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HP ProCurve acquires its way into WLAN

HP ProCurve announced Monday it will buy wireless local area network (WLAN) company Colubris Networks. The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

Colubris is the latest in a string of WLAN players to be snapped up by major networking companies in a race to diversify offerings and offer end-to-end solutions.

As for ProCurve, executives said the move is a sign that the company is taking its WLAN push seriously.

“This demonstrates HP’s commitment to this space,” Marius Haas, senior vice president and general manager of HP ProCurve said.

ProCurve may not have the marketing might that its major competitor Cisco has, but HP’s networking arm has gained a huge share of the LAN technology market — some say ranking second. Adding wireless to the mix, gives it more competitive edge.

Haas said HP ProCurve figured it had some gaps and decided the best way to fill them was with Colubris.

“HP now has a full set of wired and wireless capabilities that few in the market can deliver on,” Haas said. “Customers and channel partners will have a full breadth of product opportunities. Together we now cover a much bigger share of the market.”

Haas said details on how the product portfolios and channels will be combined are not yet available, but he expects there to be a full integration of Colubris’ 802.11n wireless technology into ProCurve’s networking portfolio as one brand.

The ProCurve-Colubris deal comes just week after the finalized acquisition of Trapeze Networks by cabling and access technology company Belden. Before that, Cisco acquired Airewave, Motorola acquired Symbol Technology and Aruba Networks went public. When the Belden-Trapeze deal closed, analysts pointed to Meru Networks and Colubris as the next up for acquisition.

So why did ProCurve choose Colubris?

“From an architecture standpoint — from the basic platform up to manageability software — this was the best possible fit for where we were going. We really focus hard on open architecture and standards,” Haas said. “From a go to market standpoint, we wanted someone that had end-to-end value … and had made some good inroads in verticals.”

Colubris has made tracks into a number of verticals, including hospitality, transportation, health care, manufacturing and education, as well as service providers.

The deal is expected to close in October.

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