Recent market changes have helped HP. Network equipment has been moving away from proprietary features to more open, plug-and-play, standard components. Historically, HP has been a major supporter of open, standards based systems. ProCurve has also been able to piggyback off of HPï¿¼s well established manufacturing and distribution techniques to drive pricing down.
Whereas traditional networking suppliers have struggled to keep themselves afloat, ProCurve has been steadily gaining market share. Market research firm Dell'Oro Group found that the number of ports that ProCurve shipped increased by 46% from 2006 to 2007, double the industryï¿¼s growth rate. Earlier this month, Infonetics noted that ProCurve is closing in on Cisco and emerging at the companyï¿¼s most significant competitor. Indeed with its keen focus on delivering functional, reasonably priced devices, ProCurve may be a better for medium and small enterprises than Cisco, which tends to sell premium products. While ProCurve has been gaining momentum, the company still faces a number of potential hurdles. Like IBM, HP has been making the transition from a hardware vendor to a services company. How well network equipment fits in the companyï¿¼s long term plans is unclear. In fact, if you visit HPï¿¼s main page, you do not see either the word network or switch. For the past few years, there has been speculation that HP would spin ProCurve off, a scenario that ProCurve executives have continually refuted. Not only does Cisco have significant market and mind share in the switching market, but the company also has a reselling agreement with HPï¿¼s services group.
In sum, if a medium or small company wants a low cost, functional switch from a company that may eventually be spun off or bought by someone else, then ProCurveï¿¼s products offer an appealing option.
Have you installed any ProCurve equipment? How aggressively do local resellers market the product?