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Solution providers praised Whitman's channel commitment as the key to driving dramatic increases in partner profitability and sales in 2013.
Rich Baldwin, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego,Calif.-based HP enterprise partner with $50 million in annual sales, said his HP incentives were down in 2012, but he expects his company's profitability to double this year as a result of the many HP partner program changes. That includes a 50 percent increase in lucrative backend rebates for Nth Generation.
Baldwin said he has seen first hand the impact Whitman has had on the partner program from an October meeting with the CEO in which he complained about the profitability on HP industry standard server sales. One month later, he said, HP upped the Value Express discounts by five percent, which directly impacted Nth Generation's bottom line. HP has also made changes that will increase Nth Generation's New Business Opportunity (NBO) payouts significantly by eliminating a restriction that prevented payouts on value pricing deal, said Baldwin.
"Meg gets it," he said calling her by far the most channel-savvy CEO he has seen in his 22 years of dealing with HP. "Meg has made an incredible difference compared to any of the other HP CEOs. She understands business people and the investments being made by partners. She understands that we work hard and have to make a profit."
Majdi "Mike" Daher, CEO of Denali Advanced Integration, Redmond, Wash., No. 119 on the SP500 with $157 million in annual sales, said he sees Whitman's major channel changes putting HP back on track for growth after a period of instability. He said his HP business was flat last year, the first year in a decade that HP business did not grow for Denali, but he expects double-digit sales growth in his HP business this year.
"HP is back," said Daher."Meg is making it easier for partners like us to make money. Her presentation at the conference demonstrated to me that she is listening and taking our comments and advice and now turning them into actions. It was very, very energizing and reinvigorating."
Rick Chernick, CEO of Camera Corner Connecting Point, a Green Bay, Wisc.-based longtime HP partner, said Whitman's address established a new high water mark for partner commitment from HP. "She is saying exactly what we have been waiting to hear for 40 years from any vendor," said Chernick. "She gets it. She understands. I couldn't be happier. She is absolutely the real deal and has set it straight within HP, letting employees know they need to take care of the reseller. If they don't, they are out. She is passionate in totally embracing the channel. She has done more in a year to save this company and bring it back to the next level than anyone else could have done."