Mike Humke, vice president of public sector sales for HP, Tuesday challenged several hundred solution providers at Everything Channel's XChange Public Sector conference to step up their game by getting out of the hardware box and into game-changing solutions.
"It not a hardware solution," said Humke, a 30-year-public sector champion who has driven new elite programs at HP for public sector and health-care solution providers. "The only way you are going to get there is if you clearly understand that market."
That means bringing solutions to the table that are aimed at everything from allowing a police officer stopping a car at midnight in a major city to know instantly who is in the car and where the vehicle came from to solutions that allow schools to provide information to teachers and parents aimed at reducing the 50 percent drop out rate in America's public school systems, said Humke.
"There is no reason we as individuals should not be able to stop that problem," Humke said of the astronomical drop out rate. "It's all about how do we arm teachers with information to recognize the students that are going to drop out."
The same types of information solution problems are also wreaking havoc in the health-care market, said Humke, where some estimate that as many as 98,000 people die each year due to medical errors that could be prevented with information solutions that instantly alert a medical worker to overdoses or an allergic reaction to a drug.
Humke said that the key to bringing the game-changing solution sets to the market starts with achieving HP's elite certifications. He estimated those VARs that have the elite certifications are closing as many as 50 percent more public sector solution sales. "It's hard to compete when you are competing on hardware and price, leading with your chin," Humke said. "Partners that are winning are stepping up and training their people to understand their market."
John Convery, executive vice president of vendor relations and marketing at Denali Advanced Integration, a Redmond, Wash.-based HP partner with health-care and public sector elite designations, said Denali's public sector business in partnership with HP is experiencing double digit sales growth.
"HP has put the public sector wood behind the arrow supporting partners like no one else in the business," Convery said. "We have grown our public sector head count by a factor of three times and are seeing major state and local government and education activity."
John Alday, president of Cima Solutions Group, a Dallas, Texas solution provider that is doing extensive health-care solutions, said he is interested in exploring a potential health-care elite certification partnership with HP. "That looks like a very compelling program for us especially with the solutions we are providing," he said.
CIMA's health-care solutions business grew a robust 35 percent in 2009, said Alday. That health-care growth is being driven by "aging infrastructure and our ability to come up with a cost-effective strategy to virtualize their infrastructure," he said.
HP is continuing its public sector offensive with four new health-care software partnerships likely to be unveiled in the next several months. HP is also holding its Healthcare Partner Forum on June 28 in Houston, Texas with an estimated 110 health-care partners set to attend.
In addition, HP is preparing the same kind of offensive in the retail market with a new elite retail point of sale designation slated to be unveiled by the end of the year.