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New HP Global Channel Chief Kobi Elbaz Aims To Accelerate Partner Engagement

Shane Snider

‘We want to be consistent with our channel partners and stable. I think the foundation is there now, and we will collaborate closer with [channel partners] to drive solutions for the customer,’ Kobi Elbaz, HP’s new global channel chief, tells CRN.

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A new global channel chief has been quietly running the show at HP Inc. since last November. The company tapped 25-year veteran executive Kobi Elbaz to lead HP’s global channel efforts, focusing his efforts on the core partner program, Amplify.

Elbaz, general manager of the global channel organization at Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP, is responsible for all channel and partner-facing engagement on a global scale for HP’s entire portfolio. Part of his responsibility will also be building and executing HP’s channel partner strategy, driving HP partner growth and managing HP sales centers globally.

Luciana Broggi, who had been more heavily focused on channel efforts in her role as head of global routes to market, is now focused on leading global sales and solutions for HP.

HP publicly disclosed Elbaz’s new role Wednesday as it revealed plans to expand its Amplify Impact program, which focuses on sustainability. Elbaz will be in charge of that initiative as well.

For Mike Turicchi, vice president at HP solution provider NCS Technologies, Gainesville, Va., new blood in the global channel chief role is a positive for channel partners. “It’s good to get a fresh perspective and direction,” Turicchi said. “I’m looking forward to working with him.”

CRN Senior Editor Joseph F. Kovar and Senior Associate Editor Shane Snider spoke to Elbaz about his plans to accelerate channel engagement under a new global channel organization.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re doing in your new role?

The vast majority of our business is done through the channel. So, we made a decision in November to see how we can accelerate our engagement with the channel and create more consistency in the way we engage. We used to have some groups working with the channel, but not under the umbrella of the channel organization. We created the global channel organization that I’m going to lead.

Prior to that, how did that work?

So before that, we used to have a global framework. … But when it came to business management, we needed some focus to vertically manage different groups in order to make sure that we scale those businesses. This is normally the way we operate. Sometimes when you try to develop new business areas, we try to make sure that they‘re focused … and when they’re mature enough, we can scale them as part of the mainstream business management to bring into the organization. So I think the way you need to look at that, we always had one framework, one global framework, we call it HP Amplify.

This is a new role at HP. Is that right?

It’s a new role in terms of making sure that we have one place for the full channel.

Why did HP wait until now to disclose your new role?

My area of focus is always more customer/partner facing. … I invested most of my time in talking to the partners, visiting partners, getting to hear from them … how we can accelerate the business together. This was my priority in terms of a real focus.

Right now, what‘s the difference in the roles between what you do and what Luciana Broggi does now?

It’s more the way we manage the business and the processes. It‘s more making sure that we are looking at that with all the different touchpoints. … And now we are making sure that new businesses that we develop in the last two years … that they mature to bring them into the mainstream. That will be under my organization.

How is the supply chain situation at HP?

What we see is overall what we see in the industry. We see increased demand across the world ... much more than what [was] anticipated. As a result of that, we see shortages in key components across the world. I think there are some areas that improved, but still the world is under constraints in many types of components. And I think the good news of that is just a reflection of how strong the demand is for solutions and for products from a customer.

What are your key initiatives for 2022?

Continue working with our channel partners. I think with what we’ve seen in the last two years and the increased demand in the hybrid workplace and hybrid solution … it‘s created what we call the digital transformation. The world accelerated in the last two years. I think our job is to continue working with our channel partners to provide solutions for the customer.

Can you give a specific example or two of a change you want to make to the program to make that happen?

We are not going to change our program. I think the program created the right foundation. That’s the beauty of working with the channel, and, for us, the key is you need to be consistent. You cannot change the program every 12 or 18 months. We want to be consistent with our channel partners, and stable. I think the foundation is there now, and we will collaborate closer with [channel partners] to drive solutions for the customer.

Learn More: HP Inc.
Shane Snider

Shane Snider is a senior associate editor covering personal computing, mobile devices, semiconductor news, hardware reviews, breaking news and live events. Shane is a veteran journalist, having worked for newspapers in upstate New York and North Carolina. He can be reached at ssnider@thechannelcompany.com.

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