNA (Cisco Certified Networking Associate) certification. At a partner level, HP also has a networking specialisation within its Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking (ESSN) program, which sits alongside elements like datacentre and storage systems.
“Our competitors have strict certification programs at an individual level – it’s important for us to provide similar accreditation at a customer and partner level,” Robson explained. “It’s about being able to tick all the boxes against other vendors and level the playing field in every single part of our channel engagement.”
Last month, the vendor announced existing ESSN distributors – Ingram Micro, Avnet, Dicker Data and Lynx Technologies – would now have access to its full [[xref:http://www.arnnet.com.au/section/networking product suite incorporating ProCurve and 3Com]].
“Most of our HP partners aren’t focused on selling networking today, or are HP server and storage partners selling a competitive product,” Robson said. “They can leverage the HP portfolio and have a more competitive value proposition. We have a long-term focus on taking market share – they can ride on that wave.”
Robson said HP’s end-to-end networking product portfolio, combined with its ProCurve business, legacy networking focus and 3Com’s expertise, presented a strong value proposition to its partners. As an example of its product strength, he claimed its high-end HP 12500 switch was 40 per cent cheaper, 38 per cent more power efficient and double the capacity of the Cisco equivalent Nexus portfolio.
HP is also launching a raft of integrated server and networking products, the first of which is the BladeMatrix platform for datacentres.
Robson emphasised its regional commitment to an indirect go-to-market strategy for networking and said his team was actively involved in talking to all ESSN channel partners about building practices around HP Networking.
“Over the last 10 years, we have built mutually beneficial relationships with channel partners,” Robson said. “In our relationships with channel partners, we have worked to understand the long-term strategy around engagement. Now we’re giving them the opportunity to have choice.”
For those already working with competing products, incentives to take on HP’s offering included the vendor’s commitment to honouring incumbency with a customer base, Robson said.
“Competitive networking vendors have mature models, which makes it hard for partners to break into,” he claimed. “HP Premier Business partners going from nothing [in networking] will get access to full HP support.
“The other thing is HP’s market share [in networking] is low. We’ve spent billions on buying 3Com, and we’re building a worldwide business – we are aggressively going after market share.”
Robson was appointed to the Asia-Pacific networking role last month, but is also acting as local networking and ESSN director until a replacement is found.
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