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New HP CEO and President Leo Apotheker has quickly put together a game-changing strategy that unites HP behind one strategic vision and sets the world's largest IT company on a course to play a major role in cloud computing, connected devices, software and services.
More From CRN's Apotheker Coverage
In an interview in his office at HP's Palo Alto, Calif. headquarters, Apotheker spoke with CRN about a wide range of issues, including his views on the need for channel partners to adopt new business models, cloud computing and direct sales-channel account engagement. Here are excerpts from the interview.
You've been meeting with HP partners. Talk about the data you have collected and how it has formed your opinion of the HP channel?
First of all thank you for the opportunity. I had the pleasure of meeting HP partners all over the world actually, in the U.S., in Europe, in Asia Pacific, actually wherever I went I made a fine point of meeting at least one group of partners or individual partners. And I heard a pretty consistent story: It is no secret to you that our channel partners are a huge asset to HP. And I had the opportunity to reconfirm at every meeting how important the channel business is and how important the channel business will remain for HP.
I heard good feedback from our channel partners. They actually really enjoy working with HP which is good. They enjoy the fact that we provide a good partnership to them, great products. Like in any relationship there is always something you can improve. And that came out as well.
But the general term [feeling] around the world from any type of partner was: it is a very, very good and strong and healthy and important relationship. And the first message I wanted to convey to them and I want to convey to you as well is that for HP the channel partners are a strategic asset and we will do whatever we need to do to make sure that they have a great future with HP.
Looking at your experience from SAP, talk a little about your future vision for HP and offer the channel that is perhaps a little more hardware centric a view on how they can be involved in this evolution.
Let me just point out the following things to you. HP already has a very, very powerful software portfolio. Just take the security portfolio that we have which is extremely relevant. As I pointed out to the partners in our discussions, security is top of mind of everyone on this planet and it is growing exponentially. It goes from government to agencies to private enterprise to individuals in fact. Cybersecurity is, unfortunately, a real issue. I encourage our partners to take the HP security suite that we already have and leverage that for their business.
I also told our partners that I believe that their business model needs to evolve over time and should move more toward providing solutions to their customers so that they can broaden the kind of business relationship they have with their customers. Be it vertical or be it horizontal that is up to each partner to decide what they would like to do.