HPE Global Channel Chief: Simplicity Is Making It Easier For Partners To Drive Sales Growth

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Global Channel Chief Denzil Samuels is stepping up the company's "partner-first" game with a new initiative aimed at driving Silver tier partner sales growth.

Samuels, who will host his first Discover and Partner Summit since taking the top global channel job five months ago, said the Silver-level changes are part of an ambitious bid to "scale" the HPE Silver tier channel business.

"We are going to make it simpler for Silver partners to join our ecosystem," said Samuels. "We are not just focusing on Platinum. We are embracing Silver partners because we need that scale. We're going to make it simpler to embrace all the various categories of partners that play in that market. We are going to make it simpler for them to grow their business and drive greater profits for themselves." Distributors will play a key role, making it "easier" for partners to achieve Silver-level training and enablement centered on HPE product knowledge and vertical market expertise, said Samuels.

[HPE Discover Coverage 2017]

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Among the changes are a Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA) "Double Down With Silver" program that provides incentives for partners to obtain a second Silver specialization. The Silver-level campaign comes amid a massive SMB channel offensive including the recent acquisitions of SimpliVity and Nimble Storage — 100 percent channel model companies — that have significantly expanded the total addressable market for partners. The software-defined infrastructure portfolio that HPE has pulled together plays not just to "big corporations, but to the SMB," said Samuels. "They want simplicity. They want to be up and running fast."

In addition to the Silver-level expansion, Samuels is readying an initiative aimed at allowing HPE partners to private-label services from HPE's Pointnext services unit. He is working closely with Ana Pinczuk, who joined HPE just four months ago as the head of HPE Pointnext, to drive a tighter link between Pointnext and HPE partners.

"We've got a real fresh view on how we are going to take services to market," promised Samuels. "Why wouldn't the channel actually brand some of our services? Why wouldn't we make it easier and easier for them to enjoy services success because that is also going to drive growth."

Kelly Ireland, founder and CEO of Orange, Calif.-based CB Technologies, an HPE Platinum partner, said Samuels already has had a big impact in the field. "Denzil understands the need for solutions and an ecosystem of partners," she said. "He understands the importance of partners that can sell solutions." Ireland said she has seen first-hand the impact Samuels has had working with HPE Vice President of Enterprise Accounts Dan Belanger to make a difference in field engagement.

Samuels, for his part, said HPE is helping partners on all fronts be more successful in the cloud era with new channel models that are redefining the partner landscape. "Digital transformation is driving a whole new set of business models," said Samuels. "Different partners are making money in different ways and we are helping partners with that, whether it is new consumption models or branding services."

Samuels said he considers Flexible Capacity — which drives public cloud economics for partners and customers — a "secret weapon" that is paying off in longer-lasting "stickier relationships" for partners and significant sales growth for them and HPE.

"When you can provide public cloud economics to every aspect of a customer's business, it is going to result in growth," he said. "We have done a very good job of putting together a portfolio that is going to really move the needle in this new market. What we are doing now is trying to drive every growth lever we can to really get our partners to accelerate their business."