Channel Marker

Oct 1 2008   7:49PM GMT

HP ProCurve-Colubris acquisition closes; channels unify

rivkalittle Rivka Little Profile: rivkalittle

HP’s acquisition of Colubris Networks was finalized Wednesday, and the basics of how the products and channels will be integrated are beginning to firm up.

HP will integrate Colubris’ product line into ProCurve’s networking portfolio, and Colubris partners are invited to join the ProCurve channel, ProCurve said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

It is still unclear whether there will be special training and certification for incoming Colubris channel partners or whether they will maintain their previous status in the channel. An HP ProCurve spokesperson said Wednesday evening that the company will update partners with specifics as soon as the product roadmap is finalized.

ProCurve will continue to offer its own mobility products in addition to Colubris’ Intelligent Mobility Solution. That way partners can offer integrated and overlay technology. Existing ProCurve and Colubris users will continue to receive customer support for both product lines.

HP first announced it would acquire Colubris in August, aiming to round out ProCurve’s existing wireless portfolio with Colubris’ 802.11n technology, management and security products. ProCurve said at the time that Colubris would help it penetrate vertical markets, such as hospitality, transportation, healthcare, manufacturing and education.

When the acquisition was first announced, Colubris partners said they were hopeful about joining the ProCurve team, but wanted to be sure they received the same “great service” that Colubris had given them.

These days competition is tough in the wireless LAN (WLAN) market, so HP ProCurve will have to work swiftly to ensure that there are no bumps in the road toward channel or product integration.

Already one of the few remaining independent WLAN players, Ruckus Wireless, is offering an incentive program that compensates partners for convincing customers of Colubris and Trapeze Networks to trade out their existing equipment for Ruckus’ 802.11n technology at dirt cheap prices. Trapeze was recently acquired by Belden Cable.

That move could be seen as a threat or an act of desperation at a time when independent WLAN players are being snapped up by larger companies quickly, leaving only a few smaller players behind. Companies like Colubris and Trapeze are now part of mega-channels that could easily crush independent competitors. Nevertheless, Ruckus is gambling that partners from these formerly independent players will become disgruntled as they get folded into larger companies that pay them less attention.

Financial terms of the ProCurve-Colubris deal have not yet been disclosed and are not required to be since Colubris was a private company.

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