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RR: Here in the Bay Area, I think the most important space for us is 100-plus. The sweet spot for us is anywhere from a 150, 200 to about a 700, 800 employee base because they are the ones looking to consolidate and virtualize their environment. They are actually looking for enterprise gear but also for a local service provider to come in and put it all together for them.
And complimenting HP, they’ve got a pretty clear vision and going forward, it’s getting clearer and clearer, that, “Hey, we want to be channel-led in that space, as long as you have value you can bring to us.” So if you don’t have any value that you bring, then HP’s going to maybe bring another channel partner in, because they’ll still want to go through channels in that space.
So there are regional variances. Are there also variances within verticals within the SMB world?
RR: Not much. Take Paul as an example, a credit union. When they wanted to consolidate and upgrade their storage infrastructure and their servers in an Exchange environment, that’s pretty much a similar case across all SMBs, the same applications, etc. I’m not sure we need to verticalize it. From a product perspective, SMB should be a vertical on its own.
MK: I would say there are some verticals where different solutions do become important, like health care, where they’re looking for HP solutions but wrapped around some of the IT software associated with things like electronic medical records and things like that.
RR: And there will be specialized resellers doing that.
I think we should take the opportunity to congratulate you, Romi. You’re the new president of the SMB Advisory Council -- what are some of your goals?
RR: Thank you. I’ve been on the council for about six years and HP has evolved quite a lot in six years. One of the things I would like to change is I would like to mix the members up a little bit, so we have every view represented, so we can get more feedback from each view specifically so we can get a little better.
And second, you know I take my owner hat off and I look at 16,000 partners [serving SMBs in the U.S.] and I don’t if they’re getting our message. I don’t know if we’re getting through to them. Look at the [HP Americas Partner Conference], we had about 500 or 600 partners at that event. And how do we take that message down to the thousands of other partners and say, “You know, HP’s looking to align with channel partners as long you can bring value to the table, as long as you can bring something that don’t specialize in and their not intending to hire people for.” How do we make them grow with HP and how do we get HP more market share amongst all those other partners who are not using HP today?