ProCurve ONE: Cream Laced With Alcohol

Just back from a ProCurve press event in Chantilly, where we had dinner in the simply magnificent Chateau de Chantilly:

So now you’re beginning to work out the puns in the title. If you haven’t read about it, the key announcement here, other than the astonishing headline: “British journalists get p****d in posh chateau” – was ProCurve ONE (check out for yourself the acronym) which is essentially much the same as them taking ownership of a domain name called  – which is not necessarily a bad thing; I love competition and both are clients of mine so… – for more info.

In other words, it’s ProCurve going for the “best of breed” vendor mix alternative to Cisco’s in-house Cisco-badged solution. Of course, most of that stuff is bought in too; just that Cisco flashes its wallet a lot more often than HP does, so it can put a Cisco badge on it. And, as my old mate Sig Rinde would say, “Best of Breed prevents you from moving to the “Better” solution, “Better” being better than “best”; which is true – remember the game as kids when you had to think of the highest number you could and then your mate says “Mine’s that number, plus one”.

For me, the ONE concept (rather than the PLUS ONE concept) – still makes a lot of sense, so long as the IT manager is confident enough to believe the reseller/integrator/ex car salesman/ex broker/ex prime minister when they say: “ok, so there are several vendor parties involved in this solution but there really is a single point of contact, whatever happens, honest guv” – but really says more about the vendor partners involved than ProCurve itself. Bear in mind we are talking here about a networking company that has grown significantly year on year, despite HP, the parent company, being openly more concerned with supporting Cisco (as a partner) sales than its own networking division, but that suddenly IS getting real support from HP and has seen 30% growth in the last year, performing three times the market average in some product areas. So, who needs who more  – ProCurve its partners, or its partners ProCurve. Or do they simply see it as a means of getting closer to the marital bed that is acquisition?

Since it was pretty data centre centric, er – is that proper Yorkshire? – you might be interested in what Cisco’s data centre (or center in his case) guy, Mark Weiner, thinks about it:–_or_should_we_say_many/#more

While the choice of partners for ProCurve ONE was pretty obvious – mainly longstanding partners of other divisions of HP – Server, EDS etc – in truth, it’s not exactly a ramshackle bunch – far from it; just that I know a set of UK start-ups who would bring much more to a real one:one partnership with HP ProCurve. And I’m making sure the guys at HP know who they are…

P.S. The great thing about having events in France rather than the UK? I don’t have to drink Australian wine…

P.P.S. England, however, makes some excellent wines – jus that you’re never offered them at events in England. If you’re still not convinced, try this: – I took some back to France with me for Christmas and it went down a storm (and this part of France I’m writing this blog in is well used to those).