HP Public Cloud Strategy: Channel Partners Await More Details

April 19, 2011

2 Min Read
HP Public Cloud Strategy: Channel Partners Await More Details

By samdizzy

By sharing his long-term cloud vision, HP CEO Leo Apotheker may have raised more questions than he answered. Rewind to the HP Americas Partner Conference in March. At the time Apotheker essentially told VARs and MSPs that HP was preparing to launch a public cloud and an app store to eventually compete with Amazon.com and Apple. But Apotheker provided zero details about where partners fit into the HP public cloud strategy. Fast forward to the present and some HP partners are still scratching their heads, looking for answers.

Yes, HP has made some wise cloud-related channel partner moves. The company announced the CloudSystem Partner Program — which could help VARs to sell more HP-related hardware and software into customer settings. Also, HP has partnered up with Axcient to promote SMB cloud storage opportunities to MSPs.

But HP’s overall channel strategy has an elephant in the room. It’s the forthcoming HP Cloud. Some partners worry that HP will promote the HP public cloud directly to end customers. Others worry the HP Cloud will compete with service providers that leverage HP’s servers and storage. “I’m not sure why Apotheker mentioned a public cloud that doesn’t exist yet,” said the CEO of one HP partner who intends to promote the HP CloudSystem. “His remarks were confusing, especially when he didn’t specifically say how the HP Cloud would benefit all of the channel partners at the conference.”

I’m willing to give Apotheker the benefit of the doubt… since the HP Cloud has yet to officially be announced, perhaps the HP channel team continues to white board an actual partner program for that public cloud? Either way, HP will need some specific answers once the HP Cloud officially debuts.

Meanwhile, HP’s executive team continues to evolve. Enterprise Executive VP Thomas Hogan is stepping down, and there are rumblings from three well-placed sources that more changes could be coming. Those sources point to Executive VP Ann Livermore potentially shifting to an executive chairman post. We’re poking around to learn more…

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