Components & Peripherals News

Dave Shull On Why HP Partners Need to ‘Change The Dialogue’ With Customers And The ‘Astonishing’ Road Ahead

Steven Burke

New HP President of Workforce Services and Solutions Dave Shull has already met with dozens of HP partners in an open dialogue on how to structure partner compensation for partners in a “lifelong” customer relationship services model.

What kind of changes did you make to the business model and how did it impact partners when you were chief commercial officer at Dish Network?

I spent 10 years at Dish Network and Dish Network was all in on services. Everyday Dish looks at how many subscribers they have, how many of them are turning off, how many of them are coming back on and then what is the average revenue per user (RPU).

So I spent a lot of time managing the upsell, how do you get more HBO in, how do you get more Showtime in, how do you get people buying more from you?

It is a very different operating model. Most of Dishes’ business was through channel partners. So it was sitting down with thousands of channel partners around the country saying how are we going to partner with you? How do we align interests to get the right subscribers in at the right economics so that we both make money? That was kind of my introduction to the services world.

From there I went on to be the CEO of The Weather Channel, Tivo and then Poly, three very different businesses, all of which had sort of interesting challenges because they were all very established brands that had been around for 30 to 40 years. So it was all about looking at how do we take these brands and position them for a growth oriented future.

After being CEO of Poly, Tivo, and The Weather Channel, why did you take the job as president of the HP Workforce Services and Solutions business?

We sold Poly because we felt like the need for scale was tremendous. There are a series of other players in the market whether it was Cisco or Logitech, those are great companies. But being able to combine the HP scale on PCs and printers with the Poly collaboration gear in a $60 plus billion (company) is a much better scale story for our customers who range from consumers to the Global 1000. They want a complete solution. They don’t want sort of a fragmented offering. That is why the Poly board felt like it was the right strategic move to do that deal.

I took the job because it is a rare opportunity to walk into a Fortune 50 company and say: ‘We are at an inflection point. We are at an inflection point where our CEO has declared the lifetime value of the customer, the lifelong relationship with the customer is where we want to bet the future of the company.’ To make that shift from a transactional entity to one that values that lifelong relationship is a big change for a company that has 50,000 employees and $60 plus billion. I wanted to be part of that change. I wanted to be part of that vision for where we are going to go.

Steven Burke

Steve Burke has been reporting on the technology industry and sales channel for over 30 years. He is passionate about the role of partners using technology to solve business problems and has spoken at conferences on channel sales issues. He can be reached at

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