Whitman To Partners: I'll Make Sure Channel Thrives With HP Split

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman said she personally will "make sure" partners continue to thrive after the split of the company into two new $57 billion Fortune 50 companies next year.

"I am confident that our terrific partner community will continue to thrive in this new world order," said Whitman speaking in a live partner webcast from HP's Discover conference in Barcelona, Spain. "I will make sure of it."

Whitman, who will retain a hand in both companies as president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and as Nonexecutive Chairman of HP Inc. board of directors, said that at the core of the two new companies will remain a "deep commitment" to partners, "joint customers" and technology innovation.

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The HP split, which is scheduled to take place Nov. 1, 2015, will result in the creation of an enterprise computing business under the name Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and a personal systems and printing business known as HP Inc.

Whitman stressed the split will accelerate her five-year HP turnaround plan, which is entering its fourth fiscal year. "As we enter the next phase of our turnaround, we are putting our foot on the gas and accelerating the progress we have made," she said.

Whtiman said the separation is the "right next step in the great story" of HP as the legendary company that established Silicon Valley as the birthplace of technology innovation.

Heralding HP's rich 75-year legacy as a Silicon Valley innovator that began in HP Co-Founder David Packard's one-car garage on Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, Calif., Whitman said next year,"You can think of HP in a two-car garage. Behind each garage door we will be creating, innovating, iterating and setting you up to excel in the dynamic and changing world of IT."

Whitman's live broadcast came as HP showed more signs of an innovation renaissance with the announcement at the show of a number of breakthrough products. Among the new offerings are what HP is calling the world's thinnest and lightest notebook, the EliteBook Folio 1020 Special Edition and the new x86 HP Integrity Superdome X product that partners expect to give HP a bigger share of the Linux based scientific and engineering computing market.

"Innovation is alive and well at HP, and I expect our pace will only accelerate as we move into 2015," said Whitman, noting the company upped R&D spending by 10 percent in the last fiscal year.

NEXT: Whitman Congratulates Several HP Partners On Big Wins

Whitman also singled out significant wins by HP partners Experis Technology Group, Accenture and Daley Computers.

Experis, Whitman said, recently won a large deal with AOC Solutions that included 3PAR storage, C7000 Blade Systems and the HP Data Protector. "What is incredible about this deal is that within the next year all of the customer's current on site systems will be replaced with 3Par Storage and HP Blades," said Whitman. "Amazing job!"

Accenture, meanwhile, recently closed a deal to provide an enterprise ready private cloud solution with a major US manufacturing client. "The solution combines Accenture's transformation capability outcomes with HP CloudSystem and related hardware, HP Helion, HP Software and professional services," said Whitman. "This is the first deal closed for our joint initiative in Q4. Nice work team!"

Finally, Whitman congratulated Daly Computers Inc, a Clarksburg, Maryland HP partner that added HP EliteBook Revolve products to a long term managed print services contract with Baltimore County Public Schools.

"These are truly outstanding wins that demonstrate the power of the partnership and the success that can come from laser focus and tight collaboration," said Whitman. "So thank you again to all the partners for your standout work."

Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, No. 234 on the CRN Solution Provider 500 list, praised Whitman for her personal commitment to the channel and significant investments in the channel over the last several years.

Venero said he has seen solid channel effort from Printing and Personal Systems under the leadership of HP PPS Vice President Americas Channel Sales Scott Dunsire, but a more spotty channel effort from the HP Enterprise Group.

"Our HP PPS business has consistently grown and that it is tied to the stability, strength and direction of the PPS channel organization, whereas we have struggled with consistency in the HP enterprise space where we have seen a lot of field rep channel turnover and channel conflict over the last 24 months."

Venero said HP has to be careful that during the split it does not let investor pressure "derail the channel progress" that it has made over the last several years.

Jed Ayres, chief marketing officer for MCPc, the $262 million Cleveland-based national solution provider ranked No. 89 on the CRN Solution Provider 500 list, praised Whitman for transforming HP into a much more partner centric company.

"She has made it personal in the sense that she has assigned people on her staff as executive sponsors for partners," Ayres said, referring to an executive sponsorship program that has HP top executives teaming with partners in the sales trenches to grow sales.

"Meg and her team are making sure the local field teams embrace and leverage the channel at the last mile in the field," said Ayres. "They are mandating partner engagement and building robust business plans with partners from the bottom up, mapping accounts and building deep relationships with us in the field at every level. That is where the magic happens."