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HP GM: HP Remains Committed To PC Business

HP's Stephen DiFranco says solution providers can feel comfortable and confident selling products from the company's Personal Systems Group organization.

New Hewlett Packard Personal Systems Group Senior Vice President and General Manager Stephen DiFranco Monday reached out to partners assuring them that the $126 billion technology giant remains committed to the "health and growth of its PC business."

In an email sent to thousands of partners in the U.S. and Canada, DiFranco explained the HP board's decision to "evaluate strategic alternatives" for the PSG business is "not an announcement of a shutdown" of the $42 billion business.

"You can absolutely continue to feel comfortable and confident in selling HP just as you always have despite the confusion you might be hearing from our competition," asserted DiFranco, who was promoted to head up the PSG Americas business just six weeks ago. DiFranco, formerly HP's channel chief, is also continuing to oversee the HP channel business until a new head of the company's Solution Partners Organization is named.

"I can tell you on behalf of Todd Bradley (Executive Vice President of HP's PSG group) and the entire HP leadership team that HP remains committed – now more than ever – to the health and growth of its PC business," DiFranco wrote. "We also remain deeply committed to our channel partners, who, as an extension of our HP organization, will continue to play a critical and strategic role in our PC business now and in the future. That will not change during this period of transformation."

HP also developed a letter that partners can send to their customers and announced plans to post additional materials to the HP Partner Portal in the days ahead "to leverage with customers as well as internally with your organization."

NEXT: HP Communicates Changes in Personal Systems Group, PC Business


The form email that HP provided partners features a reassuring tone and emphasizes strong support from HP's leadership in the PC business. The email states:

"Having now heard directly from Todd Bradley and other members of HP’s senior leadership team, I can tell you that HP remains committed – now more than ever – to driving growth of its PC business. A $42 billion business, PSG is the largest PC business in the world with #1 market share and profitability in the PC industry worldwide.

"HP is not taking its foot off the pedal now and will continue to drive leading innovation across its PC portfolio moving forward. You also can expect HP to continue the company’s strong and solid history of taking care of you, its valued customer. You should absolutely feel comfortable and confident in buying HP just as you always have, despite the confusion HP’s competitors might be stirring."

HP solution provider partners said they were shocked by last Thursday's news that its board of directors had "authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives" for PSG business. That includes looking at a broad range of options including "a full or partial separation of PSG from HP through a spin-off or other transaction."

At the same time, HP announced that it plans to discontinue operations for webOS devices including its eagerly awaited Touchpad tablet and webOS smartphones. PSG plans to "wind down webOS device operations" during the fourth quarter, said DiFranco.

"While our team created a well-respected software platform, and HP sees long term promise and value for you from the webOS operation system and the ecosystem around it, webOS devices did not gain market traction as we had hoped," wrote DiFranco. "The significant burden to HP's business to invest for scale in the business underscored the depths of the challenges for webOS."

"For some of you that had begun building mobility practices, I realize this decision raises many questions for you," said DiFranco. "Please know that we are committed to addressing those questions and helping you during this period of transition."

HP's "leadership team remain committed" to the PC business and the products it sells, and most importantly to you, our valued channel partner," said DiFranco. "I look forward to traveling on this journey with you and will continue to keep an open dialogue with you along the way. In the meantime, I encourage you to reach out to me and the other channel leaders with any questions. "

NEXT: DiFranco's Full Letter To Partners On 'PSG Transformation'


Below is the full email from DiFranco to partners:

I wanted to reach out to you regarding the significant announcements made by HP this week. Included among them was the HP board’s decision to evaluate strategic alternatives for the Personal Systems Group business, not an announcement of a shutdown of HP’s PC business.

I can tell you on behalf of Todd Bradley and the entire HP leadership team that HP remains committed – now more than ever – to the health and growth of its PC business. We also remain deeply committed to our channel partners, who, as an extension of our HP organization, will continue to play a critical and strategic role in our PC business now and in the future. That will not change during this period of transformation.

At $42 billion and growing, it is the largest PC business in the world with #1 market share and profitability worldwide. We are not taking our foot off the pedal now and will continue to drive leading innovation across our PC portfolio now and in the future. We also will continue HP’s strong and solid history of taking care of you and your customers. You can absolutely continue to feel comfortable and confident in selling HP just as you always have despite the confusion you might be hearing from our competition.

As you also heard this week, we have made the tough but necessary decision to discontinue the device operations of the webOS business group. While our team created a well-respected software platform, and HP sees long term promise and value for you from the webOS operation system and the ecosystem around it, webOS devices did not gain market traction as we had hoped. The significant burden to HP's business to invest for scale in the business underscored the depths of the challenges for webOS. We will wind down webOS device operations during Q4 of 2011.

For some of you that had begun building mobility practices, I realize this decision raises many questions for you. Please know that we are committed to addressing those questions and helping you during this period of transition.

In an effort to enable you to provide immediate communication out to your customers, we have developed the attached letter. We also will be posting additional materials to the HP Partner Portal in the days ahead for you to leverage with customers as well as internally within your organization.

I would like to reinforce that Todd along with HP’s leadership team remain committed to its PC business and the products it sells, and most importantly to you, our valued channel partner. I look forward to traveling on this journey with you and will continue to keep an open dialogue with you along the way. In the meantime, I encourage you to reach out to me and the other channel leaders with any questions.

Thank you for your valued partnership and let’s get back to selling together!

Best,

SDF

Stephen DiFranco

Senior Vice President and General Manager

Personal Systems Group - Americas

sdf@hp.com

@SDFatHP - Twitter

NEXT: HP's Form Letter For Partners On The Future of PSG


Below is the Attached Partner Letter For Partners To Use To Communicate With Their Customers Regarding HP's Commitment to the PC business.

Dear [CUSTOMER NAME],

I wanted to reach out to you regarding the recent announcements made by HP. As a committed HP Partner, [PARTNER NAME] is dedicated to helping you understand the meaning and impact of these changes to you, our valued customer.

Included among yesterday’s announcements was the HP board’s decision to evaluate strategic alternatives for the Personal Systems Group business. Although these may include a range of options, this was not an announcement of a shutdown of the company’s PC business.

Having now heard directly from Todd Bradley and other members of HP’s senior leadership team, I can tell you that HP remains committed – now more than ever – to driving growth of its PC business. A $42 billion business, PSG is the largest PC business in the world with #1 market share and profitability in the PC industry worldwide.

HP is not taking its foot off the pedal now and will continue to drive leading innovation across its PC portfolio moving forward. You also can expect HP to continue the company’s strong and solid history of taking care of you, its valued customer. You should absolutely feel comfortable and confident in buying HP just as you always have, despite the confusion HP’s competitors might be stirring.

While there is uncertainty with change, I can tell you that I remain committed to HP and their products, and look forward to traveling on this journey with them. I also can tell you that I remain committed to you and will continue to keep an open dialogue with you as we identify the best technology solutions to help you run and manage your business. I encourage you to reach out to me with any questions.

Regards,

[PARTNER NAME]

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