HP Aims To Extend Reseller Pacts With SHI, CDW For Public Cloud

Hewlett-Packard is in discussions to extend reseller agreements with solution provider behemoths SHI International Corp. and CDW to cover HP's public cloud offering.

The two agreements would put HP's public cloud offering into the hands of thousands of sales reps with established relationships with some of the largest enterprise accounts. CDW is No. 10 on the SP500 with $10 billion in annual sales, while SHI is No. 19 on the SP500 with $5 billion in annual sales.

Richard Place, general manager of cloud services for SHI, Somerset, N.J., said he sees the HP public cloud as a Fortune 500-class offering with the potential to reshape the cloud services marketplace.

[Related: HP Takes On VMware, Amazon With OpenStack Based CloudOS ]

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"When they enter a market, they tend to get it right," said Place of HP. "And they in essence make their own weapons so they don't have to buy products from somebody else. They make it themselves. That adds a very interesting dynamic into the marketplace. They are one of the few companies in the cloud services business that makes their own computers. I would think that is a competitive advantage.

"If HP takes advantage of that feature set they have built into their products, they should have superior manageability and security and all those things that go along with their server, storage and networking products," said Place. "That is huge. That could add a very interesting dynamic to the cloud landscape. If HP gets it right, it is going to be very interesting."

Place said he is very pleased with the profitability of the HP public cloud partner program. "We have seen HP be very aggressive with regard to their partner program," he said. "They probably have one of the most lucrative partner programs with regard to investing resources and providing assistance and training on how we go to market."

NEXT: HP Public Cloud Exec On The Benefits Of The HP Reseller Program

HP is in early phase of discussions with SHI and CDW to resell the HP public cloud service, said Janette Hausler, manager partner, marketing and market communications for HP Public Cloud Services.

Under the HP reseller program, partners like SHI and CDW would be able to do the billing and maintain the customer account relationship for the HP Public Cloud service. The program provides an "up front benefit" that provides incremental margin along with the opportunity for partners to bundle the cloud service as part of an overall service offering, said Hausler. "We recognize that this is about creating the right incentives for our partners," she said.

The HP public cloud is built on HP's own converged infrastructure with enterprise-grade security and an OpenStack foundation aimed at ensuring customers can avoid "vendor lock in," said Hausler. The HP Public Cloud offering also features phone, email and chat support 24 hour a day, seven day a week, 365 days a year.

For his part, SHI's Place, whose company offers a wide array of cloud services including its own public cloud, VMware vCloud Hybrid Service, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, said although there are a wide variety of choices for customers, he expects HP to be successful in the public cloud market.

"HP is a top-notch company," he said. "I would expect their cloud service to be top notch just like their products. They have been very, very successful. Our expectation is their cloud service is going to be successful in the marketplace."

One of the advantages of teaming with SHI, said Place, is the tight, long-term relationships its sales reps have with customers. "A lot of companies today churn their sales force," he said. "I don't understand it. We have account execs who have been covering accounts for over 17 years. Those are deep relationships. They understand how those companies work. It's a huge benefit."

Stephen Braat, senior director and general manager cloud and managed services for CDW, said in a prepared statement that the HP Public Cloud offerings expands the "breadth and depth" of CDW's offerings. "Cloud computing doesn't just change IT delivery, cloud changes how businesses use IT to drive growth and innovation," he said. "Customers engage CDW to navigate cloud adoption because they trust that we have the experience, know-how and reach to deliver IT and business outcomes. In turn, we trust partners like HP. The new HP Cloud Services partner program connects CDW to HP's Converged Cloud, expanding the breadth and depth of our offerings, and thereby enabling us to deliver enterprise-grade cloud solutions to customers."