XChange: HP Exec Says Hardware Portfolio Is Strongest In Its History

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Hewlett-Packard may still be primarily a hardware vendor, but a combination of industry-leading systems, software to back them up, and a channel program second to none spells big opportunities for solution providers, said Mike Parrottino, vice president and general manager for U.S. channel sales and marketing, Personal Systems Group.

Parrottino used his XChange Solution Provider keynote to remind VARs that HP is open for channel business despite a few bumps in the road last year, and that it is dedicated to growing its solution provider partners' business based on a strong hardware foundation.

"I know there has been a lot written in the last six months about our commitment to certain product lines," he said, referring to questions about whether HP would keep its PC business or sell it off. "But we have the most compelling, strongest product portfolio in the history of Hewlett-Packard."

That portfolio includes such recent additions as HP's Folio ultrathin notebook with instant-on operation and a 9.5-hour battery life; the Z1 all-in-one workstation with a 27-inch screen that opens to provide access to upgradable components; and the new ProLiant Gen8 server line, Parrottino said.

Parrottino said HP makes no apologies for its hardware focus, which accounts for about 70 percent of the company's business. "We make phenomenal hardware products," he said. "Everything from our notebook products all the way up to big iron. And we continue to innovate. ... We make no apologies for making extremely innovative hardware."

HP brings its products and solutions to the channel via its PartnerOne channel program, a program Parrotino said ensures partner sales and profitability growth much higher than the company's overall business.

"The power of our portfolio, and the ability to drag in different aspects ... leads to new opportunities for partners," he said.

John Convery, executive vice president of vendor relations and marketing at Denali Advanced Integration, a Redmond, Wash.-based solution provider and HP partner, said that HP has indeed weathered its recent "bumps" with a consistent management team and the enthusiasm of President and CEO Meg Whitman.

HP PartnerOne is the richest channel program in the industry, Convery said. "HP knows how to motivate two kinds of people: the salesperson and the partner. If I invest across HP's portfolio, I know I'm getting double-digit profits across the portfolio," he said.

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