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So as we try to position ourselves in the new world order, because nobody's position is assured, we are pushing a portfolio that goes from the data center to the edge and an applications and services portfolio that goes from the application to the edge. That is a big change for us. Historically it has been my router against your router, my switch against your switch. We are elevating the story above the hardware stack. So you have to have that as a baseline. So as we talk to our partners there are a number of themes that are coming: One HP. We have got to get much more simplified globally in our relationship with our global distributors.
The PartnerOne program from a how we contract it, how we goal it, how we pay it, has to be a aligned to that strategic vision.
I will give you a good data point. If you think of GDP [Gross Domestic Product] growth the IT industry typically grows at a rate 2X what GDP is. And if you look at those partners historically that made a franchise bet on HP, because most of these are privately owned companies. They have to make a decision. This is coming out of their own money. They have to make a strategic bet on who they align with. Those that aligned with HP a handful of years ago in that best in class vision, this box versus that box, this versus that, realized material growth above the market. We saw growth rates in the mid-20s relative to GDP growth in the high single-digits. So those that invested in HP have realized great returns. Okay that is looking backwards.
Now looking forward, the portfolio being an end-to-end portfolio being much more applications centric, being very cloud centric, and by the way cloud, one of the things that HP is taking a really intelligent approach to the cloud is: cloud isn't going to be the same for Bank of America as it is for Jane's Pizza Shop. There are going to be pure play private clouds, pure play public clouds. There are going to be a lot of hybrid clouds. The fact of the matter is that the global world is going to evolve towards the cloud paradigm at different rates with different motivators, different drivers to the speed and pace and investment they are going to make in moving to the cloud. This fits in perfect for us because we can play that hybrid world. We can go the pure play world if the customer wants to completely transform and move to a different end state we can take them there right away or we can evolve them slowly to match their business evolution because some companies can't evolve overnight.
It is also true that there are going to be massive disruptors in the market. Heck, four years ago we didn't even talk Facebook. Now one out of every 15 people on the face of the earth is on Facebook. That opened up a new model, new concepts. That rate of change. The globalization of what we are doing. The consumerization of what we are doing. Look at how many of these whiz-bang fancy little appliances [handheld devices] are coming into corporations right now and corporations can't turn a blind eye and say - 'No this world of connected devices can't play.' They have got to figure out "How do I incorporate this into my business model? How do I look at these devices not as: is it binary compatible with Windows, but how do these devices amplify my business model?' So we have got a very unique opportunity right now. And who else is going to do this? Is Apple going to go to a partner community and say, 'This is how to do it?' Is IBM? IBM doesn't even play in the client side [of the business].
We have an opportunity to take an applications, a services, and experience architecture from the data center to the edge. But partners have to build practices around that.