Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Whitman To Ring The NYSE Bell, Ingram Micro CEO To Join Her

When CEO Meg Whitman debuts the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise this morning, ringing the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange to launch the HPE ticker symbol, there will be customers and partners on the podium, including Ingram Micro CEO Alain Monie.

The decision to include partners is designed to showcase the company's commitment to the channel as it embarks on a new journey with them as Hewlett Packard Enterprise is officially launched.

Whitman told CRN in an exclusive interview last week that the partner call to action is to go after the robust enterprise market opportunity hand-in-hand with Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

[Related: New Chapter For A Silicon Valley Crown Jewel: Hewlett-Packard Becomes HP Inc. And Hewlett Packard Enterprise]

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"We have a lot of energy behind this new company, and we'd like the partners and solution providers to have a lot of energy behind this company," she said. "There is a lot of opportunity in the market. The business is changing, as all the partners and disties that I talk to know well. And so now is the opportunity to seize the moment."

Monie, who is celebrating the Hewlett Packard Enterprise launch in New York and then flying back to Silicon Valley to celebrate the HP Inc. launch with a dinner with HP Inc. CEO Dion Weisler, said it is a "great honor" to be part of the historic occasion.

"HP has been one of the great companies in IT in the world for many years and this is a new page, a new chapter," he said. "This is a courageous move, but it is the right move. The dynamics of those two businesses are very different."

Ingram Micro is the largest global partner for both Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. with about 14 percent of its annual $46.5 billion in sales attributed to the two new independent Fortune 50 companies.

Monie sees the split as an important move for both companies to drive more innovation in their respective markets. "It is going to allow both sides of the house to really focus on their own growth, their own product set, their own leadership on the technology front," he said

Monie credits Whitman with bringing back the focus on innovation at both companies in a return of sorts to the entrepreneurial fire that drove company founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. "Over the past four years, HP is coming back and understanding again that it is absolutely crucial to have leadership in technology," he said. "Their job is to create the products and the future. I like that they are refocusing on that. I am seeing that coming back."

As Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. step up the pace of innovation, Monie expects both companies to rely even more heavily on the channel going forward. "I am convinced embracing the channel is going to be more important for them," he said.

Monie said Whitman and the HP team have not gotten the credit they deserve for pulling off the separation without any impact on the channel or customers. "That is an absolutely huge undertaking," he said. "They have not missed a beat on any front. We have not seen even a hiccup. It is a tremendous achievement which people don't recognize. It is a lot more difficult to split a company in two than it is to merge two organizations."

Besides Monie, also joining Whitman on the NYSE podium for the opening bell will be members of the Hewlett Packard Enterprise team including Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Henry Gomez, Chief Operating Officer Chris Hsu, CFO Tim Stonesifer and Chief Customer Officer John Hinshaw.

Dan Molina, CTO of Nth Generation Computing, one of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's top partners and No. 300 on the 2015 CRN Solution Provider 500 list, said he sees the formal launch of the company as a call to action for channel partners to drive more focus around the four principle Hewlett Packard Enterprise market segments: hybrid infrastructure transformation, security, big data analytics and workplace productivity.

"These are the four main buckets we are driving, and we like that the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise is focusing on those four transformational areas in a much more laser-focused way that will combine software and the infrastructure they have been leaders in for many years," he said.

One growth market Hewlett Packard Enterprise is sure to benefit from with partners like Nth Generation, said Molina, is hyper-converged infrastructure. "By 2020, the vast majority of workloads will be on hyper-converged architecture," he said.

Whitman, for her part, is also using the split as a call to action for partners to drive sales growth. "We think that Hewlett Packard Enterprise has the best solutions across the most important categories for our partners' customers," she told CRN. "No time like the present to grow your business if you are a partner or a distributor and no time to waste in terms of making more money."