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Cisco, HP, HPE, Dell And Lenovo: As A Service Takes ‘Risk’ Off Partners

Top executives from Cisco, HP, HPE, Dell Technologies and Lenovo discuss taking on more risk and liability for channel partners as more customers seek to consume IT as a service.

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Paul Miller


VP, Global Marketing

We own the capital in a lot of the cases, probably the majority of the cases, but even when the partner takes the capital—because of the way we instrumented stuff—we're not putting them at a big risk. They're not like, ‘Holy cow, we don't use this stuff, HPE is not taking it back.’ We instrument this so tight that I don't think we've ever had a case where the partner really takes risk because we know what it is. We're monitoring it. Most of these deals scale up, scale down a little bit, but it's grow, grow, grow. I don't think we're throwing risk on [partners]. And again, if we still own the paper, in a lot of cases the partner still owns the relationship. They've signed the contract. They're the ones selling the outcome and leading that customer experience outcome. We're just in the back playing with the plumbing.

CRN: What’s the big difference between as a service and a leasing model?

Leasing is a financial construct. As a service is an outcome-based conversation where you're talking about the true service level you're going to have. In a lease there's nothing that says, ‘I'm going to guarantee you five-nines, six-nines, nine-nines availability.’ In a lease you’re not going to say, ‘I’m going to guarantee you this performance level and have a dashboard that says I'm going to give you this number of transactions per second.’ So it's such a different conversation. We don't even mix the two conversations as part of an overall spectrum.

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