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When it comes to being a Channel Champion, no one comes to close to Hewlett-Packard. The $115 billion company, which has more channel reach than any and all competitors, won five overall awards and 12 subcategory awards in the 2010 CRN Channel Champion survey.
The two closest competitors finished with less than half of the top overall honors of HP and far fewer subcategory awards. IBM won two overall awards and seven subcategory awards, while Cisco won two overall awards and six subcategory awards.
The 2010 Channel Champions also featured Dell's first overall Channel Champion award since it started its channel march with a dedicated channel program three years ago. HP's impressive showing marks the third straight year that the company has easily outpaced Cisco and IBM to bring home more Channel Champion honors. This, as HP is stepping up its bid to grab a bigger share of the networking market from Cisco with a just-finalized $2.7 billion acquisition of 3Com. And remember, HP is also competing aggressively with IBM in the IT services market (HP acquired IT services giant EDS two years ago in a $14 billion deal).
"HP's all-in channel attitude is paying off," said Sam Haffar, president and co-CEO of Computex, an HP enterprise partner based in Houston. "HP is our top vendor. They are without question the top partner to work with. We are tied to HP at all different levels--from the field sales level to the management level to the [network] architecture level. We go to market together."
That decision to go to market together with channel partners paid off handsomely in overall Channel Champion victories for HP in SMB Networking Hardware, SMB Network Storage, Volume Servers (less than $25,000 in price), flat-panel displays (19 inches to 30 inches) and a tie with Lenovo in the notebook computer category.
If that isn't enough, HP has moved to take its partner effort to new heights this year with an ambitious account planning and mapping strategy aimed at working hand-in-hand with partners to win business together in what it has tagged as 9,000 U.S. SMB, emerging growth, midmarket accounts.
Solution providers credit HP CEO Mark Hurd and his hard-driving focus on sales coverage for HP's channel renaissance.
|Quick Clicks: Channel Champs Award Winners|
"Things were a little rough under [former HP CEO] Carly [Fiorina]," Haffar said. "Since Mark Hurd took over he doubled down on the channel, and we doubled down on HP. It's a great relationship. We took Mark Hurd's 'double down' message very seriously and it has paid off in big dividends in both profitability and sales. I am very loyal to the HP brand and their go-to-market strategy. We go to market as a team. We win as a team or lose as a team."
Bob Venero, president and CEO of Future Tech Enterprise, Holbrook, N.Y., says HP has a more "seasoned channel model" than Cisco or IBM because of its broad and deep product line and channel reach and hand-in-hand partner account engagement.