Despite being the third-biggest networking vendor in the world, HP's networking division ProCurve believes it is largely unknown in these parts. With that in mind, a new channel program is being rolled out to remedy the situation in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Launched this month, it features an Elite Program that is aiming to recruit a limited number of high-end, value-added resellers to get the brand out to big customers. ProCurve sees its biggest base in mid-size and large enterprise accounts, with government and education as its strong verticals.
"We are setting the bar high and looking for resellers committed to making us successful. The idea is to target them at different verticals and geographic areas so they are not competing against each other," explained worldwide sales and marketing manager Mark Thompson.
"It is part of an ongoing commitment to the channel - we do the demand generation but drive 100 per cent of our business back through our partners."
Thompson said the new channel program had been piloted in the US and also introduced successfully in Europe.
"We believe the business needs of resellers are pretty similar around the world although we realise Asia-Pacific is very heterogenous when compared to North America," continued Thompson.
He said Australia, Japan and Singapore are obviously very different countries in terms of cultural significance and business practices but stressed "margins times revenue still equals good".
ProCurve claims it has risen through the networking ranks during the past four years to become third worldwide behind Cisco and 3Com. Thompson said this has been achieved without a significant presence in the Asia-Pacific region and highlighted growth within the Australian market as a way of establishing itself as a genuine competitor to market-leader Cisco.
He said networking has been "flat" for a couple of years but suggested ProCurve had bucked the trend by showing double-digit growth during the period, according to figures produced by networking analyst Dell'Oro Group.
"When asking people what they want, we were given a healthy dose of real IT budget implementation needs and barriers. Those barriers are very high at the moment because of the spending slow down and return on investment (ROI) is being very closely scrutinised," said Thompson.
"We are more competitive when IT budgets are tight and our market share grows when people are looking at value for money," he claimed.