HP Partners Welcome Decision To Keep PC Business


Hewlett Packard partners Thursday cheered the company's decision not to sell or spin off its $41 billion PC business.

HP's move to keep its Personal Systems Group as a part of the company, instead of selling it or spinning it out as a separate company, ended months of speculation about the company's plans for its PC business.

"HP came to their senses," said Sam Haffar, president and co-CEO of Computex, one of HP's top partners headquartered in Houston, Texas. "All I would say is they finally made a good decision. This takes away all the distraction (around the PC business) we had to deal with from customers (concerned about a possible HP PC spin off or sale). It was very hard to close PSG or ESSN deals with this hanging over HP's head. Now, it is behind us and we can move forward. It is going to help us win more business with both PSG and ESSN (Enterprise Servers Storage Networking)."

HP's PSG decision ends the uncertainty that began when former HP CEO Leo Apotheker announced on August 18 that the computer giant was considering "strategic alternatives" for its PC business. That announcement stalled a number of HP PC and enterprise product purchases that were in the works, according to solution providers.

HP is the world's largest PC vendor, and PSG generates over $40 billion in revenue and $2 billion in profit annually. It is also a crucial part of HP's being an end-to-end provider of IT to customers, which is one of its primary competitive advantages, HP solution providers said.

HP solution providers called HP's decision a chance to clear up confusion in the market and go back to business as usual.

Rick Chernick, CEO of Camera Corner Connecting Point, a Green Bay, Wis.-based solution provider and HP partner, said he is glad the PSG uncertainty is over.

"HP really threw up on themselves (with its planned change in PSG)," said Chernick. "Now we need to see how HP will clean it up. I'm a positive person. Now it's back to business as usual. Let's go out and get some new customers."

Getting the PSG uncertainty out of the way is a huge boost for partners, Chernick said. "All this talk of a PC spin-off hurt HP. We all know it was stupid. Now we have to move on. HP has to regain market share and gain back the loyalty of their resellers."

Next: Back To Talking Business, Not Vendor Issues