HP Gets Focused on Split, Promises ‘No Business Interruption’ for Partners

Craig Galbraith**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of recent channel-program changes you should know.**

HP will begin operating as two separate businesses on Aug. 1, a split that the company’s channel leaders say won’t negatively impact partners.

“We will make it as easy and seamless for you as possible. We have a small army working on this split. You will see no business interruption,” Sue Barsamian, vice president, Worldwide Indirect Sales, HP Enterprise Group, told attendees at last week’s Tech Data Channel Link event in Grapevine, Texas.

HP's Sue BarsamianHP Enterprise will include HP’s enterprise hardware, software and services businesses, while HP Inc. will include its PC and printing businesses. The challenge for partners selling on the Enterprise side might be awareness: Customers are more familiar with the successes the company’s had in PC and printer sales.

That’s why HP has invested in a new marketing campaign, dubbed “Just Right IT,” designed to help channel partners increase demand selling HP products to small and midsize businesses (SMBs). It includes a social-media campaign.

“We are investing millions here and will continue to invest in this and we hope you will see the demand as a result of this,” Barsamian said.

Speaking to a crowd full of partners, Barsamian reminded them that the SMB market opportunity is $5 billion – and 98 percent of that is channel-driven. HP Enterprise revenue overall is more than $58 billion. To take a piece of that pie, it’s going to take a new way of thinking for many VARs who work with HP and Tech Data, she said. It “starts with the foundation of infrastructure” but should be laser-focused on services that promote positive business outcomes: think cloud, mobility, big data and security.

“You’re not going to be able to help a customer [adopt] these offerings without taking a strong …

… services approach. There’s a difficulty factor much higher than with traditional IT,” Barsamian said.

HP hopes it can help partners with that transition. The company earlier this year, in conjunction with the Spring 2015 Channel Partners Conference & Expo, announced changes to its channel programs in anticipation of the split, which becomes legally effective Nov. 1.

Among them is Partner One Alliance, designed to help top partners continue to offer cross-portfolio opportunities across the two companies after the separation. Both HP Enterprise and HP Inc. will work together on partner activities and maximize participation in industry channel events. In addition, HP unveiled key partner program updates and services to help partners continue to drive growth through the separation and beyond. One is the new HP Helion Partner Marketplace, a public-services cloud marketplace that enables resellers to sell, provision, maintain and invoice a suite of public cloud services for SMBs.

Barsamian says the goal of HP Enterprise will be to help partners provide integrated solutions in four transformation areas:

  • Hybrid infrastructure: delivering applications faster using an agile ecosystem;
  • Enabling workplace productivity;
  • Empowering the data-driven organization; and
  • Protecting the digital workplace.

“Our collective opportunity together for the SMB market is to bridge where their IT is today and where their business needs their IT to be tomorrow,” Barsamian said. That means containing costs without sacrificing security and reliability, she noted, which is “a strategic place for the partner.”

Follow senior online managing editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter.

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