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HP Looks to Conquer Carriers With NFV

Mitch Wagner

HP looks to NFV as a strategic chance to gain major new traction in the carrier market, says Bethany Mayer, senior vice president and general manager of HP's NFV business.

"We believe NFV is a big opportunity for HP, not just an incremental revenue opportunity. It's a great technology shift we haven't seen for a long time in the carrier market," Mayer says. "Meg [Whitman, HP CEO, president, and chairman] is personally overseeing this, and spending a lot of time with our organization."

NFV is the spearhead of HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ)'s push into carrier services. HP already does business with carrier IT departments and in the operations and support space, and is looking to extend those relationships to the customer-facing network, Mayer says.

"Maybe it's not well known, but we have been in the service provider market for several years. We do a huge amount of business in this space," Mayer says.

Bethany Mayer, SVP and GM of HP's NFV business
Bethany Mayer, SVP and GM of HP's NFV business

HP sees NFV as a cross-corporate initiative, funding NFV R&D in all business units, with about 5,000 people focused on NFV across the organization. Revenue targets are in the billions, Mayer says.

HP's NFV philosophy follows the standard NFV catechism: Virtualization lets carriers deploy new services more quickly compared with deploying a new appliance. Deploying appliances is time-consuming, and often requires proprietary hardware, which reduces choice. Virtualization removes those limitations.

HP and virtualization go together; some 80% of virtual machines in the world run on HP equipment, Mayer says. Moreover, HP's leadership in IT plays to the telco market, as telcos want to use IT-based technology in the network, Mayer says.

Mayer does not lack confidence. "My expertise and background in networking are the reasons I was asked to do this. We really believe we can grow the amount of revenue overall, and there aren't a lot of people in the company who can drive something like this," she says.

Mayer will be a featured speaker at Light Reading's Women in Telecom Breakfast in Santa Clara, Calif. September 16. It's part of our one-day NFV & the Data Center event, where carrier leaders of any and all genders can learn about how virtualization is transforming the data center.

Mayer headed up HP networking for three years, building HP's OpenFlow SDN controller, a networking app store, SDK, and partner program around SDN. She ran both the networking and NFV business units beginning in February, and then left networking to go full-time on NFV in May.

She joined HP as a vice president of marketing and alliances for enterprise servers, storage, and networking in 2010. She previously held positions at Blue Coat Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BCSI), Mirapoint Inc. , Vernier Networks Inc. , SkyStream Networks Inc. , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), and Lockheed Martin Corp. .

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.

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User Rank: Light Sabre
7/26/2014 | 8:50:53 AM
Re: Major investment for HP
HP can certainly put the idea to good use. "HP and virtualization go together; some 80% of virtual machines in the world run on HP equipment", Mayer says. If that's true I can see how it would fit into the HPbusiness plan very well. Mayer seems to have the right amount of enthusiasm to get it to work out.
Liz Greenberg
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/24/2014 | 7:50:23 PM
Re: Major investment for HP
I really hope that they succeed in this effort as HP could use a significant win and this is a great space to be in for them. If they do it well they can grab market share early and possibly hold their lead for a long time.  Let's see what happens.
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
7/24/2014 | 12:36:53 PM
Major investment for HP
This is one of the most significant efforts in the NFV space that we've seen to date by a single company. HP does already have the relationships with telecom IT folks but this takes them deep into the network side as well. 

You have to give the company credit, they are not underplaying this on any level. 
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