HP's Barsamian: 'We're In Listening Mode'

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In order to adapt to the new style of IT, Hewlett-Packard said it needs more feedback from solution providers to better serve partners.

At Synnex's VARnex 2014 Spring conference, Sue Barsamian, senior vice president of worldwide indirect sales for HP Enterprise Group, spoke to VARnex members about HP's vision of 'the new style of IT,' which includes converged infrastructure and hybrid IT services.

Barsamian said that as the delivery of IT changes, HP will need to evolve to better meet the needs of its SMB partners. "We are in listening mode," she said. "We want to hear what you need."

[Related: HP: New Style of IT Impossible Without Partners]

According to Barsamian, HP drove more than $510 million through the VARnex community alone during its fiscal 2013. "At HP, we have doubled down on the channel," she said, "and that is a bet that has paid off big time."

In particular, Barsamian said HP has seen growth in SMB x86 servers and networking in 2013, according to IDC numbers. But she also emphasized high growth areas around HP's "new style of IT," such as cloud, security, big data and mobility.

And while hardware is important, Barsamian said, HP also is making a strong push with its software business. "We go from the device to the data center," she said. "Software is the glue that pulls all of this together. You can't get to the new style of IT ... without software."

Barsamian also talked about the move to opex-based services and recurring revenue models. Specifically, she explained how HP has made the entire portfolio of its branded services for maintenance and support available to HP partners. In addition, she said HP's services business is one of the fastest-growing segments in the vendor's channel.

"We think we have one of the most inclusive services offering [in the industry]," she said. "We've opened the entire services ecosystem up to our channel." Barsamian repeatedly urged VARnex members to seek out HP executives like herself at the show to talk about how the vendor can better support its partners.

George Brown, president of Brown Enterprise Solutions, an HP partner based in Dublin, Ohio, lauded HP's channel strategy and the commitment to partners from top executives like Barsamian but said there's still room for improvement at the field level.

"I think more commitment to HP's strategy at the ground level is important," Brown said. "I think HP has the right message and the right philosophy at the top, no question about it. But I would like to see that message come down more to [the SMB level]."


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