HP Reorg Merges 3Com Into New Networking Division

The Procurve name is out as HP rebrands and restructures its new Networking division to include 3Com technologies.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Apr 20, 2010
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HP is moving quickly to integrate its new 3Com assets into a new division. HP announced Monday that it was renaming its HP Procurve division as HP Networking which will now include products from both Procurve and 3Com.

HP (NYSE: HPQ) completed its acquisition of 3Com earlier this month at a price tag of $2.7 billion. Both the Procurve and the 3Com products are being reorganized under four product families.

The A series will be the new top end for enterprise deployments; the E series encompasses networking gear for mid-size companies and the V series for small and medium sized business needs. Rounding out the new portfolio structure is the S series which will include products from 3Com's Tipping Point division for network security.

Initially there will not be any 3Com products that are eliminated as part of the HP Networking integration. During a live Webcast discussing the 3Com integration, Marius Haas, senior vice president and general manager at HP Networking said that there is little overlap between the two sets of portfolios. As such he sees no need to retire 3Com products. That said, while 3Com products will remain under the new HP Networking group, the 3Com name itself will disappear over time. Haas said that the HP Networking master brand will be the primary brand used.

One of 3Com's most successful divisions is its H3C division in China. Haas said that H3C will keep its name as it is well known and respected in China. 3Com's position in China was identified by HP back in November as being a key reason why it was interested in 3Com in the first place.

Competing with Cisco

Overall, with 3Com and Procurve both part of HP Networking, HP expects that it will have better competitive positioning against rival Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO). Competition between Cisco and HP has heated up in recent months and a strategic partnership between the two vendors has been dissolved.

"We're excited about this opportunity because we are providing customers with a choice they've been lacking," David Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager of enterprise servers, storage and networking at HP, said during the call. "In the China market where there has been head-to-head competition between 3Com products and Cisco, 3Com has the leading market share already."

Donatelli added that what 3Com lacked was global distribution and services and that is something that HP brings to the table.

In addition to the China assets, 3Com also had its own unified communications solutions which will now be integrated into HP Networking. Haas said he was excited about the prospects for growing the voice collaboration business at HP.

"Today we have a strong mid-market solution with what we have with 3Com; we also have a very extensive program with Microsoft, Avaya and Alcatel-Lucent in the enterprise as it pertains to voice solutions," Haas said. "So we believe that the combination of what we bring to the table will be good for our customers."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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