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Hewlett-Packard buys networking specialist 3Com

Issue #0933/2 ‚Äď Hewlett-Packard is in acquisition mode again, announcing this week that it has reached agreement with 3Com for a purchase to the value of $2.7billion. While Hewlett-Packard‚Äôs largest business is now the Personal Systems Group, rather than the Imaging and Systems Group, as it used to be, and 3Com is a network switching, routing and security solutions company, the purchase does potentially have implications to Hewlett-Packard‚Äôs printing business.

HP Logo

First and foremost, the purchase increases Hewlett-Packard’s overall IT industry leadership, a market in which it enjoys something like a 28% share of the revenue taken by the top 11 players.

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At enterprise level, the inclusion of 3Com’s skills further improves Hewlett-Packard’s credentials in bid situations, allowing the company to cover an ever wider spectrum of a customer’s IT needs in-house, including provision of hard copy services, without needing to work with partners.

Benefits are too numerous and widespread to explore within a Total Cost of Printing brief. However, for Hewlett-Packard’s Imaging and Printing division, the acquisition also has potential to enhance the design, development and integration of the ever more important security systems demanded by enterprise document solutions as a digital workflow pervades commerce and organisations become more aware of the security implications.

3Com claims that its ‚Äúnetworking products are based on a modern architecture which has been designed to offer better performance, require less power and eliminate administrative complexity when compared against current network offerings.‚ÄĚ Integrated into Hewlett-Packard‚Äôs printers and MFPs, this clearly could be good news for fast and efficient network transmission of documents, whether heading towards the off-ramp as a data stream for printing or from the on-ramp as a file heading for the document repository and digital workflow.

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