Here's hoping HP doesn't squander its networking opportunity

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HP’s trial of a year has come to a close today with the release of its fourth quarter and full year results for 2013.

If you take the figures alone, they look much healthier, with revenues for the quarter breaking $29bn and the entire year coming in at $112bn.

However, these are smaller numbers than last year, both for the three months and the full fiscal period, and are only being celebrated because of the huge drops suffered in Q3.

The particular area being praised by HP’s CEO, Meg Whitman, was the enterprise group – the hardcore hardware such as servers and storage. But again, these two particular product groups are only just returning to the same levels as 2012 and recovering from a sad performance in the previous quarter.

There is one beacon, however, in the company’s enterprise arsenal and that is networking. This seems to be the only product set that is continuing to grow at an albeit slow but steady rate, bringing in $635m for Q4 2012, $644m for Q3 2013 and this quarter reaching $656m.

Yes, when a company has overall revenues in the billions, these numbers may seem small fry, but it is the continual progress of them that should bring a smile to the company’s face, compared to the yo-yoing of its other enterprise hardware and the ongoing crash of its once very fruitful PC business.

With innovation in the networking space continuing to disrupt the market and the likes of Software Defined Networking looking to be the silver bullet to knock Cisco off its perch, it is an exciting time to be involved. Now it is time for HP to invest into the burgeoning technology area and makes it stamp on the market as others begin to fight over the ground Cisco may leave behind.

I look forward to seeing how it embraces networking and hope it doesn’t squander the opportunity it has… 

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