HP Set To Pioneer Device As A Service Offering For Channel Partners

HP is seeing hundreds of millions of dollars in sales pipeline for device as a service and is pulling together a channel offering to capitalize on the growing market opportunity.

Ron Coughlin, president of HP's personal systems business, said in an interview with CRN that more than 40 percent of companies are actively considering moving to device as a service.

"We see it as a tremendous opportunity, and in fact, the demand is ahead of what we expected at this stage, and we are building capability to catch up with that," he said. "Device as a service is scaling rapidly."

[Related: CEO Weisler On HP's 'Big Strategic Change,' Device As A Service Pipeline And New Product Innovation]

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The device as a service contractual relationship allows customers struggling to manage the wide range of devices being used by employees to move to a single subscription contract with monthly payments for devices based on the number of users in an organization.

Unlike HP managed print services, which started as a direct sales offering, HP device as a service is being built from the ground up as a channel program, said Coughlin. "We see the primary play here as through the channel," he said.

Coughlin and his team, in fact, were meeting with channel partners at the first ever Americas Executive Commercial Forum at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix this week to develop the device as a service channel program.

Bill Avey, the worldwide vice president and general manager of support services at HP who developed HP's managed print services offering, is leading the device as a service offensive.

Coughlin encouraged partners to work directly with HP to develop the program. "Engage now because we are still shaping the program," he said. "Partners get to shape what it looks like."

Coughlin also urged partners to start discussing device as a service contractual relationships with customers and to work with HP to close those deals now. "We have solutions today," he said.

In fact, HP has already won device as a service deals with a number of companies including Siemens and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

HP will have a flexible device as a service offering with a "menu approach" that allows partners to customize the program, said Coughlin. "Some might take the HP offer top to bottom, similar to channel [managed print services] and others might take a piece of the HP offering and marry it with their own," he said.

The device as a service includes everything from mobile devices and tablets to PCs to workstation and retail point-of-sale systems.

The HP device as a service initiative opens the door for partners to layer on significant value-added services including analytics around the devices, said Michael Park, HP vice president and general manager of mobility. "We are creating an entirely new market segment," he said.

The device as a service offering is being welcomed by IT departments, which are increasingly focused on strategic business priorities rather than device and support management.

Kelly Ireland, founder and CEO of Orange, Calif.-based CB Technologies, an HP Platinum partner ranked No. 258 on the CRN 2015 Solution Provider 500, said she sees device as a service as another big growth opportunity for HP partners. "The key to success will be how easy it is to deploy," she said. "If they set it up so it is simple and easy like managed print services, then it is going to be huge."

CB Technologies made the shift to long-term, contractual relationships versus transactional deals several years ago, said Ireland, and is reaping the benefits of that change. "The vast majority of our growth is contractual managed services solutions," she said.

Ireland said she expects her HP sales to double over the next year as she commits more sales resources in the wake of the HP business model and product innovation she has seen at the Americas Executive Commercial Forum this week. "We are doing a lot of print and mobility solutions," she said.