Hewlett Packard is delighted that customers are interested in the cloud, and it's been having deep, meaningful discussions with them about how cloud can help transform the way they do business.
However, in the coming year, HP intends to transform these discussions into actual sales of its cloud products, according to Frank Rauch, vice president of channel sales for HP's Enterprise Storage Server Networking (ESSN) division. And of course, HP partners are going to play a big role in making this happen.
"We need to be able to take conversations about cloud and figure out ways to turn them into revenue," Rauch said in a Tuesday presentation at UBM Channel's Best Of Breed conference in Monarch Beach, Calif. While it’s good that people are talking about cloud, these conversations tend to lengthen the sales cycle, he added.
Rauch told partners that customers who've been buying blade servers are targets for pitching CloudSystem, HP's platform for building and managing cloud services across private, public and hybrid environments. Or, Rauch said, they can upgrade to VirtualSystem, which supports hypervisors from Microsoft, VMware and Citrix and also features storage from LeftHand Networks and 3PAR.
HP last month launched a private beta that gives developers early access to Cloud Compute and Cloud Object Storage, the first two offerings in HP's Cloud Services program. "We're in beta on our own public cloud and will make it real sometime next year," Rauch said.
HP in March launched its CloudSystem channel program, and Rauch said the company has opened around 50 Cloud Centers of Excellence, which partners transform their facilities into cloud demonstration sites to showcase various HP cloud infrastructure.
Customers that want to try Cloud Centers of Excellence don't even need to buy one, Rauch said, because all of the major distributors have opened their own.
HP last year grew its Americas channel revenue for ESSN by $1 billion, and while the company is currently in a quiet period for its Nov. 21 fourth quarter earnings, Rauch said HP is "having another great year."
In the coming year, HP's ESSN partners will be making the bulk of their money from 3PAR, HP Networking and CloudSystem, Rauch said, adding that HP will also make it easier for partners to do business with the company.
"I know we've said that for a long time, but this is the year we really mean it," Rauch said.