Ten minutes with… John McHugh

John McHugh, vice president and worldwide general manager of ProCurve was recently in the region to meet with key customers. ACN met him to discuss ProCurve's plans.

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By  Imthishan Giado Published  May 3, 2008

John McHugh, vice president and worldwide general manager of ProCurve was recently in the region to meet with key customers. ACN met him to discuss ProCurve's plans.

What's the purpose of your visit to the region?

NAC in our minds is the most fundamental feature and capability requirement that people need as they go forward with network deployements.

I've been getting a lot of push from my regional folks to be on the ground here and represent a more visible presence for the local team. Purchasing network equipment is a strategic purchase cycle for customers - the larger the customer is, the more they expect that level of engagement.

The other driving factor for me is that we're planning to really accelerate our investment here in the Middle East. My experience here has taught me that if you're going to be making a pretty substantial investment, make sure you understand where it's going and how it's going to be deployed.

What share of regional networking infrastructure market does HP ProCurve hold?

Right now I look at what we're accomplishing in phases. Worldwide we just went from the phase where we wanted to get to the top of the pack and the number two spot, to now where we want to be basically two or three times the next player in the industry.

That's important and relevant because this market is really boiling down to two companies that represent the bulk of the market - and obviously positioning ProCurve as the clear alternative to consider is absolutely crucial to us.

What is your opinion of the opportunities available for ProCurve in the region?

The Middle East is a much more ‘in play' market than most of the rest of the world because there's so much growth, so many brand new buildings. It represents an opportunity because a network purchase is really sticky.

Once we win an account, once anybody wins an account, the customer is tremendously predisposed to stay with us as a supplier. Taking market share in much more established markets that don't have the rapid growth and the so-called greenfields is much more difficult.

How do you intend to compete with rivals like Cisco who have long-term, well-entrenched relationships with their customers?

Customers are like snowflakes; they're all unique. In general, there's a relatively simple formula that defines whether or not you're going to be successful. First of all, for the customer's applications and primary concerns, can you meet the value?

Do you have the functionality that they need to address to their business requirements? Do you have a vision of the future which resonates with the customer and convinces them that in seven to ten years when they'll still be using this equipment that your solution will still be doing the job?

Once they've decided that you're capable and you could address their deployment, the next question is, why should they go with you? Do you have a fundamental differentiated value? Are you going to save them money on the cost of ownership and complexity of management?

To me, it's that one-two punch: do you have all the things they need and can you do it a way that represents a better RoI for them?

Does being part of HP help ProCurve's sales effort - or are you looking to escape from under the shadow of HP?

If you read Gartner's analyst reports of ProCurve, their comments are specifically, 'if ProCurve wants to go the next level, they have to start working with the rest of HP.'

The fact of the matter is, virtually none of our sales are integrated with HP, around the world.

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