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Synnex To Help HP Troubleshoot Any Split-Related Glitches

Hewlett-Packard plans to leverage Synnex for feedback on its separation process and offer partners working with both sides of the business a single point of contact.

Hewlett-Packard plans to leverage Synnex for feedback on its separation process and offer partners working with both sides of the business a single point of contact.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based vendor will also formally announce Friday a new partner loyalty program for the enterprise side of its business focused around rewards, education, training and enablement, according to Mike Parrottino, HP's vice president for enterprise group distribution.

"Taking a $120 billion company and splitting it up is not something you do overnight," Parrottino told hundreds of solution providers attending the Varnex spring conference in Atlanta. "Today, as one company, we have a lot of joint investments across our entire portfolio."

[Related: Synnex Partners: The E-Commerce Struggle Is Real When Competing Against CDW]

For this reason, Parrottino said, HP will for the foreseeable future offer a single contact through its alliance program to solution providers selling both enterprise and PC/printing products. The company plans to internally split HP Inc. (which is focused on printing and personal systems) and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise on Aug. 1, with the two officially becoming separate, publicly traded companies Nov. 1.

The split actually requires the separation of 170 distinct entities, which is being managed day to day by hundreds of consultants in a stand-alone separation unit, according to Stephanie Dismore, HP's channels vice president and general manager for the Printing & Personal Systems unit.

While HP's sales and support workforce are being kept in the loop, Parrottino emphasized that they aren't routinely being pulled away from their current jobs to deal with split-related issues.

HP also plans to embed navigators into Synnex's organization, who Parrottino said will be responsible for letting HP know if issues arise during the separation that the vendor didn't think about or if things aren't running as smoothly as they were in the past. Synnex is HP's largest North American distribution partner, with its Varnex members delivering some $550 million of business for the vendor in 2014, according to HP.

"This is the best [small and midsize business] community here in the U.S., bar none," said Parrottino. HP is also Synnex's largest partner, with the vendor accounting for 24 percent of the distributor's revenue in the most recent quarter.

Synnex CEO Kevin Murai told CRN that, through the navigator program, his company will make sure that processes are in before to the split for partners to deal with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. as two separate organizations. Specifically, Murai said, he wants to ensure that solution providers have a seamless experience ordering products and participating in programs offered by both companies.

Later this week, Parrottino said, HP will formally introduce the Engage & Grow loyalty program for its enterprise group. The existing Blue Carpet program will remain the loyalty program for the company's printing and personal systems group, he said.

"It's a good thing for you," Parrottino said. "It's a good thing for us."

As for the Partner One channel partner program, HP has done a lot of good work in simplifying the program, yet recognizes it still has a lot more work to do, Dismore said. Going forward, HP plans to move to a program called Partner First, which Dismore said will improve upon the current structure to provide more streamlining and predictability.

HP will have considerable strength to build on for each of its separate businesses: Dismore said the vendor is enjoying its fastest-ever growth in printing and personal systems and recently surpassed Dell, according to a report from research firm IDC, to become the top vendor in the federal government space.

Specifically, Dismore said, HP has unveiled the smallest laser-jet printer in the world as well as eight new mobility devices for verticals such as education, health care and retail. The vendor is also doubling down on managed print services, she said.

Louis Muirhead, president of Trenton, N.J.-based Lucille Maud Corp., an HP and Synnex partner, was pleased by HP's announcements around the alliance programs and navigators.

Muirhead said he's appreciative of continuing to have a single point of contact for both sides of HP's business, and was comforted by news that HP plans to be directly involved in troubleshooting the kinks that will inevitably stem from the breakup.


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