Hewlett-Packard's success in Midrange Servers is, according to Frank Rauch, the vendor's vice president of Technology Solutions Group channel sales, "all about the channel."
HP was the ARC's Midrange Server Company of the Year, winning for support, product innovation and partnership. In particular, relative to the competition, VARs awarded HP excellent scores in revenue and profit potential.
HP's ability to marry software, services and networking and provide solutions to high-end and data center customers was a big part of HP's win. Its breadth of technology has put it in good stead with its channel. HP's partner program outdid the competition's, and VARs said it handled channel conflict well.
"In terms of partnership, our programs are rich and profitable for channel partners," Rauch said. "[Regarding] channel conflict, we have good definition of roles for systems engineers, salespeople and partners."
It all comes down to getting solution providers to support the technology. "The channel is very well-aligned behind our equipment. The channel sells a very large portion of these servers, and they have the highest level of technical competency," Rauch said, adding HP has been "very successful in bringing on IBM and Sun partners, and the results have been tremendous."
For its part, IBM finished third behind Dell in the category; Sun came in fourth. However, IBM came in first over HP in a few subcategory criteria: quality and reliability, technical innovation, presales support and quality of field management.