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5: He Is Driving Big PartnerOne Program Changes
Look for significant HP PartnerOne program changes under Apotheker's leadership. He is pushing hard to combine hardware, software and services into integrated solution bundles that he wants partners to bring to market. And he is moving to get HP partners to sell the full portfolio, including software and services.
"I would try to broaden my portfolio as a partner. There is no reason why I should only be a partner for X or Y," said Apotheker, pointing to HP's security software portfolio as technology partners should bring to their customers.
As for getting partners to move aggressively into the cloud with HP, Apotheker said the technology giant should "provide all the channel incentives that we need to provide to encourage people to open their minds."
Stephen DeWitt, senior vice president and general manager, HP Personal Systems Group Americas, said he sees PartnerOne changing to get solution providers to make the same kind of investment in software and services that they made years ago to take HP's hardware products to market. "For many of the partners, this new dialogue that we are talking, this application level, this service level, is new business for them," he said, urging partners to move beyond transactional sales into the "fertile ground of applications."
"This is not a five point [sales] vision of a client device," said DeWitt. "This is now a sticky, tethered applications experience that should have better loyalty characteristics around it and higher margins." Not only that, DeWitt sees a big PartnerOne recurring revenue opportunity. "One of the seminal elements of our strategy inside the PSG side is transitioning away from a transactional model where the way we pay people, the way that we guide R&D, was based on the transaction to a lifetime value model where, rather than looking to make five bucks on the PC
I am going to sell you, I am going to make $5,000 on the relationship that I have with you and [the relationship] that my partners have with you [over a number of years]."
Jim Kavanaugh, co-founder and CEO of World Wide Technology, a $3 billion national solution provider giant based in St. Louis, Mo., said he would like to see PartnerOne aimed at driving 12- to 36-month investments in HP rather than at a monthly or quarterly sales goal. "You need to build a program that is sustainable and has some thought and substance behind it so you are investing not just for the quarter, but for the next 12 to 36 months," he said. "You can't drive anything long term if you are sales spiffing for 60 to 90 days. That doesn't drive long-term behavior and solutions that are good for the partner."
6: He Wants To Make HP A Security Software Leader
Apotheker has moved to quickly capitalize on HP's security software portfolio, which includes TippingPoint intrusion prevention systems, ArcSight security and compliance software and Fortify software security assurance offerings. During our meeting with Apotheker, he mentioned several times how important it is for partners to bring an HP security software solution to customers. "[As a channel partner], why wouldn't I want to embrace the security software portfolio of HP and add the security element to everything I would do for my customers which, by the way, customers would really appreciate," said Apotheker.
Apotheker's view is that partners bringing another vendor's security products to market are missing the mark. "The point is I think we have a very unique offering," he said. "Our job is to make sure that people understand that our offering is better."
Ann Livermore, executive vice president of HP's Enterprise Business, said HP's security software offerings are critical given the security issues that come up when moving businesses and government agencies to the cloud computing model. "Security is always on the list of things that are inhibitors," she said. "The more interconnected the world gets, the more opportunity there is for breaches in security. So when you think about that environment, security is technically a very complicated issue, and there is no company in the world better than HP at dealing with technically complicated issues and making them simple."