Whitman: Time Is Right For Partners To Pick HP As Primary Vendor

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman Monday told several thousand of her top partners that the time is right for them to pick HP as their primary partner in the new style IT era.

"We see many of you reevaluating your vendor strategy for this new style of IT," said Whitman in her keynote address at the company's Global Partner Conference at the MGM Grand Arena. "While we get that this doesn’t mean moving to a single vendor, it does mean that you will need to pick a primary partner as the foundation for your new style of IT strategy. This will position you to better manage the complexity of a hybrid heterogeneous world."

[Related: HP Global Partner Conference: Top 10 PartnerOne Changes To Drive Partner Profitability ]

Whitman told partners that winning in the New Style IT era means working with a vendor committed to partners to help "evolve your business to meet new customer needs and capture new profit pools."

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"No other company can provide the connective tissue for companies transitioning to the new style of IT," said Whitman interlocking her fingers to drive home the point in a call to action for partners to pick HP as their primary partner. "No other company has the strength and experience in hardware, software and services. You know what: We make it .We back it. And we service it. And we have you on our team. And that is what sets us apart."

Whitman said HP is the partner of "choice for the channel" to drive profitable growth today and into the future. "Together we will disrupt markets to create new opportunity and shift to selling business outcomes," she said.

The mood at the Partner Conference was upbeat with many partners eyeing sales growth and making deeper commitments to HP in the wake of a revamped PartnerOne program that partners are calling simpler, more predictable and more profitable.

Whitman, for her part, said a recent survey of over 1,500 partners had 90 percent of partners calling the new PartnerOne program superior. "Having worked with the channel for over two years, 90 percent of you never agree on anything," remarked Whitman.

"Strategic partners said improvement in predictability is more important while transactional partners preferred simplicity," said Whitman. "PartnerOne is both predictable and simple. The best of both worlds."

What's more, Whitman said more than 75 percent of HP Platinum partners said they plan to grow their business with HP by more than five percent in the current fiscal year. "How great is that?" asked Whitman to a round of applause.

NEXT: Partners See Big Sales Gains With HP

Partners at the show said they are seeing a resurgence in their HP business in the wake of all the changes made by Whitman and the HP management team over the last year with a renewed commitment to work with partners to drive sales growth.

"We have had an incredible 2013 with HP and 2014 looks even bigger," said Sam Haffar, president and CEO of Computex Technology Solutions, a national HP enterprise partner headquartered in Houston, Texas. "They are very committed to the channel. They are putting out great products. We are better together. That has always been the case."

Haffar said he is particularly interested in driving sales around HP ConvergedSystems which combine server, storage, networking and software with offerings as diverse as the HP ConvergedSystem 300 for Vertica for data analytics and the new HP ConvergedSystem 500 for SAP HANA.

Majdi "Mike" Daher, CEO of Denali Advanced Integration, Redmond, Wash., No. 114 on CRN's Solution Provider 500 list, said Whitman's no-nonsense message to grow profitably with HP is resonating with partners.

"What I love about Meg is it is very simple and basic: grow profitably with HP," said Daher. "I love the simplicity and clarity of her message. What I love about GPC (Global Partner Conference) this year is there is not a lot of splash. It is just here is our products and as Meg said over and over again: HP is going to invent and innovate. This is the HP we are all used to. Now let's just go sell."

Daher applauded HP for working closely with Microsoft on new bundles for partners. "The largest technology companies in the world should work together to provide solutions to customers, instead of throwing rocks at each other," he said. "That is very unique. It gives HP a different solution than what is out there. Microsoft is a great technology company that has been overlooked for a long time."

Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and long-time HP partner, said Whitman's New Style IT innovation is resulting in big sales gains for Nth Generation.

"Our business in the first couple of months of this year is up 69 percent," said Baldwin. "That is the best start to the year we have had in 23 years. It's the new Style of IT."

Baldwin said HP Vertica data analytics and HP Autonomy big data software is critical to success in the future. One deal that Nth Generation is working on is a big data solution for a school district with 650,000 students. "It is opening the door to huge new opportunities," said Baldwin of HP's software portfolio.