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Hewlett Packard CEO Mark Hurd Monday told 1,100 solution provider executives gathered for the company's Americas Partner Conference that HP needs their help to take the lead in in the all important U.S. market.
"The bad news is we are not the biggest IT company in the U.S.," said Hurd, who in three years has taken HP from an $80 billion company that ranked behind IBM to the largest IT company in the world at $104 billion. "We are not leading in the United States. We want to lead in the United States. We need your help to lead in the United States."
Hurd said HP's biggest competitors are using US strength and muscle to beat back HP in the global market. In the most recent quarter, only 31 percent of HP's sales came from the U.S., with 69 percent from the rest of the world. "When you look at most of our competitors, their ratios are actually reverse from ours," said Hurd. "They draw their strength from the U.S. and use that strength against us globally. We want to change that trend. I know of no other way to change that trend and to do it in a rapid way without enlisting your help.
"I need your help," pleaded Hurd, who told partners at the outset that he was sick but determined to make the partner conference address. "We need your help."
"I didn't want to miss this because you are so important to us," said Hurd, who spoke in a hoarse voice. "You are an extension of Hewlett Packard. Being here is a big deal to me and I want to make sure you knew that."
Hurd admitted that HP has "plenty of issues" that it needs to work on, including lowering the amount of conflict between direct and indirect sales channels and becoming a much easier company for partners to do business with in areas such as obtaining price quotes. He even noted solution provider frustrations around HP's Storage lineup and CarePaq services portfolio. "Trust me it's not that we don't get it," said Hurd. "It is not that we are not listening. We are trying as hard as we can to move as fast as we can in a way that gets the company to what we think is the place that it needs to be particularly in the US."
Hurd stressed that HP is demanding that partners step up to the plate to invest with HP to deliver higher sales growth. For those partners that think they can get the "same or more money" than they did last year by "doing the same thing," it is going to be a "tough meeting" here at the Americas Partner conference, said Hurd. The flip side of the coin, he said, is HP is willing to invest resources to work hand in hand with partners to go after new market opportunities. "The team here has my complete support to make investments for you, with you to help us go after new markets and new opportunities," he told partners. "Those could be vertical industries. They could be product segments."