HP Americas Partner Conference: HP Targets Dell In SMB Market
At the HP Americas Partner Conference in Las Vegas, Senior VP Stephen DeWitt called on channel partners to scale from the client to the data center, while taking on Dell in the SMB market and Cisco Systems on multiple fronts. Here are 11 key observations from DeWitt’s opening keynote.
1. Ironic Twist: The Blue Man Group opened up the afternoon general session. Does IBM, er Big Blue see the irony from afar?
2. It Takes a Partnership: Stephen DeWitt, SVP and GM, PSG Americas, mentioned famed partnerships (Ben & Jerry, Bill Gates & Paul Allen, Larry Page & Sergey Brin, Hewlett & Packard, etc.) require candid discussions, openness and a commitment to unlocking unrealized potential. “The power of partnerships is defined by actions,” asserted DeWitt.
3. Four Drivers for IT Shifts: To move into a new market or change a market, you need simplicity, evolving economics, lifestyle trends and competition to come together, said DeWitt. “If I look what’s ahead of us just in the PC industry, it’s incredible,” said DeWitt.
4. Not So Fast, Cisco: DeWitt made a thinly veiled reference to Cisco, stating that some tech companies think they can “match HP’s portfolio, global presence and partners.” But DeWitt’s response: “I don’t buy it.”
5. Size Matters: DeWitt says HP is now 10th largest company in the U.S. “We got here because of you and we’ll continue to grow because of you,” DeWitt told partners. HP ships 2 PCs every second and has 187,000 partners worldwide, he added.
6. Leading Edge?: HP is #1 in 15 of the 19 product categories in which HP competes, DeWitt claimed.
7. Deep Pockets: HP spends $3.5 billion annually on R&D. “That’s an important differentiator,” said DeWitt.
8. Four Markets for Growth in 2010: DeWitt pointed to retail, education, healthcare and SMB as four areas of key growth opportunities.
In retail, HP is focusing on POS and digital signage. In education, DeWitt conceded that HP had to listen to partners in order to coordinate its efforts. HP thinks its forthcoming Slate tablet and other solutions have a chance to lead in the health care sector. And on the SMB front, HP concedes “historically we haven’t executed well here before,” said DeWitt. “We’ve listened to you and we’re making material changes.”
DeWitt says HP is bringing a “world of hurt” to HP’s friends in Texas — a reference to Dell. “SMB is our Number One focus right now.” And HP plans to knock Dell “off its pedestal in SMB.”
9. Remaining Open: In an unspoken shot at a “networking company,” DeWitt said it’s not a smart path for partners and tech vendors to embrace closed architectures.
10. Grow Significantly Faster Than the Market?: That’s HP’s internal plan, according to DeWitt. Funny, but Ingram Micro’s CEO told The VAR Guy the same thing last week. How many tech companies can really grow faster than the market? The VAR Guy is watching.
11. Transition Time: Former Channel Chief Adrian Jones is “doing a great job” in his new post. But now, it’s time for HP partners to get set for new Channel Chief Stephen DiFranco, said DeWitt. “I’m supposed to say I’m excited,” said DiFranco. “But really, I’m honored.”
More thoughts from DiFranco tonight and April 27. Then, our resident blogger heads off to Cisco Partner Summit in San Francisco. The VAR Guy will be sure to share additional HP and Cisco partner conference highlights in the hours ahead.