HP Divides U.S. Geo Into Three To Streamline Sales, Channel Organizations

Hewlett-Packard confirmed channel reports that the company has reorganized its U.S. sales force into three separate geographies instead of a single geography in a move to streamline its sales and channel activities.

Terry Richardson, vice president and general manager of the U.S. channel sales organization within HP's Enterprise Group, told CRN that starting on May 1, HP broke up its U.S. sales and channel organization into three separate organizations, and in the process simplified what had been a complex sales operation.

Technically, there are actually four organizations in the U.S., including three separate geographies as well as a Federal team, Richardson said.

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Prior to the reorganization, HP's Enterprise Group had server sales teams for its x86 and its Mission Critical servers, as well as sales teams for storage, networking and services, each of which had their own strategies, Richardson said.

"We wanted to collapse those disparate sales models," he said.

Now, instead of multiple executives managing product teams across the country, a single executive at the vice president and general manager level now heads all sales activities within an entire one-third of the U.S., Richardson said.

Each of those territories also has a channel director who works hand in hand with the sales executives, he said.

The channel directors in the three U.S. geographies report to Richardson, while the sales vice presidents report to Robert Vrij, Americas senior vice president. Vrij left Alcatel to join HP in March to take over for Rich Geraffo, who in October left HP to become senior vice president for Oracle's worldwide alliances and channels.

The reorganization appears to be part of HP CEO Meg Whitman's plan to provide a faster decision-making process for the company, said Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and HP partner.

Historically, local decisions had to go all the way to Executive Vice President of HP's Enterprise Group Bill Veghte, but now are handled at the regional level, Baldwin said.

"In the past, we almost needed to go to God to break the rules," he said. "Now we just need to go to the angels. And we know all the Western regional people very well."

Baldwin said he is seeing HP flattening its district manager ranks as well.

NEXT: Flattening The HP Organization, Focusing On Converged Systems

"Before, we saw one district manager for each six sales reps," he said. "Now it's up to 12 reps for each district manager. In Southern California, we had four district managers for storage, including one for public sector, one for SMB, and one each in Orange County and San Diego for enterprise."

Simplifying the regional organizations is a big deal when working with a company the size of HP, Baldwin said.

"You can only talk to so many people in a day," he said. "Now there will be fewer people to work through to meet objectives. Before, we had to go to the national level to handle storage issues. Now we go to the regional level. It's a good thing for us."

Richardson said the reorganization provides for a more consistent, aligned approach to working with customers instead of the uncoordinated marketing campaigns of the past, and offers a more consistent partner engagement experience.

The move also helps customers and partners focus on solutions.

"We have a big focus on converged systems," he said. "This is less of a stovepipe look at the world -- one that provides a better solutions approach to the market."

Baldwin agreed that keeping converged systems in focus with HP's sales organization is important.

"The VAR community represents everything from HP," he said. "We talk storage, server, networking, big data and more. In the past, we had to talk with so many managers. Now we can bring in technical people from HP instead of so many HP sales reps when talking to customers."