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HP's 3Com acquisition: Does it make a difference for you?

Jasmine Desai, Principal Correspondent

Surprising us with its 3Com acquisition, HP has successfully created waves of curiosity among India's corporate IT users. Under this agreement, HP will purchase 3Com's network switching, routing and security solutions business at an enterprise value of approximately $2.7 billion. The deal is scheduled to close in the early quarter of 2010.

Since the CIO and IT user communities still do not have a clear picture regarding the 3Com acquisition's after-effects, we spoke to a few system integrators (SI) in the Indian market. There have been mixed reactions in the SI market regarding HP's 3 Com acquisition and its effects on the user community.

Most SIs feel that this acquisition will not make an impact on Cisco's Indian market share, as it is more into large data centers, borderless networks and high-end switching stages. This feeling is echoed by Frontier Business Systems Pvt. Ltd., an authorized Cisco partner, which used to sell 3Com products in 2002-2003. "3Com's products have always targeted small and medium sized businesses. I am yet to see 3Com's presence in the IT/ITES, BFSI and other enterprise verticals. While Cisco has been really ahead of 3Com and HP, the combined entity might give competition to Cisco's Small Business Smart Switches (an old product line). It's more likely that 3Com gets integrated similar to how Foundry Networks got integrated with Brocade Communications," says Banashankar GU, the general manager of Frontier Business Systems.

However,

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some SIs feel that this acquisition will prove beneficial to HP ProCurve customers. Saurin Shah, the managing director of Ashtech Infotech Pvt. Ltd. (an HP partner) feels that this acquisition is sure to strengthen the HP ProCurve portfolio. This will essentially boost HP's presence in India for the better.

Will HP's 3Com acquisition impact Indian enterprises more significantly than it meets the eye? How will 3Com's existing support get affected? Please write to Jasmine Desai with your comments.