Five Questions for HP Channel Chief Stephen DiFranco
The VAR Guy is set to land later today at the HP Americas Partner Conference in Las Vegas. Among the items on his agenda: Interviewing Hewlett-Packard Channel Chief Stephen DiFranco about HP’s cloud channel partner and WebOS strategies. But that’s not all. Here are five questions The VAR Guy hopes to pose to DiFranco, who joined HP roughly one year ago from Lenovo.
5. From Products to Services: At HP Americas Partner Conference 2010, former CEO Mark Hurd spent a lot of time describing how many servers and desktops HP ships every minute. Can we expect new CEO Leo Apotheker to deliver a grander vision — perhaps involving the cloud — for channel partners? And what has been your experience so far working for Apotheker?
4. Reality Check 1: Some pundits believe HP’s networking business is gaining ground on Cisco Systems. Yet, Cisco has partnered up with VMware and EMC to launch VCE — an integrated company that pulls together networking, virtualization and storage solutions for channel partners. Will HP need to counter VCE? And how is HP’s relationship with VMware these days?
3. Reality Check 2: In the 1990s, HP was an early backer of Exchange Server, SQL Server and other Microsoft server solutions. How will HP’s corporate strategy and channel strategy evolve as Microsoft prepares to launch Office 365, the forthcoming successor to BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite).
2. Working With SMBs: On the one hand, HP has a strong portfolio of SMB solutions — from servers to PCs, laptops and printers. But is there perhaps an opportunity for HP WebOS to also push into the SMB market? If so, how will channel partners be involved?
1. Recurring Revenues: Let’s shift the conversation from all the cloud noise to the real goal for VARs and MSPs — generating profitable recurring revenues. How will HP help VARs to leverage cloud computing, managed services and other recurring revenue options?
That’s all for now. The VAR Guy needs to board his flight to Las Vegas…