California dreaming?

After Marius Haas announcedthe latest products in HP ProCurve's lineup in Palo Alto onMonday, the division's vice-president and general manager satdown with Canadian IT reporters to chat about his goals for the comingyear. He's only been on the job for a couple of months, things arealready being shaken up at the staid networking equipment maker.Despite the worldwide recession, he has ambitious targets.

Beforetaking over ProCurve last June, he was VP for strategy and corporatedevelopment, so had a hand in the impending purchase of Colubris, whichbrought 802.11n access points into ProCurve. Then in October, ProCurve,which largely operated on its own and therefore was prone to rumors HPwould sell it, was brought into HP's Technology Solutions Group. Notonly did that widen the opportunities for internal and partner salesstaff to sell ProCurve gear, it also the increased the ability to meldProCurve to HP's overall strategies. Moving Procurve into TSG was a”key requirement I had with (CEO) Mark Hurd when I took this role,”Haas recalled. “I told Mark we were no longer keeping [ProCurve] inincubation mode, we were really going to invest in this business” andget the message out it is an alternative to equipment from marketleader Cisco Systems.

One way was Monday's announcement of atop-of-rack switch, to fill out the ProCurve data centre offerings.And, he told reporters, “you should assume we're doing very similarR&D initiatves today with the [HP] storage guys, and there'smore to come with the [HP server ]ProLiant guys.”

His goals forthe next year include “exponential” financial growth, “generatinghigher profit margins than an average HP product” and getting areputation from network managers of having high quality products. Oh,and by the way, he wants to triple the head count over the next threeyears.

In this environment? Maybe. Forrester Research believessales of network gear will grow this year. We'd like to hear from you:Is ProCurve now on your shopping list?

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