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HP ProCurve targets Cisco partners

We need and are actively recruiting resellers to engage with larger organizations now that our value proposition has increased, with edge switches offering wirespeed GbE power over Ethernet, said Jon Weatherall, ProCurve’s country manager for the UK and Ireland. We’re already strong in midsize accounts, because we’ve had a value proposition for that segment for longer, and they’re the ones who are ready to look beyond Cisco.

With the launch of the 3500 stackable and 5400 chassis switches, the Roseville, California-based networking division of HP believes it has grown the addressable market, and wants to find more high-end resellers prepared to invest in the training to become so-called Elite Partners.

That goes for Europe, Middle East and Africa where it has its largest market share in Ethernet switching by geography, with 16.8%, but also for North America, where it has around 9%. ProCurve wants to grow its EMEA share to reach 25% by the end of 2007, while in North America it is targeting the high teens.

Weatherhall said Cisco is overdistributed, so margins are lower and Cisco often manages who gets a deal. It’s going to become a buyer’s market, with ever less margin for the channel to invest. Aware that few Gold or Silver Partners are likely to drop Cisco altogether, however, he said they might use ProCurve an alternative in a competitive bid where a lot of resellers are offering Cisco.

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A further factor in the market at the moment is the fact that Cisco wants Gold and Silver Partners to pay for so-called Shared Support, even on their inventory of spares, as it moves toward an April 2007 deadline by which time it wants to know the serial numbers of every piece of Cisco kit out in the market. Equipment whose number has not been sent to Cisco by then won’t be covered by support contracts, which some observers believe could lead to a major stock refresh requirement if spare parts from the grey market are held in resellers’ warehouses.

We’re looking to recruit high-capability resellers, and inevitably some of these are going to be Cisco partners, said Weatherall. The more Cisco makes these guys unhappy, the more opportunity it is for us.


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CBR Staff Writer

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