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HP Channel Chief Looks To 'Drive More Contractual Selling' With Partners

Scott Lannum, HP's general manager of Americas commercial channel sales, tells CRN that HP 'has always been a channel-first company. We plan to maintain that.'

HP Inc.'s North America Channel Chief Scott Lannum is pledging to continue the company's focus on expanding contractual services, such as managed print services and Device-as-a-Service, with its partners while also remaining committed to a “channel-first” approach overall.

In an interview with CRN, Lannum said that a top priority is "to drive more contractual selling" with partners in the coming year and beyond.

[Related: HP Touts 'Incredibly Strong Foundation' In Latest Quarterly Results]

"It's our belief that the days of selling transactionally to a customer are going to be replaced--and are in the process of being replaced--with those customized, end-to-end solutions," said Lannum, who is HP's vice president and general manager for Americas commercial channel sales. "It is a key priority for us moving forward to shift our customers from that transactional motion to a contractual relationship, on both the print and the personal system side of the house.”

Embracing managed print services has enabled solution provider ImageNet Consulting to generate above-average growth in its print business, said Pat Russell, CEO of ImageNet, which is an Oklahoma City-based premier partner of HP.

"Last year we had 10 percent growth on print--which was very exciting to us because it truly is a declining market," Russell said in an interview with CRN. "Our expectation is to do the same again this year."

ImageNet has also seen growth with HP's Device-as-a-Service offering, and a year ago, HP recognized the solution provider with its top Device-as-a-Service partner award.

Lannum has spent 12 years with HP, most recently as vice president of U.S. distribution, where he had responsibility for HP's commercial distribution partners along with the public sector channel and SMB segments. Earlier, he served as vice president of U.S. SMB sales for print and personal systems at HP.

"In the roles at HP, both of those jobs gave me tremendous visibility to the channel," Lannum said.

Prior to arriving at HP, Lannum had spent nearly five years at Lexmark--including as vice president of finance--and he has more than 25 years of experience in sales, finance, supply chain and operations overall.

Lannum was named channel chief on Nov. 1. He succeeded Stephanie Dismore, who was promoted to be managing director of HP's recently created North America segment.

Since beginning in the role, Lannum said he "wanted to make sure that we first of all understood what our partners expect from us."

"HP has always been a channel-first company. We plan to maintain that. Nearly 90 percent of our business is driven through our channel today. And I believe that gives us a lot of credibility with our partners," Lannum said. "From a priority standpoint, we want to make sure we maintain that.”

HP, he added, is "going to do that by focusing on the customer."

"The customer is always going to be the center of our go-to-market strategy. I personally believe that the customer experience is the new currency," Lannum said. "You get that by sharing and collaborating with our partners on data, and acting on that data to drive a positive customer experience. We do that on every aspect of our customer priorities. And you'll see that with our contractual space as well."

HP plans to unveil a revised partner program in May, with enhancements including a revamp in the rewards opportunities for partners, HP Chief Commercial Officer Christoph Schell said in a recent interview with CRN.

"We are always looking to enhance our programs, and we do that by listening to the partners," Lannum said. "And we also do that by looking at what we feel are forward-looking market dynamic changes.”

In terms of services, "we want to really focus on that contractual space and bringing those solutions--differentiating solutions, collaborating with our partners--for that end user," Lannum said. "That is our biggest opportunity together."

Overall, "our business is still very strong. We completed a strong 2019, and the momentum both in personal systems and our print business is maintaining itself right now. And we want to continue to see that move forward," Lannum said.

HP handily beat analyst expectations on earnings for its fiscal first quarter, ended Jan. 31, and also increased its outlook for its fiscal 2020 results.

Russell said that “from the number of times that I've talked to [Lannum] since he's been assigned, I'm very excited.”

“I really look forward to our working relationship as we progress here," Russell said. "We've had a lot of success with HP. I really like our relationship with them. And I truly expect that will continue with Scott."

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