Combining the capabilities of multiple products into single devices factored heavily in the first full day of HP's Global Partner Conference, under way this week in Las Vegas.
Highlights included network switches that offer both wired and wireless capabilities, as well as storage devices that also provide backup functionality. The Palo Alto-based company also unveiled a new blade system, a new software-defined networking (SDN) controller, enhanced mobile device management and new consulting and support services.
HP has also designated its wireless infrastructure portfolio as channel-only.
"We're looking at industry trends that drive a higher level of convergence, and we're building a whole strategy around that," said Duncan Campbell, vice president of marketing for HP's Converged Infrastructure business unit. "Channel partners need to deliver the full skill set in order to fully capitalize on it. You can't be a storage person or a networking person anymore. You have to be a converged systems person.
Campbell noted that in many cases, the required skill sets may be distributed among multiple people in the partner organization, but he also said that companies who can deliver the whole menu of technology needs will have a strong advantage moving forward.
"A soup-to-nuts approach to technology not only provides new opportunities, it also helps to you sell higher into the customer organization, giving you better access to the C-suite," he said. "Partners can apply analytics to these capabilities in order to deliver more tightly integrated and customized solutions that can really make a difference to the customer's bottom line."
Multiple HP executives pointed to a variety of well-known industry inflection points that are important drivers to the portfolio updates. These include cloud, big data, social media and mobility, and, by extension, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
"We now have tools that can provide automated on-boarding and management of employee devices in order to meet the BYOD-related needs of our customers," said Bethany Mayer, senior vice president and general manager of HP Networking. "It uses a self-service procedure that minimizes the need for additional IT support."
In addition, HP's SDN controller pushes signatures down to the port level, thereby dispersing threat management to the edge of the network to shore-up the perimeter.
"Our partners can now leverage SDN to build a complete security architecture," said Mayer. "They can also combine this with the BYOD capabilities to provide a very secure solution that can be offered either through resale, or as a managed service."
NEXT: Wireless Exclusively Through The Channel