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Interop: HP Sees No China-related Threat To U.S. Business

By Jim Duffy

LAS VEGAS -- HP's immersion into China stemming from the purchase of 3Com does not present challenges as far as landing enterprise accounts in North America, specifically with large governmental institutions, according to the company's networking chief.

There is speculation that 3Com's strong ties to China, a key attraction for HP's $2.7 billion acquisition, might make U.S. and Canadian governments skittish about doing business with HP due to security concerns. Google and other American technology companies recently accused the Chinese government of interfering with their business in the country, and took steps to avoid the alleged intrusions.

Indeed, concerns about Chinese influence and potential security compromises helped scuttle a previous deal for 3Com, from Bain Capital and Huawei. But HP's newly acquired beefed-up presence in China with 3Com accounts and research labs will not scare off any non-Chinese governmental business, according to Marius Haas, senior vice president and worldwide general manager for HP Networking.

"We've got to go through the same certification process as anyone else," Haas said in an interview at the Interop conference  this week. "Other competitors are moving into China for manufacturing and other things. It is something that is very common. We've got a whole source code audit on everything we've inherited. It all came back much better than anyone ever anticipated. So we're extremely excited about knowing what's in, what's out, and how it's going to be positioned for the U.S. market."

Haas says HP is already gaining "big accounts" in the United States and internationally based on the 3Com portfolio it obtained. 3Com fills out HP's large enterprise core and data center switching, routing and security lineup.

Haas said HP landed a large, "very prominent" account that he would not identify, but that HP will announce soon. The win was based not only on the HP/3Com technology, but product lead-time issues impacting Cisco.

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