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Hewlett Packard Enterprise Partners Prepping For Growth After Split

Now that Hewlett Packard has officially split in two, solution providers teaming with Hewlett Packard Enterprise are ready to capitalize on the company's new focus and start turning it into sales growth.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise channel partners have their sights set on growth in areas such as data center, storage, security and hybrid cloud now that the company is untethered from the legacy Hewlett-Packard PC and printer business.

John Monahan, vice president of sales at Convergent Technologies Group, an HPE-exclusive Platinum partner in Midlothian, Va., said his company has seen 35 percent to 40 percent growth year over year, a trend he expects to continue, if not improve, now that HP's enterprise business is its own company.

"Now [Hewlett Packard Enterprise] can focus on the enterprise and not be tied into the PC/printer business. So for exclusive resellers like ourselves, this opens the door now to focus on where the technology really needs to go," Monahan said. "Instead of a product sell, it's now a solution sell, and it lets the customers understand what HPE really can deliver [without] being tied to the stigma of the PC business," he said, adding that Convergent will team with HP Inc. as its supplier for PCs and printers.

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[Related Video: Inside The HP Inc. Partner First Program]

Monahan was among a select group of solution providers and customers who attended a launch party Monday night in New York's trendy Meatpacking District, some eight hours after Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman heralded its official debut as a separate publicly traded company by ringing the bell to open trading on the New York Stock Exchange that morning.

Whitman told CRN that ringing the bell was the highlight of her day.

"It was historic and really fun. I think it made our partners proud, it made our employees proud. It was a historic moment," Whitman said.

Whitman enjoyed the moment but didn't dwell on the celebration. She went from the party directly to the airport to catch a flight and get back to business.

"I'm going to go see partners and customers in Toronto," Whitman said when asked how she'd be spending her time Tuesday after the celebration had come to an end. "I'm flying to Toronto tonight and then I go back to my day job tomorrow."

Solution providers in attendance were happy to share in the festivities with her.

"We're here to celebrate with Meg and HPE, and we're very excited about where HPE is going," Monahan said, noting that Whitman has given partners a number of assurances that her commitment to the channel will stay strong.

"They're focused on the channel, they're focused on building up our business. They're strengthening our technology solutions, strengthening our certifications and training, so if you look at the reseller community, we're stronger than ever before, and it's because of Meg's direction and what she's investing in the channel," Convergent Technologies Group's Monahan said.

Jack Margossian, president of Comport Technology Solutions, an HPE Platinum solution provider in Ramsey, N.J., said the split of HP will open more opportunities for partners to sell solutions as Hewlett Packard Enterprise gains a stronger focus on its target market.

"This is the best it's ever been for the [HP] channel, and it can only get better. They're focused on it. They're sticking to what they build -- their technologies -- and they're relying on us to build the solutions and us to add all the value to it," Margossian said.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is making its move just as the market is in transition, he said.

"If all of the channel partners stick with what we've been doing for the last 10, 15 years, a good portion of us won't be around in another five to 10 years. I think we have to change, and I think HP is trying to change and stick with us. If we stick with them and build on what they're doing and try to expand that we'll be fine," Margossian said.

Terry Richardson, vice president and general manager of U.S. channel sales at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said solution providers will immediately benefit from the company's new focus.

"Hewlett Packard Enterprise has a very clear strategy that will be precisely articulated to the partners so they know exactly what the strategy is, where we're investing, where we're going and what's expected of them, so I think there will be greater clarity. We've narrowed the focus," Richardson said.

Partners will see a Hewlett Packard Enterprise that's "more aggressive than they've ever seen us," Richardson said.

"I think the changes that are happening in the industry, with the announced acquisition of EMC by Dell, and others, really has creating confusion in the eyes of customers and partners, and a real opportunity because the Hewlett Packard Enterprise vision is really unchanged," he said. "We will execute, we will be very aggressive and we've set our budgets to grow all of our businesses at well above market rates. We've also clarified and will continue the messaging around the portions of our business that will be 100 percent indirect, so the partners will benefit from that. Those that invest with us will see a big reward."


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