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HP Picks First TSG Alliance Members

Hewlett-Packard last week tapped solution providers for its new Technology Solutions Group (TSG) partner alliance, but some of those named to the list were uncertain about what a tighter alliance with HP&'s direct enterprise sales force means for their business.

“[HP CEO Mark] Hurd&'s message [of a stronger partnership with HP&'s most loyal solution providers] can be very intimidating to an organization like ours that is very architecture-, consultative-oriented and carries competing products to HP,” said Bob Krocak, vice president of alliances at Midwave, a solution provider in Eden Prairie, Minn. “Just the fact that we are part of the group, knowing our business model, is a good sign.”

Krocak and other solution providers named by HP to a group that is being mapped into TSG&'s 2006 sales strategy beginning Nov. 1 said they were uncertain how the partnership would work.

Among the questions solution providers had was whether they will take the lead in specific accounts or if HP would engage the accounts directly, essentially using solution providers to augment HP&'s enterprise sales force.

Solution providers and sources close to HP said less than 50 solution providers nationwide will be part of the alliance that was first announced by HP last July.

Another HP partner who was named as part of the TSG alliance and who asked not to be identified hopes HP won&'t treat partners simply as an extension of its enterprise sales force. “What&'s the value to the end user in that?” he said.

Tom LaRocca, vice president of partner development programs, Americas, at HP, confirmed that the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company was informing partners of their participation last week.

“We are hitting our time line,” he said, but provided no further details. “We are notifying the [HP] partner business managers who are on those accounts, there is an update out to the enterprise council and we are moving forward.”

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