Page 3 of 4
And while Whitman lacks experience in the IT channel, Hilbert said he's confident that she can lead partners to success.
"HP has always been committed to the channel," he said. "I don't see that being a problem."
Harry Zarek, president and CEO of Compugen, a Richmond Hill, Ont.-based solution provider, said the best thing Whitman can do immediately is reassure HP's channel that HP is stable.
"It's really about communicate, communicate, communicate," Zarek said. "Talk to the channel, and communicate very clearly."
That communication has to go beyond the channel, too, he said.
"Stability is the key message for her," Zarek added. "So she needs to make sure she takes the same message about stability to the broader market, to main street, to all the communities interested in HP. There are longer-term things she will need, but not now. Get back to work."
Whitman and HP should also decide on PSG's future early on, Zarek urged.
"The longer they wait, every day, is not helpful," he said. "It's not flip a coin and decide what to do, but I think when they do make their decision, that will at least instill some confidence, and they can share some of the reasoning behind the decision they make. I think that's really important."
One of HP's top solution providers urged Whitman to be as clear as possible on HP's channel relationships and how HP will incentivize partners to stay aggressive behind HP products and services.
"[Hurd] was really aggressive, and the channel really liked that market aggression," the partner said."If Meg can take a lesson, that's to say what [HP] is going to do with the channel to defend it in the market. The tone from Leo was not necessarily channel-embracing. They talked about the channel, but I don't think they were leveraging the channel."