HP Software Boss Eyes Big Partner Sales Growth

HP Executive Vice President of Software George Kadifa Wednesday promised to dramatically increase the percentage of software business going through solution providers, with the biggest gains coming in HP's big data and security software offerings.

"This is a great opportunity for us and the partner community," said Kadifa in an HP Global Partner Conference keynote address before 2,000 of the company's partners, only about 200 of whom currently sell HP software. "We would like to see HP software as being the third arrow [along with Printing Personal Systems and Enterprise Group product offerings] in your HP quiver."

[Related: Whitman's Partner Profitability Pledge Has HP Partners Literally Cheering ]

With big data mainstay product Vertica now part of HP's PartnerOne channel program and the company on track to phase in its Autonomy software suite as part of PartnerOne, Kadifa said his goal is to "immediately" move from 26 percent of HP's big data software sales going through the channel to 50 percent.

Sponsored post

In the security market where HP has a portfolio that includes Tipping Point, ArcSight and Fortify, Kadifa said his goal is to move from 35 percent of sales going through the channel to 50 percent and eventually to 70 percent.

Finally, in IT management software, Kadifa said his goal is to move from 60 percent of the business going through partners to 70 percent.

"What you will see going forward is a commitment to partner growth and profitability," said Kadifa. "This is a no-compromise [commitment]. These are numbers we are measuring and we are going to be very, very diligent in those growth targets."

Kadifa said the fast-growing big data, security and IT management software markets that HP is participating in represent a $45 billion market opportunity in software license and support revenue and account for anywhere from $5 to as much as $10 in additional services revenue for every dollar of software sold. Those services dollars are a critical ingredient for partner profitability.

NEXT: Partners Seeing HP Software Success

Kadifa promised that partners that team with HP will be rewarded with programs that in some cases can bring them a 37 percent margin with HP stackable incentives.

Nth Generation Computing, a longtime San Diego-based HP infrastructure hardware partner with $50 million in annual sales, is already partnering with HP Software and has won large deals with HP Autonomy and HP security software.

Nth Generation closed $600,000 in sales of HP ArcSight and Tipping Point in the last fiscal year and has $2 million in potential security software sales in the pipeline. In addition, Nth Generation has become one of the first partners in the country certified to sell Autonomy and has already closed a big Autonomy deal.

"Autonomy is a huge opportunity," said Rich Baldwin, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Nth Generation. "We've sold one big [Autonomy] deal and we have interest in some very large accounts. Some of the biggest customers we have are using it. Law firms love it."

Baldwin credited his his success in the software business with his account teams working hand in hand with HP Enterprise Group sales reps. "It's never been better," he said of the partnership with HP.

Mont Phelps, CEO of NWN, a national HP enterprise partner based in Waltham, Mass., said he is looking forward to pursuing the big data software opportunity with HP. "Who doesn't get big data?" he said, referring to the huge growth opportunities in that software market segment. "If you don't manage data and extract value from it, it is just data -- not information. You need to retrieve, manage, sort, sift and distill it into actionable bits."

Phelps said partners that are not aggressively pursuing opportunities such as big data are going to see their value to customers rapidly eroding. The channel's role, said Phelps, is to become the "go-to" source for customers looking for direction with major technology shifts such as big data.

Kadifa said he ultimately sees partners as key to HP growing the $4 billion software business. "I have been in this business for about 30 years and have never seen a company succeed in technology without a vibrant and a very healthy partner ecosystem," he said. "And this is going to be no exception with HP Software."