Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is taking a new tack in its dealings with its channel partners, tapping the Enterprise Group’s Global Sales SVP Sue Barsamian to fill the newly created SVP of Worldwide Indirect Sales—a move that splits HP Enterprise Group’s management of its channel from its management of its direct sales force.
The move was designed to better focus HP’s efforts on its channel partners, which are responsible for bringing in 70 percent of the Enterprise Group’s revenue, according to HP. And in a year that has seen flat—or no—growth, HP could use the boost. Its most recent (Q3) earnings report shows Enterprise Group revenue declined 9 percent year over year with a 15.2 percent operating margin. Revenue in every area of the Enterprise Group was down, except Networking revenue, which was flat.
Almost in tandem with its Q3 earnings announcement, Bill Veghte was tapped to lead the Enterprise Group, which displaced Dave Donatelli. Veghte, formerly HP’s COO, also now oversees “the coordinated development of the company’s portfolio of cloud solutions,” according to the company—an area HP neglected to mention at all in its earnings press release but which it is putting great efforts toward.
As the newest channel leader at HP, Barsamian will oversee all indirect sales efforts of the Enterprise Group. “Under Sue’s leadership, we have clarity in strategy and focus in execution – positioning the breadth of HP’s technology portfolio for a singular purpose, to help our partners deliver enterprise outcomes that differentiate them in the marketplace,” wrote an HP spokesperson of her appointment.
Chatter has been HP’s direct sales force was famous for poaching accounts from channel partners, and in January Barsamian addressed this issue in an interview with CRN. "In reaction to some of the noise that we heard, we've been going out and seriously re-educating people that need to be re-educated," she said in the interview.
Indeed, at HP’s Global Partner Conference in Feburary, CEO Meg Whitman pledged her commitment to the channel. “We now have a clear policy about taking business away from the channel and going direct,” she said in her keynote address. “My message to you is that this simply will not be tolerated. Everyone in HP is crystal clear on the behavior we expect, and I am holding myself and our account executives accountable for any behavior that is not befitting of HP.”
Here’s hoping having Barsamian at the helm overseeing the channel will help right the good ship HP for its partners.