Partners: HP Security Unit Channel Changes Are Opening Door To Big Sales Gains

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Security solution providers said major account changes are setting the stage for dramatic sales gains for Hewlett-Packard's robust enterprise security product portfolio.

Partners said they are seeing an increased sales pipeline as a result of a market-rattling channel shift that moves 4,500 top accounts that were once considered the province of HP's direct sales team to a 100 percent channel sales model. In addition, HP Security is no longer retiring the quota on services for its direct sales reps.  

The HP channel changes, which went into effect Nov. 1, are expected to add more than  $30 million in sales to HP security partners.

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Steve Barone, CEO for Creative Breakthroughs Inc. (CBI), an IT risk management company and top security solution provider headquartered in Troy, Mich., said the HP changes have driven a whopping 20 times increase in his company's HP sales pipeline. He expects that pipeline to translate into five times sales growth in CBI's HP security business in 2015, putting HP at the end of this year as his company's second-biggest vendor.

"It's a big breakthrough," said Barone. "You now have 4,500 customers moving from named accounts to 100 percent through the channel. We feel really good about it. HP's enterprise security team is directly aligned with us."

CBI is finding success selling HP ArcSight, a security information and event management offering, as a managed service with consultants that have deep expertise in tapping the full potential of the product. The HP security portfolio also includes TippingPoint, an intrusion-prevention product; Fortify, an application security product; and Atalla, a cloud encryption product.

Barone credited the HP channel shift to a talented "channel-friendly" group of senior executives at the top of the organization, including HP Security Enterprise Products Senior Vice President Art Gilliland and Americas Vice President of Security Sales Sean Foster. "What I see is some really strong executives at the top doing a good job of reinventing," said Barone. "I am looking forward to the next round of revisions."

In one case, HP teamed with CBI on ArcSight as a service deal that in the past would have been lost as a result of HP pitching it as a straight ArcSight license deal, said HP's Foster. "We are changing the way we think about solving problems for customers as opposed to just slamming deals down," he said.

ReliaQuest, a Tampa, Fla.-based security solution provider, has seen its HP security sales pipeline grow sixfold to about $6 million as a result of the channel changes, said Brian Murphy, president and CEO of ReliaQuest, which offers an HP ArcSight co-managed security service. "This is a big deal for us," he said. "It has lit a fire under our relationship with HP. We have 20 openings right now with the growth we are seeing  with HP."

Murphy attributes his increased HP sales pipeline to much stronger collaboration with HP sales reps, along with new lines of communication to HP marketing teams, lead-generation platforms and co-branding. "We are getting really good at going into accounts together," Murphy said. "That is a major culture change for HP. You are seeing some really cool relationships being built between our guys and the HP guys."

Murphy credited not only HP's senior leadership team, but also Glenn Ewing, ReliaQuest's HP partner sales rep. "Glenn as our day-to-day contact is unbelievable," said Murphy. "He has been super-responsive, on top of it. He has been our champion within HP, talking to their reps about what we can do and helping us navigate through the HP universe."

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