HP To Expand Storage Leadership Council Conferences

The company plans to expand its Storage Leadership Council conference series next year to include a larger number of channel partners and customers, said Marty Kaye White, HP&'s program manager for the event. The conferences are designed to promote interaction between the Palo Alto, Calif.-based and select solution providers and end users as well as bring upcoming products and programs to light and get feedback on those plans.

The series will include two executive-level meetings and four technical forums. No date or location information was yet available.

Only a limited number of partners and customers will be invited to the executive meetings. Solution providers must be nominated by the partner community to attend, White said.

The technical forums, however, will be open to data center managers and the solution providers who work with them, she said. To be eligible, they must be nominated by their HP client business manager.

Sponsored post

At the most recent executive conference, held last week in Colorado Springs, Colo., about 20 HP solution providers and some top end users held separate meetings to discuss issues and give feedback on HP's product and program plans.

Rich Baldwin, president and CEO of Nth Generation, a San Diego-based solution provider who attended the conference, called it a "really good" meeting. "It was well-balanced," he said. "We got a lot of interaction with other partners. HP surveyed the group on new products, and it looks like the feedback will have a significant impact on product development and marketing."

A lot of partner-to-partner interaction also occurred at the meeting, Baldwin said. "It lets us compare notes," he said. "That's a good reason to come to these meetings."

At the meeting, HP and its solution providers looked at the vendor&'s grid storage strategy, its new WAN accelerator product and issues related to data protection and the array and NAS businesses, White said. They also discussed storage management directions, including System Insight Manager and Storage Essentials, she said.

Other areas of discussion focused on channel-specific issues such as HP services, the company's go-to-market strategy and its competition, White added. "It was all very forward-looking," she said.