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HP Split Partner Update: No Orders To Ship Aug. 1-6
Hewlett-Packard is warning solution providers that no orders will be shipped for six days, Aug. 1 to 6, as a result of a system cutover precipitated by an operational split into two companies effective Aug. 1.
The six-day "shipping transition" comes with a system cutover set for the weekend of Aug. 1 as HP begins operating as two separate, independent Fortune 50 companies in anticipation of the formal Nov. 1 split.
"This shipping transition period is part of our overall process as we separate into Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc.," said HP CIO Scott Spradley in an email exchange with CRN.
[Related: 10 Things You Don't Know About The HP Split]
HP does not expect the ability to place orders to be disrupted by the system cutover, said Spradley. In fact, he said, all "ordering systems will remain operational" during the transition. Customers and partners should "place orders in the usual manner," he said.
Orders placed Aug. 1 to 6 are estimated to begin shipping Aug. 7, said Spradley.
"Customers and partners will receive order acknowledgements and estimated ship dates beginning Aug. 7," said Spradley. "Beginning Aug. 1, customers and partners will begin to receive separate invoices from HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Customers will be able to get product from partners during this time, even though we are not shipping direct."
Spradley would not divulge specifics about what kind of systems HP is running now or will be moving to as two independent businesses.
Solution providers, for their part, praised HP for proactive communication, planning and project management to assure that customers will not be impacted by the system cutover.
Mike Strohl, the CEO of Concord, Calif.-based Entisys, No. 227 on the CRN 2015 Solution Provider 500, said he sees the HP cutover as an opportunity to get closer to customers for planned HP purchases. "We are communicating with our customers and making sure they are successful with anything they need," he said. "It's really not a big deal. You are talking about a very small period of time."
The odds of a customer needing a custom configuration overnight that could be affected during that six-day period are "one in 100,000," said Strohl.
"We're communicating with customers on this," he said. "The possibility of HP or a partner losing business from this is one in 100 million. If you do this right, it is a big opportunity to get even closer to your customers and HP. It is all about communication in this business."
Kelly Ireland, founder and CEO of Orange, Calif.-based CB Technologies, an HP Platinum partner doing business with both HP's enterprise and PC business, praised HP for going above and beyond all measures to assure a successful split into two companies.
"We see everything going smoothly," she said. "HP is on top of this. We have had HP communicating with us on this for months. Everything has been laid out and well-planned. We have communicated with our customers to make sure they know the situation. As long as you communicate proactively, customers are fine with this. It's all about good planning."
Brian Davis, senior vice president of U.S. product marketing at Tech Data, one of HP's distribution partners, said the distributor has stocked up on standard HP SKUs to ensure there are no issues during the cutover.
"I see very little disruption with the standard stocking products," he said. "We have been in communication with HP, and we have that all very well planned out with additional inventory to support the transition time frame. Whether that is a[n HP] Smart Buy [pre-configured system] or printer, it has all been very well planned out."
Tech Data has also worked proactively with solution providers to assure that Configure to Order (CTO) products -- including enterprise storage and data center offerings -- are delivered in a timely manner.
"Our [CTO] pipeline at this point in the quarter is larger than it has been in the past [for HP]," said Davis. "The message has gotten out that with the operational split, partners need to get those orders into the system. The role that we can play as the distribution partner is to ensure the support is there to get the configuration completed in the right amount of time. That is not really any different than the traditional role we play at the end of any quarter."
Davis praised HP for its aggressive project management with its partners to assure the split goes off without a hitch. "Kudos to HP for making sure the planning and the project management to deal with the split was in place," he said. "We have had a team on a multinational basis collaborating and working with HP not just on programmatic changes but more importantly the system changes and the EDI connections that are going to have to be repurposed as HP splits into two different organizations."
PUBLISHED JULY 8, 2015