HP Steps Up Networking Offensive To Win Over Cisco Partners

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HP's Rauch Recruits Cisco Partners
Frank Rauch


has launched an all-out offensive to recruit long-time


Systems partners to carry the full, newly minted


networking product portfolio.

HP, Palo Alto, Calif., is targeting everyone from the top 10 VARs, top 10 systems integrators and top 10 carriers in the country to the growing regional superpower VARs and fast-growing SMB networking solution providers.

The HP networking partner recruitment offensive was on full display at Everything Channel's VAR500-CIO50 Conference in New York on Tuesday where the company was courting VAR500 powers with big Cisco practices such as Dimension Data, Worldwide Technology, Presidio and CompuCom. Everything Channel is the parent company of CRN.

HP Enterprise Storage Server Networking Vice President Channel Sales Frank Rauch declined to comment on which specific VARs he was meeting with at the VAR500 conference, but he acknowledged that HP is pressing partners to carry the full HP networking product line.

Rauch said HP is aiming to get a bevy of partners certified on networking products at the HP TechForum 2010 in Las Vegas June 21 - 24. The forum marks the first time that HP will be providing certification on its newly acquired end-to-end networking product portfolio.

Fueled by its $2.7 billion acquisition in April of networking vendor 3Com, HP is aiming to entice partners with what it is calling a more profitable networking product sale for them. That means going after what it calls Cisco's 80 percent margins with what it claims is an HP networking portfolio that features 50 percent better performance at a 30 to 50 percent lower cost than the Cisco networking products.

San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco, for its part, has recently downplayed the Cisco-HP rivalry. Executives at its Cisco Partner Summit in April said the company is focused on "market transitions," not other companies.

As part of HP's stepped up partner offensive, the company has named Armughan Ahmad, who helped build out the 3Com enterprise networking channel, as vice president, Americas Channel Sales, HP Networking. Ahmad, who reports to Rauch, is leading the recruitment effort attempting to bring more partners on board to carry the core HP networking router/switches line (Advanced Series, Essential Series, Value Series and the Security Product line).

Ahmad, who started in his new job June 1, said his message to partners is that HP has "twice the performance, 50 percent less energy usage, [is] 35 to 50 percent less expensive and [is] easier to manage" than the Cisco networking portfolio. "We have the full gamut of networking products," said Ahmad. "My message is 'let's go win some deals together.'" HP is also touting its own Cisco-free network, which is the central nervous system for the $123 billion company.


NEXT: HP Takes Shots At Cisco's Supply Chain Woes

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