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What does your role become now? Where do you wind up on the new HP-3Com flowchart?
Again, I can't comment on that. I can tell you that both management teams are extremely excited about the potential of the combination. I can tell you I've been waiting 15 years for this -- to have a combination that really can offer a better alternative and a solid number two in the industry, and a chance to gain market share and better serve customers. All of these products are good, and we have a great, young, modern product line coming out of China. We're going to stay focused on running our business until we get these approvals done, and we'll be 1,000 percent committed to that. We'll see what the future brings. I will say that this is the kind of combination we've long envisioned.
Do you expect to see continued M&A in the networking and data segments, even as the economy is expected to pick up?
I'm not a market pundit, but clearly our accommodation was in response to what our respective customers have been asking us for -- fewer, more trusted partners that can stick to the tenets we've talked about before. Other players in the market are hearing the same thing, so yes, expect M&A. In terms of which guys to combine, I can't say. Customers don't want to spend unnecessary money on infrastructure but rather spend it on more strategic areas in IT. We've gone through a permanent transition here. Customers are demanding more for less. The competitive equation has changed forever, and that's certainly to our advantage.
Technologically speaking, what trends do you see shaping 2010 with regard to ongoing data center-networking convergence?
We see a confluence of security and much more heightened awareness of how to secure infrastructure. It's not just cybercrime increasing, it's also PCI, HIPAA a range of other compliance requirements. We integrated into the fabric as opposed to doing something bolted on, and we've been focused on integrating TippingPoint to our product line and to data centers in general. There are tremendous scale opportunities in consolidating data centers.
Then, virtualized desktops are something that is just getting started for capacity and manageability of the LAN. Storage, servers and the LAN will all run over Ethernet, but that's a less interesting story I think than the fact that we need better ways to manage all this. We need one consolidated management scheme. I had dinner with the COO of one of the largest insurance companies on earth the other day, and we spent half the dinner talking about the need for a configuration management database -- some repository of where it all goes. That's going to be a big focus for industry, and something that 3Com and HP have both spent a lot of time talking about.
A few reports have surfaced today looking at a spike in 3Com stock activity Wednesday morning before the HP deal was announced. Given what's happened with Galleon Group, whispers of insider trading are destined to dog any major M&A announcement, I think, especially in tech. Does 3Com have any official response here?
No. That wouldn't be appropriate.
With so many high profile tech executives nabbed as part of the Galleon Group scandal, how is 3Com policing its upper ranks and making sure this type of behavior is avoided?
I won't really comment, except to say we've always been hyper-vigilant. It's something we take incredibly seriously as you might imagine. We're a complex, global organization with lots of people all over the world, and we take our obligations incredibly seriously. We do lots of work with our legal team and specific training and communication. We're leading edge in that area.
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