Bruce Geier, CEO of Technology Integration Group, a $340 million solution provider ranked No. 76 on the SP500, also said he has seen a marked cultural difference in HP's Enterprise Group channel commitment.
"HP is more open and more committed to partners," said Geier. "The changes in the Enterprise Group are phenomenal. The Enterprise Group in the past was very selective of who they wanted to deal with. You either did it their way or it was the highway. HP is more understanding today. Meg [Whitman] has brought in people who believe in the channel, who will make a difference, versus people who tried to restrict us in the enterprise. It is a building of the culture, opening the kimono. We are in the same boat now with HP."
What's more, Geier said, HP's revamped PartnerOne program is much simpler and more profitable for partners. "It is cleaner, simpler and they reward you from dollar one," he said. "We can plan our business now with HP."
Michael Haley, co-founder and president of Edge Solutions, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based HP partner, said Whitman has brought a sense of "sincerity and integrity" to the channel business. Before Whitman took the helm, he said, there was a lot of channel rhetoric that was not backed up in the sales trenches.
"HP is engaging more with partners now," he said. "We are very bullish on HP. I feel a lot more confident now as an HP partner in their approach to the channel."
Haley, in fact, expects his HP business to be up as much as 30 to 40 percent with a focus on complex mission-critical data center environments.
Adam Shaffer, senior vice president of marketing for PCM, formerly PC Mall, a $1.5 billion national IT solutions and services company headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., thanked Whitman for bringing a new sense of commitment and urgency to channel partner relationships. "Your team is more energized," he said. "Thanks for putting a great team together."
Terry Hedden, president of Zeno Technology Solutions, a Tampa, Fla.-based solution provider, also praised Whitman for reinvigorating the partner sales offensive. "I'm really impressed with what Meg has done to re-energize the company and recommit to the channel," Hedden said. "We like what they are doing and how they are hedging their bets -- and, in effect, our bets -- by bringing in the Google Chrome platform. I really have nothing but positive things to say."
Whitman, for her part, said HP is in a hands down better position than competitors to work closely with partners to bring customers a new style of IT solutions.
"Competitors of all sizes are talking about their ability to help customers benefit from the cloud or security or big data or mobility," said Whitman. "But my observation is the gap between the promise of the benefits to business and reality of actual adoption is enormous. So now more than ever, our joint customers need partners that can help them bridge the gap between promise and reality. And at HP, our solutions for the new style of IT can help take our joint customers from where they are today to where they must be. I believe we are best positioned with you to help customers realize the full benefits of that next generation of technology."
In response to a request from The Channel Company's Faletra, Whitman told partners that she would attend the BoB conference next year. What's more, Whitman thanked Faletra for his channel advice. "Thank you for your advice and counsel to me when I came into HP," she said. "You have been a supporter. You have been a wise advisor and counselor to this company for many years. And, you really represent the channel incredibly well."
Kristin Bent contributed to this story.
PUBLISHED OCT. 16, 2013