‘Better intelligence features key to our success’
Networking Business unit of HP (Hewlett-Packard
Development Company), the
suppliers of enterprise networking solutions comprising wired and wireless
networking products, services and solutions, recently organised its first-ever
Middle East conference. The company announced the launch of a set of Layer 3 and
4 LAN switches that feature wirespeed performance and integrated Gigabit Power
over Ethernet (PoE). Ahmed Khatib, the company’s Business Development Manager
for the Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean region, in an interview with OER, talked
about his company’s plans for the Middle East region, where it is growing at
over 50 per cent. Excerpts:
What are your expectations from these new products?
In 1998, ProCurve launched some products - the 4000 and 8000 series - that
disrupted the market. Three years later, we launched the 5300 series. We have
been gaining market share with each and every such launch. We believe that the
2006 launch of the 5400 series, and all the other products that we are
launching, will again make a disruption in the market and we’ll gain a
considerable market share.
There is this perception that HP products are not targeted at high-end users in
the Networking. Do you see this perception changing in the near future?
The definition of high-end users differs from region to region. We are not into
home office connectivity and products. I think the perception in the Middle East
region is totally different. We have been investing in the Middle East for the
last two-three years. The perspective and the awareness level are changing. The
numbers conclusively show that: our revenues have doubled in the last three
Let’s talk, for example, about the Omani market. We have very enterprising
customers using ProCurve in Oman. ProCurve enjoys one of its best market shares
Can you quantify the Omani figures?
We can’t but I can tell you that the growth in Oman is amazing. Our growth
figures for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region is around 25 per
cent per year. But we are growing at more than 50-60 per cent per year in the
How important is the Middle East market for ProCurve?
For ProCurve, it’s a very important market in the EMEA perspective. We want to
up the ante in this market. And, we are investing in the region. When we started
investing in the region, we had just a few employees here. But now, we are
launching call centres; we have engineers; we have sales people dedicated for
Why did you host the ProCurve conference in Dubai last month?
Dubai is becoming the hub of the Middle East. It’s a future city. We believe
that launching our products in Dubai is like launching them in the centre of the
What kind of impetus will your new products give to ProCurve in the Middle East?
These products are positioned for the medium-end enterprises. For example, in
the 5400 series, we are the only one in the networking market to offer products
like 1200 and 1000, with power and Internet switches.
We believe that our products are no longer optional items for the customers.
Intelligence is becoming more and more important in this age. That’s why we are
having these functionalities integrated in our switches. This will obviously
push up the demand for our networking solutions. Besides, we are offering the
latest technology at affordable price. We believe our new products will make a
real disruption in the market.
Is connectivity a challenge in the Middle East?
It’s a challenge everywhere, and not in the Middle East alone. Security is
definitely an issue for medium-end enterprises with regard to wireless
communication. That’s why we are trying to reinforce the message that our
products are intelligent at the edge of the network and we provide security at
the edge of the network.
We are launching products that will provide authentication and authorisation to
the user at the edge of the network. This means we’ll protect the data centre,
which, in turn, implies that we’ll protect the connectivity at the data centre.
The solutions that we provide will enhance security at the wireless edge too.
Where is your focus likely to be in the coming years?
I am responsible for the Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean. We are eying a minimum
50-60 per cent growth in the market share this year.
What, according to you, are the USPs of ProCurve?
We have many USPs. Price performance leadership in the market, reliability and
reduced complexity, choice of flexibility, security of the product as well as of
the partner, and transparent standards are our strong points.
How important is intelligence in the networking solutions?
We believe that the future applications require better intelligence features. We
make the rules and push them to the edge of the network. For example,
authorisation and authentication will now happen at the edge of the network.
ProCurve enjoys a fair share in the Omani market in networking
solutions. What are your expectations this year?
We have been working in the Omani market with our elite partner for about
four-five years now. We have been registering an annual growth of 30-40 per cent
in the market share. I strongly believe that we’ll have a 400 per cent growth in
the Omani market.
Do you see the relationship with your elite partners in Oman growing?
We recently had an elite partners MEA event, where we gave away country-specific
awards. IMTAC bagged the award for the Middle East region for being the best
elite partner in the region. For the last 2-3 years, the business has been doing
really well. We believe in IMTAC. They really are the elite partners for
ProCurve in this region.
ProCurve Networking by HP expands functionality
ProCurve Networking by HP has introduced a set of Layer 3 and 4 LAN
switches that feature wirespeed performance and integrated Gigabit Power
over Ethernet (PoE).
Setting a new standard for intelligent edge switches, the ProCurve 5400
chassis family and ProCurve 3500 stackable family together scale across
a range of 24 to 288 Gigabit ports with identical features, performance
and lifetime warranty. Both are based on the ProVision™ ASIC, the fourth
generation of custom-designed ASICs from ProCurve that deliver
intelligence and control to the edge of a network. The ProVision™ ASIC
provides all the performance and functionality needed today and also
provisions for future application needs.
The new switches enhance ProCurve’s Adaptive EDGE Architecture by
delivering advanced functionality to the network edge to meet the
evolving needs of security, mobility and convergence applications.
“Customers no longer have to compromise among functionality, performance
or Power over Ethernet because ProCurve is delivering all three at a
price customers are used to paying for any one of those capabilities,”
said Wenceslao Lada, Vice-president and General Manager for ProCurve
Networking, EMEA. “Just as the ProCurve 4000 series in 1998 and the 5300
series in 2001 helped ProCurve become the industry’s number-two
networking vendor, we expect the 5400 and 3500 series will fuel our
continued industry leadership.”
ProCurve also announced the ProCurve 4200 switch family, the ProCurve
6200 Switch, and a new media-flexible 10 Gigabit module for the ProCurve
New Page 1
The Kingdom of Bahrain plans to embark on a unique journey to labour
market reforms that are likely to impact the entire GCC region.
Mehre Alam travels to Bahrain to feel the pulse of the policy
initiative, the timeline, the issues, and the perspective....
Big Boys Come Together
Come March 23, the captains of corporate Oman will come together at a
high-powered networking event - OER CEO Golf 2006. While keen golfers will
play the 9 hole Stableford,....
‘Better intelligence features key to
ProCurve Networking Business unit of HP (Hewlett-Packard Development
Company), the suppliers of enterprise networking solutions comprising
wired and wireless networking products, services and solutions,...
Al Omaniya eyes Qatar
OER traces the global ambitions of Al
Omaniya Financial Services...
Carving up the oil cake
Race among international oil majors hots up to bag bids for oil
exploration blocks in Oman...
‘Stronger IPR protection will help
With the signing of the US-Oman FTA, issues concerning intellectual
property rights (IPR) in the Sultanate come to the forefront once again.
Mehre Alam caught up with Peter N. Fowler, Senior Counsel, Office of
So Near, Yet So Far
GCC single currency is a gigantic economic dream. OER takes stock of the
progress made on this front...
Tugs of conscience and commerce
I am inspired by the out-of-the-box experiments in enterprise that
proliferate during our moment....
New peaks round the corner?
Corporate sector registers a marked improvement...
‘Oman, a great filmmaking destination’
Mike Dearham is convinced Oman has the potential to metamorphose into a
great filmmaking destination....
Attitudes impact your bottom-line, Paul Bridle, the self-styled leadership
methodologist from UK, tells OER...
Now is the Time
Sridhar Sridharan, Tax Partner with Ernst & Young, Oman, delineates the
factors that make the Middle East a hot destination for investments...
WORLD LEADERS GEAR UP FOR “A BETTER
GENERATION IN THE MAKING”
We find ourselves at the doorstep of a new
era, and survival in this brave new world demands that we take a novel
approach to propelling our societies into the future. Groundbreaking ideas
and cutting edge advances,...
Mobile gaming contest rocks Oman
“The Gamer Challenge 2006,” organised by
Oman Mobile in association with Sultan Qaboos University (SQU)
Communications and Information Research Centre,...
A lot to rave about
Toyota’s small and sporty RAV4 has just got
bigger, more spacious and more powerful. Anne Kurian test-drives the
all-new 2006 RAV4...
Woods vs Nicklaus
Woods is Nicklaus; Nicklaus is Woods. This
is the grand comparison of men's professional golf,...
18 holes, 6-hour bliss!
Suvir Ahuja, General Manager of GENETCO,
tells Uma Devi Jadhav that golf, his favourite sport, is the best way to
At the Helm
Creativity leads to better management
Find out how a creative person can excel in
management with Omar Alwi, the Country Manager of American Express in Oman