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9: He Sees HP As A Channel For Partners
Apotheker values HP partners for their entrepreneurial drive and spirit and is looking for them to step up to help build the next generation of HP webOS tablet applications and cloud offerings. That could result in HP's direct-sales force taking partner-developed solutions into the largest corporate accounts. "Some of our channel partners actually create additional specific [value] on top of our solutions that we could actually provide to these large accounts as well," said Apotheker. "A traditional view would say that our partners are a channel for us. In some cases, it is conceivable that we could be a channel for our partners. Why wouldn't that be the case? As long as it makes sense for everyone."
That kind of nontraditional view of the channel could spell big opportunities for solution providers partnering with HP. At the Americas Partner Conference, HP will conduct a daylong workshop for partners that will include a separate address by Apotheker around the HP webOS tablet opportunity.
10: He Pays For Performance
Look for Apotheker to institute a pay-for-performance culture with the HP channel. In fact, his last words to us were that he would "measure" the channel on performance. That mantra is one of Apotheker's management tenets.
When he was only three weeks into the job, Apotheker last year reinstituted salary increases in fiscal year 2011 as part of HP's normal annual review process. "I actually felt it was really important to give people that raise that they were expecting, if only because I believe in performance and pay-for-performance in a performance-driven company," said Apotheker. "Now we had a pretty good year. So there was no reason [not to give employees raises]. On the contrary. If we really believe in performance, then we should walk the talk and give people pay-for-performance, which is exactly what we did."
Romanowski said the pay increase for HP employees marks a turning point for the company. "That says a lot," he said. "It said, 'I believe in you. You are my most important asset.' At ASI, we say our people are our most important asset, too. Without our people we have nothing. That pay increase was a huge. Talk about a morale boost."
Romanowski said HP remains his company's "most important partner" and he expects a healthy increase in his HP product and services sales this year. "My feeling is HP is a great strategic partner and our relationship is only going to get stronger with Leo," he said.