Bob Stegner, senior vice president of marketing, North America for Synnex, one of HP's top enterprise distributors that plans to offer the tool to its VARs, said the HP Discount Now program is a game changer.
"This is a big plus for VARs," said Stegner. "It allows VARs to be able to respond faster to customers. That is critical. VARs have been complaining about this for years. This is going to reduce frustration in the channel. I think this is going help increase HP sales."
Stegner applauded HP's DiFranco and team for aggressively moving to resolve pain points in the channel. "It's good to see DiFranco getting back into the channel fold," said Stegner. "He understands the channel pain points."
DiFranco, for his part, credited HP's executive committee, including HP CEO Meg Whitman, HP Executive Vice President Enterprise Group Bill Veghte and HP Senior Vice President Worldwide Indirect Sales Enterprise Group Sue Barsamian, for making the investments necessary to drive a new style of IT channel focused on driving a faster delivery of business outcomes from HP partners. One sign of the times, he said, is a rapid upswing in the number of partners offering HP-branded consulting services.
"Our VARs have gone from selling equipment to consulting and planning, and they are coming to HP and saying help us deliver the consulting," said DiFranco. "That's why our HP branded consulting through partners is up."
What's more, DiFranco said, the Discount Now program is one of many new HP initiatives aimed at driving New Style of IT solutions faster into the market. The company has also added Smart Buy offerings, once relegated to PCs and servers, to go across the entire HP server, storage and networking product line, said DiFranco. HP networking product Smart Buys, for example, went into effect on Feb. 1. HP storage product Smart Buys, meanwhile, went into effect on Jan. 1.
"The VARs need to be able to get solutions faster, and all of that is driving to the converged solutions environment because we are trying to deliver a converged solution that solves a business challenge and delivers a business outcome rather than spending a whole lot of time on getting all this stuff to work together," said DiFranco.
DiFranco said HP will shine the spotlight on the move toward a "new style of channel" at its Global Partner Conference March 24-26 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"VARs, in the end, are the best-equipped organizations to help customers move to the New Style of IT, far better than any given manufacturer," said DiFranco. "They are the ones that are going to lead this New Style of IT transition. We are going to deliver the products and services behind that and we are going to help build a channel process that is going to be much more flexible than it has been in the past."
PUBLISHED FEB. 13, 2014