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Apotheker's channel credibility is not the only reason solution providers are warily eyeing his appointment as HP's CEO.
Glenn Conley, president and CEO of Metropark Communications, a St. Louis-based solution provider, said Apotheker would be a "very good fit for HP as a global company," but worried that a global emphasis could distract HP from priorities on the home front.
"We have some fantastic networking and VoIP products which need some amplified attention from the execs at HP so that the merging 3Com products don't get lost in the recent buyout frenzy," Conley said. "Fingers crossed."
Future Tech's Venero said that HP is a very different animal than SAP.
"There's no question that Leo understands the majority of the revenue and profit associated with HP comes from channel partners," he said. "[Going more direct] would not be a move he would make at all. That said, HP already has picked out its top global 800 accounts that they want to work with directly. That's going to happen and continue to happen. Nobody is 100 percent channel-exclusive at this point."
Next: Apotheker Can Do It