HP: Set to Get Serious About MSP Engagements?

Hewlett-Packard apparently has made a major channel hire that could have clear implications for the hardware giant's managed services strategy. The news potentially involves Stephen DiFranco leaping from Lenovo to HP as the company's new channel chief. If true, there are some undeniable implications for MSPs. Here's why.

DiFranco has left Lenovo for HP, according to a ChannelWeb report earlier today. A channel source close to DiFranco confirmed the news to MSPmentor. More than a traditional channel executive, DiFranco was the key executive who launched Lenovo's journey to work more closely with MSPs, two sources close to the executive say.

Lenovo spent most of 2009 researching the MSP market, trying to understand how the server, desktop and mobile PC supplier can work more closely in the managed services sectory. By January 2010, Lenovo began to pull the curtain back on a preliminary managed services strategy -- announcing a partnership with Kaseya, launching an MSP-centric portal, and even promoting MSPs such as Alpheon in recent product launches.

Now, it's a safe bet DiFranco will try to repeat and improve upon some of that MSP messaging as he heads to HP. How soon? I'm not suggesting HP will flip the switch and suddenly become MSP-centric. But I do suspect DiFranco will make sure themes like recurring revenue are central to the upcoming HP Americas Partner Conference, scheduled for April 26-28 in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, what are the implications for Lenovo? Will the company's recent managed services progress stall now that DiFranco apparently is heading to HP?

Frankly, I think Lenovo's MSP strategy remains intact. The Kaseya relationship was the first of many forthcoming deals that Lenovo seems to have in the pipeline. And MSP advocates like SMB Director Jay McBain, among others, remain with Lenovo.

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