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"With Autonomy's enormous success and enormous profitability and synergies we can gain, we think we can build a helluva business out of it," Lane said in the call.
Daniel Duffy, CEO of Valley Network Solutions, a Fresno, Calif.-based solution provider, understands the rationale behind acquiring Autonomy but doesn't think now is the time for HP to be making a move of such magnitude.
"This is a company that has no business spending money or attempting complex, strategic acquisitions," Duffy said. "They need to first get their house in order, and restore customer and channel confidence."
It's unclear if HP could reverse course on its Autonomy bid even if it wanted to, although the deal has yet to be approved by Autonomy shareholders.
In any event, HP partners are willing to give Whitman the benefit of the doubt when it comes to supporting the channel, but given the tumultuous departures of Apotheker and ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd, one VAR told CRN he thinks Whitman will have a "short window" of time to restore partner confidence in HP's leadership and products.
"I'd give it one to two quarters before you have cause for partners to start looking around to work with another company," said one HP solution provider who didn't want to be named. "I don't think you'll see [partners] abandoning HP, but you will see cause for them to look around for alternatives."
In the meantime, HP partners are once again getting used to having a new CEO. It may take a while for Whitman to calm the waters, but for now, partners are simply happy to see anyone but Apotheker at the helm.
"I don’t know if Whitman is the right candidate, but I don’t think she can be any worse than Apotheker, so at this point all we can do is give her a little time to get up to speed and take a swing at things," Duffy said.
Chad Berndtson contributed to this article.