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HP: Enterprise Sales Plan Will Bear Fruit

Hewlett-Packard's head of enterprise sales for the Americas vowed to leverage HP's new channel-centric engagement model to thwart Dell and IBM in enterprise accounts, but many HP enterprise partners say they are seeing little if any new business as a result.

Jack Novia, managing director and senior vice president, Technology Solutions Group (TSG), Americas, said in the year since HP, Palo Alto, Calif., first announced that it would integrate close to 60 HP enterprise partners into its direct enterprise sales force, the plan is finally emerging as a competitive weapon.

"I will not allow Dell to grow in the marketplace because of my partner relationships, and I will outdo IBM in terms of partner loyalty," Novia said. "This is a huge weapon for us and a huge advantage and we shouldn't rest until we get it next to perfect."

But several of the partners selected for the TSG engagement say the plan is far from that. "It's not filtering down to the field," said one HP enterprise partner, who asked not to be identified. "There has been no mapping. I've been told by field people, 'Why should we map you into accounts where we already do business?' If that's the case, what's the point of the program?"

Said another enterprise partner who requested anonymity: "I don't see any new business; it's meant zero to me."

Novia acknowledged that it's taken time to map HP's top enterprise sales partners into TSG's sales plan and account coverage. The strategy aims to have HP's direct sales force and its top enterprise partners function as a single sales team in large enterprise accounts. "We've made progress, but I'm not satisfied until we've lined those partners up as part of our growth strategy," he said. "They are an extended member of our selling team. This is not about channel vs. direct. This is about a selling motion out there that's going to help me in a large account."

But Novia promised that partners would start seeing results. "My commitment to them is to make sure, on the HP side of the house, that we get them the appropriate level of at bats so they can go out and find the opportunity," he said.

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