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HP gets network biz in order

Jan 28, 20032 mins

* HP starts to talk about what LAN business looks like

HP is on the road promoting its new network image, touting its post-Compaq-merger network strategy and giving a glimpse into its network plans.

I took a brief look at how the merger might affect HP’s and Compaq’s LAN plans last year. Actually, I now see it was last March that I wrote a newsletter on the subject, which really brings home just how long it has taken the companies to get to the point of being able to articulate network strategy.

You may remember Compaq didn’t have nearly as much of a network effort going as HP did by the time the merger came around. Consequently, Compaq’s wireless LAN effort was more or less absorbed into HP’s. There were layoffs – part of the widespread layoffs that happened after the merger – but company officials couldn’t tell me exactly how many there were, as some were reassigned to other parts of HP.

On a positive note, HP raised the visibility of networking within the organization. Previously, networking was included in the storage division; before that, it spent time as part of the server group and even the printer group. None of those areas make a whole lot of sense for the network group. Now, networking is on a more “level playing field” with other groups within the large vendor, officials say.

“This lines up better with the customer,” says Brice Clark, worldwide director of strategy and business planning for HP’s ProCurve Networking Business.

Next time, I’ll take a look at HP’s strategy message.