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Convery also stressed Jones' efforts to bring CEO Mark Hurd and other top HP executives into customer meetings right alongside partners such as Denali through a program called Executive Connections. That program earned Jones and the Solution Partners Organization the sincerest form of flattery when similar joint sales calls were initiated by other IT vendors with their own channel partners.
NWN's Phelps also singled Jones out for praise and wished him well in his new job. "Adrian had a big impact on the channel," he said. "He made it much simpler and easier to engage with HP. He took some of the friction out of the process."
Jones, whose wife is Japanese, said he initially will be based in Singapore for a few months before moving to permanent headquarters in Tokyo. He said one of his primary responsibilities in the region will be to integrate HP's ProCurve-led networking business into ESS, apparently a global strategy for HP as it takes on Cisco for supremacy in the network and in the data center.
Signs Of A Shakeup?
Meanwhile, some partners speculated that the move to send Jones to Asia-Pacific was only one part of a broader shuffling of executives and overall restructuring as HP gets ready for the economic recovery and a wave of vendor consolidations.
Partners pointed to visible churn within HP's Enterprise Business segment, formerly the Technology Solutions Group, under Executive Vice President Ann Livermore, and also to reports that HP may be merging its Personal Systems Group with its Imaging and Printing Group, the latter one of the hardest hit HP business segments during the economic downturn.
A Personal Systems Group-Imaging and Printing Group merger would no doubt be the most impactful shakeup for the channel at large, should it happen. But HP partners said that in the meantime, they are feeling the effect of moves that have already occurred within the Enterprise Business segment, which comprises ESS, HP Services and HP Software.
"It's interesting that all of these moves are happening now. This is all a part of a reshuffling as HP gets ready for its new fiscal year starting Nov. 1," said Mark Gonzalez, president of Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and HP partner.
HP's ongoing integration of EDS into HP Services and the blending of its ProCurve networking portfolio into ESS have been reflected by assorted organizational changes, partners said.
In particular, partners have singled out HP's accelerated push under Dave Donatelli, named in April to head ESS, to challenge market leader Cisco with the HP ProCurve portfolio of products. That clash of the titans has added pressure--and sometimes even strain--to partner relationships, according to many solution providers that do business with both vendors.
Don Bialik, CEO of Calgary, Alberta-based Long View Systems, likened that vendor relationship balancing act to "bringing three girls to the prom and keeping them all happy." Another HP and Cisco partner who asked not to be named claimed that Hurd has told partners that HP is prepared to give Cisco "a war" over data center supremacy.
One thing seems certain--whoever HP's new channel chief turns out to be, he or she will have their work cut out for them.