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HP Enterprise Channel Sales: Memo to Sue Barsamian

How can Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) jumpstart its enterprise business across servers, storage and networking? Here are 5 recommendations from The VAR Guy to HP's new enterprise channel partner leader.

The VAR Guy

September 23, 2013

2 Min Read
HP Enterprise Channel Sales: Memo to Sue Barsamian

Dear Sue: The VAR Guy tips his hat as you shift to Hewlett-Packard‘s (HPQ) newly created position of senior VP, worldwide indirect sales. So how can you energize HP partners that promote servers, networking and storage (a.k.a. Converged Systems)? Here are five timely recommendations from The VAR Guy.

1. Don’t Apologize, Do Take Action: HP has spent the past two years or so apologizing to some partners for taking business direct. The company also apologized for the brief — but painful — debate about whether to spin off the PC and server business. But you can only say “we’re sorry” so often. Don’t look back. Do look ahead. Take action that ensures HP is more than “channel-led.” HP must be “channel first” in the enterprise.

2. Reward Loyalty: The VAR Guy suspects HP has lost quite a few partners over the past five years or so. Instead of launching a search-and-recovery party for those departed VARs, focus on the HP partners that have remained loyal. Reward those partners with more leads, sales and marketing support to show them their loyalty was not in vain.

3. Describe What’s Unique: Much like HP, all of your big rivals (Cisco, Dell, IBM, Oracle) promote some sort of converged infrastructure. A prime example: Despite Cisco’s overall struggles, it’s clear the company has serious momentum with UCS (Unified Compute System). As storage, servers and networking converge in private and public cloud data centers, HP must go back to the garage and emerge with a concise USP (unique selling proposition) for partners. So far, The VAR Guy hasn’t heard it.

4. Master the MSP Market: When describing channel partners, HP barely mentions MSPs (managed services providers). Big mistake. IBM claims 180 MSPs now leverage its PureFlex systems, with 4,000 MSPs joining its partner ranks.  Cisco has had a managed services provider partner program for several years — and it’s successful. Oracle talks frequently about managed cloud partners. When The VAR Guy attended this year’s HP Global Partner Conference, he noticed MSPs weren’t on the agenda. That must change at the 2014 conference.

5. Connect the Cloud Dots: Steal a page from Lenovo’s Protect and Attack strategy. HP should protect its server and data center business while attacking the cloud market. How? Train your best Converged Infrastructure partners to burst on-premises customer workloads into HP’s public cloud. All of your enterprise hardware partners should clearly understand HP’s IaaS and public cloud strategy. Do they? Right now, The VAR Guy believes the answer is hit and miss.

That’s all for now, Sue. The VAR Guy is heading back to Oracle OpenWorld 2013. But he looks forward to hearing about HP’s enterprise partner progress.

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