Channel Exec: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Will Be 'More Aggressive Than They've Ever Seen Us'

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Hits The Main Stage

CRN Monday night caught up with Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Terry Richardson at the end of the company's first day as an independent publicly traded entity and the subsequent celebration with partners and customers at the launch event in New York. Richardson, vice president and general manager of U.S. channel sales, spoke about the immediate benefits solution providers will see from the HP split, the impact coming layoffs will have on Hewlett Packard Enterprise's channel team, market uncertainty created by the impending Dell-EMC acquisition, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise's aggressive stance toward seizing market opportunity.

What will the channel most immediately see as a benefit of the split out from Hewlett-Packard?

I think you're going to see clarity of focus. Hewlett Packard Enterprise has a very clear strategy that will be precisely articulated to the partners so they know exactly what the strategy is, where we're investing, where we're going and what's expected of them, so I think there will be greater clarity. We've narrowed the focus.

Will there be big changes to the channel program itself?

No, we've already announced the program for this current fiscal year, so no changes to the core program from what we said, so we're staying the course. Much like our strategy under [Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO] Meg [Whitman], we've been consistent, the program is staying consistent and we'll just continue to look for ways to make it better and better.

What about personnel changes? I know there will be some layoffs. Will partners see a lot of changes in the field or changes to channel management?

I don't expect so. We're very focused on the business that we have. We've been investing on the Hewlett Packard Enterprise side as it relates to our field personnel and within our channels organization, so some of the changes you're talking about will happen in other parts of the business.

When you look at the channel strategy as a whole, what's the area you're most excited to invest in?

We continue to be in an industry that's very dynamic, and things are changing fast. So our strategy is built around four transformational areas, [and] partners should pick one or more of those transformation areas because it will drive their services business and it will allow them to better address the needs their customers have today. ... By doing so, there's a rich margin opportunity.

How aggressive should partners expect Hewlett Packard Enterprise to be?

More aggressive than they've ever seen us.

And how will that manifest itself?

I think the changes that are happening in the industry, with the announced acquisition of EMC by Dell, and others, really has created confusion in the eyes of customers and partners, and a real opportunity because the Hewlett Packard Enterprise vision is really unchanged. We will execute, we will be very aggressive, and we've set our budgets to grow all of our businesses at well above market rates. We've also clarified and will continue the messaging around the portions of our business that will be 100 percent indirect, so the partners will benefit from that. Those that invest with us will see a big reward.

Is there going to be a lot of recruiting of new partners?

Me personally, in the East, from what I see, I believe in recruiting where you have gaps, not just for fun or sport, so we're focused on growing and expanding our current partner relationships and when we do an assessment of where we have opportunities to fill in the partner portfolio, we'll look for new [recruits].