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HP Partners: Lores Is A Channel Champion

‘Lores is really is down-to-earth, very friendly. And he's big on HP. You'd expect that about a new CEO. But you can't spend 30 years at HP without getting it into your blood. He believes in HP at the DNA level of his being,’ says Andy Jones, CEO of MCPc.

HP Inc. channel partners are looking forward to working with the company's incoming CEO, Enrique Lores, given his deep understanding not only of the company's technology but also how it impacts channel business, especially in terms of recurring revenue.

Channel partners who talked with CRN following the news that Lores will take over as HP CEO in November after current CEO Dion Weisler steps down due to family reasons said Lores has a deep understanding of the channel.

Partners also said they believe Lores, who until Nov. 1 will continue to serve as president of Imaging, Printing and Solutions at HP, will continue the legacy that Weisler will leave when he departs.

[Related: 5 Things To Know About HP's Next CEO, Enrique Lores]

Matt Schotten, vice president of the managed print services business at ImageNet Consulting, an Oklahoma City, Okla.-based MSP, said that he was at a recent HP A3 council roundtable with several of his peers and HP channel leaders as well as Lores.

"Lores absolutely was in tune with what we do, with the contractual motion, and what's important to channel partners," Schotten told CRN. "The A3 channel is not the biggest part of HP's business, but it’s the most profitable. It's very contractual, and it's growing."  

Lores has helped make HP a disruptive business with its investment in Samsung's printer business and the development of a new Premier partner level for partners like ImageNet with a big focus on the A3 managed print business, Schotten said.

"The print services business is growing faster than the industry as a whole, and it's important to us as a way to get the resources to grow into other areas like 3-D printing and Device as a Service," he said. "I feel that if HP continues to invest in innovation here, it can continue to take market share and also use it to invest in new growth areas like 3-D and DaaS."

Brett Bailey, vice president of WBM Technologies, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based MSP whose major focus is the print services market, has also met with Lores and expects a lot of enthusiasm from channel partners on his appointment to lead HP.  

"Lores brings tenure and proven experience at HP," Bailey told CRN. "And he presided over important elements of HP, including the split and the evolution of its print business. So we're seeing a level of consistency combined with forward thinking. It's very exciting."

During his meeting with Lores, Bailey said Lores was extremely interested in the MSP's business.  

"I feel he's very connected to and understanding of the experience part of HP's technology," he said. "Print is not going away. It's becoming very personal. The projects we're working on today are less focused on the technology and more on the personal experience. These projects are not always as tech-centric as they are people-centric. There is an opportunity for MSPs to have an impact like never before. And Lores' focus is very much in line with this trend."

Jim Sullivan, CEO of NWN, a Waltham, Mass.-based MSP with a large focus on delivering Device as a Service in concert with HP, told CRN Lores has always been a big proponent of HP's partner community and of NWN.

"We welcome him to the overall HP business," he said. "He has very strong expertise, and is very strong in the channel."  

NWN has been leading its business with Device as a Service, with one customer, the state of California, now working with over 200,000 endpoints managed by the MSP, Sullivan said.

"We've been layering on security and analytics, and developing solutions and rolling them out with HP," he said. "We look forward to working more closely with Lores. We've been really happy with HP as a partner. In September, we will be launching a wide range of new offerings developed with HP. HP has been a great partner with customer access, support and go-to-market activities. And Enrique's coming into the role with all his experience will accelerate this."

Lores is an absolutely genuine person, said Andy Jones, CEO of MCPc, a Cleveland-based solution provider and HP Device-as-a-Service channel partner.

"A lot of people get that description," Jones told CRN. "But he really is down-to-earth, very friendly. And he's big on HP. You'd expect that about a new CEO. But you can't spend 30 years at HP without getting it into your blood. He believes in HP at the DNA level of his being."  

HP has proven to be serious about the Print-as-a-Service and Device-as-a-Service models, Jones said. "And Lores gets that model and how to think about it," he said. "If anything, he and his team have been coming up with new ways to offer that to the market."

While HP channel partners are looking forward to working with Lores, they are also sad to see Weisler leave.  

Schotten said he got to know Weisler well over the past few years.

"In every meeting I had with him, he put family and people at the front," he said. "In every meeting, he started by asking 'How's your family?' and 'How are your daughters?' Sometimes talking about family seemed to take half the meeting. It speaks to what kind of person he is."  

Jones said he loved everything Weisler and his team did in the transformation of HP.

"A year ago, I commented in CRN about HP getting its swagger back," he said. "Dion, and Enrique, really brought HP back. And I don't think that will change under Enrique."

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