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Switching growth

Network switch vendor HP ProCurve’s main focus at GITEX this week is building awareness of its LAN switch solutions in order to try and continue its stunning rate of recent growth.

Network switch vendor HP ProCurve’s main focus at GITEX this week is building awareness of its LAN switch solutions in order to try and continue its stunning rate of recent growth.

“We’ve enjoyed 300% year-on-year Middle East growth during the financial year from October 2005,” explains Jack Gauthreaux, the firm’s business manager for Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Egypt is actually the fastest expanding business, thanks to our relatively small start there. As such, we’re widening our team and hunting out new channel partners to help us continue this good work.”

On the product side specifically, HP ProCurve has had its most prolific year ever in 2006 and is continuing its outpouring of new kit this week in Dubai.

“This year in August and September we refreshed our entire range of SMB LAN switches,” Gauthreaux states, “which was easily our biggest product refresh ever.” Pro-Curve is also adding more kit this week with the launch of

its 2900 series. “This mid-range switch sits within the access and distribution layer,” Gauthreaux explains.

Somewhat surprisingly, HP ProCurve’s big growth segment in this region is not, as many companies are reporting, the Middle East SMB market. “Enterprise is our major growth area,” Gauthreaux explains, “in fact this segment is perhaps better defined for us as ‘project business’. There are lots of new buildings in the UAE for example being built, plus
hospitality and hotel projects. Our SMB products come into play to a degree at the edge of these networks.”

From an overall business perspective, Gauthreaux claims Saudi Arabia is the largest HP ProCurve market at present, followed by the UAE. “We’re also busy looking at Qatar, and we have a partner in Jordan who also covers Egypt and Lebanon,” he adds.

Meanwhile, ProCurve is also looking to expand its Middle East-based support services outside the region. “We launched our Dubai call centre last year, but now due to its great success we’re looking at maybe also giving this centre coverage of Eastern Europe too,” Gauthreaux explains.

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