Weisler: Now Is Time For Partners To Provide Device-As-A-Service From 'Birth To Burial' In An On-Demand World

HP CEO Dion Weisler Tuesday rallied 1,300 partners to step up to the dramatic shift from transactional sales to an on-demand service economy with Device-as-a-Service offerings that take customers from "birth to burial."

"For partners, this is a digital transformation opportunity where you can provide managed services for the device from birth to burial, all the while generating recurring revenue and improving the end user experience," Weisler told partners in a keynote address at HP's Reinvent World Partner Forum 2017 in Chicago. "Businesses are at an inflection point and our opportunity is to help them optimize their operations and their investments."

In fact, Weisler said the channel has to step up and build "stronger muscle" in the as-a-service economy. "What started out as groceries and razors delivered to your door has now become a full-blown service economy," he said. "It is no longer about buying and selling boxes. It is about improving the end user outcomes and having experience-centric solutions that provide the customer what they want exactly when, where and how they need it."

[Related: HP Personal Systems President Ron Coughlin On Gaining Share From Apple, The $60B Device-As-A-Service Opportunity, And The Office Of The Future]

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The contractual Device-as-a-Service model is accelerating at a breakneck pace, said Weisler. "Service-led business models like HP's Device-as-a-Service is allowing customers to reduce costs, shift Capex to Opex and have the flexibility to scale, all customized to the customer's specific needs."

HP used the partner conference to kick its device as a service offering into high gear with the launch of three new formal plans aimed at accelerating the adoption of multi-year device as a service deals.

The new plans - simplified, enhanced and premium – include "proactive" analytics and management and even a new artificial intelligence based solution recommendation tool aimed at preventing downtime and increasing worker productivity.

All three plans include proactive management and analytics from an HP developed DaaS analytics platform, but as customers move higher up the stack there will be more proactive management functionality. HP Is also providing the Device-as-a-Service across any competitive devices and even operating system support for the likes of Android and Apple iOS.

HP is working closely with its partner advisory boards to offer different business models for the on-demand Device-as-a-Service economy, said Weisler. "The channel partners that lean into that change, that understand where the market is going and really understand the way the omni-channel is impacting the marketplace will really be the ones that prepare themselves well for the future," he said.

HP Personal Systems President Ron Coughlin, for his part, said there are partners that are moving aggressively and driving significant Device-as-a-Service deals even now. "It is more of an insights-based approach to how we sell rather than just meeting a [Request For Quote]," he said. "It is reshaping the business to an office/worker of the future. The folks that are doing this are winning right now…There are partners that have this story down, and they are killing it."

Among the partners that have scored significant Device-as-a-Service wins are NWN, Accenture, TCS, DXC, Wipro, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dinatech, Landcape Printing Systems Limited and OGA Group, he said.

Device-as-a-Service is expected to be a more than $10 billion market opportunity by 2022, said Coughlin. "We are bringing significant automation and significant customization to how Device-as-a-Service works," he said. "What you are seeing is a huge pain point across multiple operating systems and device types, and nobody is coming in to solve that problem. IT [departments] are being handed that mess, and what we are saying is we are going to help them manage that entire device and operating system ecosystem."

Weisler, who started his career as a reseller and worked in distribution for a time, said he expects the "vast majority" of partners will make the on-demand shift with HP. "They are the most resourceful and adaptive group," he said. "I believe in the channel and in their ability to adapt. As long as you are communicating well, articulating what you are doing, saying where you are going to invest, then they have choices to make," he said. "They can decide to put their dollar down on us or somebody else."

Partners, for their part, said they see a significant Device-as-a-Service opportunity working with HP.

Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, No. 119 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, said he is interested to dig into the HP Device-as-a-Service offering. "HP is focusing on that a lot, saying channel, channel, channel," said Venero. "That channel commitment and what the branding and go-to-market looks like is going to be key."

Venero said he wants to understand the go-to-market model around Device-as-a-Service and what protections are there to support partners in the field.

Venero, whose HP business is up double digits, said he sees a lot of growth potential for HP into the future. He praised Weisler and the HP team for delivering a vision of growth for partners focusing on the future. "That is really smart," said Venero."They have their hands on the pulse of that next-generation workforce."