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There are signs that HP is still trying to figure out how to sell Autonomy through the channel. In a town hall meeting with partners last month, Randy Seidl, senior vice president and general manager of HP's U.S. Enterprise Group, said HP had identified a number of "stovepipe" businesses in the Autonomy product portfolio, which includes security and compliance, backup and recovery, content management and online advertising offerings.
The message, according to one partner who attended the event, was that HP is not going to be offering the entire Autonomy portfolio to the channel and will instead focus on a smaller subset of products.
"It sounded to me like [HP is] going back to the drawing board on Autonomy," said the solution provider, who is also a large ESSN partner. "It seems as though Autonomy was basically a consulting organization that would go in and write code, but it wasn't really a repeatable product."
One possible explanation for the slow rollout is that until recently Autonomy did not have a dedicated channel chief. Reny, who took on this role about six weeks ago, is putting together a worldwide channel program for Autonomy. HP also plans to align Autonomy with its PartnerOne and AllianceOne programs.
"Autonomy will have access to the HP go-to-market machine," Reny told CRN. "This is part of the strategic plan and we are having discussions about it."
In a January interview with CRN, HP CEO Meg Whitman said HP would open up its distribution system to Autonomy products this year. However, Reny declined to comment on whether HP is still on track to meet this goal.
Autonomy's roots are primarily in direct sales, but since the HP acquisition there has been a marked shift toward a more channel-centric culture, according to one longtime partner of both vendors.
That shift coincided with the departure of Autonomy co-founder and CEO Mike Lynch and most of his executive team, said the partner, who requested anonymity.
"The Autonomy management that was in place wanted to keep running Autonomy with a direct sales model. Now, in short order, Autonomy is embracing the channel," the partner told CRN.
When HP revealed its acquisition of Autonomy last August, HP said the technology would give it "the ability to reinvent the $55 billion business analytics software and services space". So far, HP's most notable move with Autonomy has been to integrate IDOL with its Data Protection 7 backup and recovery software.
If HP is going to achieve its goals for Autonomy, and see a return from its investment, getting IDOL server and other products into the channel would seem a logical next step.
PUBLISHED JULY 9, 2012