HP seems to be taking on the world of late. It acquired EDS to compete in IT services, and Mercury for middleware, but the acquisition of networking player 3Com also gives it a boatload of security products
HP of late seems to be taking on the world. Its $13 billion (£7.8 billion) acquisition of EDS positioned it to do battle in the professional services and outsourcing sector with long-time rival IBM.
It bought Mercury Interactive to outflank Oracle and IBM in the middleware market. And it’s now bought 3Com to bolster its second-place position in the networking market against its increasingly hostile “frienemy” (friend and enemy) Cisco Systems.
But picking up 3Com comes with an added benefit: a boatload of security technologies, particularly the TippingPoint intrusion prevention line.
HP has been making noise about security for years, but has failed to do more than tip its toes into the security technology and services marketplace.
HP has long considered itself a security player, since many enterprises utilise its OpenView management system for security. Its acquisition of SPI Dynamics in 2007 gave it a solid threat mitigation story and talent for building its current line of security code analysis tools and virtual patching products.
Earlier this year, HP announced that it would be launching its own firewall built on the ProCurve switch platform. And it’s inked a sweeping alliance with McAfee to resell its entire portfolio of software and hardware products through EDS. But these initiatives haven’t convinced the general partner or end-user community that HP stands alongside the likes of Symantec, McAfee, Check Point and Cisco in the security world.
3Com may finally tip HP into the security world and make it a legitimate player.
3Com has long had network security products (firewalls, intrusion prevention, unified threat management and wireless security) as part of its portfolio. After a disastrous attempt at integrating the TippingPoint line into the mother ship, 3Com wisely decided to operate the IPS pioneer as a stand-alone company. When the 3Com acquisition closes, it means that HP will have access to dozens of new security products for midmarket and enterprise customers. Overnight, HP will be a legitimate security player that can compete against Cisco and others in the risk management and data protection game.