Whitman, Top Execs: 10 Signs HP Partner Commitment Is Powering A Turnaround

Partner Power

HP Chairman and CEO Meg Whitman (pictured) and her top lieutenants -- HP Enterprise Group Executive Vice President Bill Veghte, HP Printing and Personal Systems Executive Vice President Dion Weisler and HP Software Executive Vice President Robert Youngjohns -- Thursday sounded off on major partner wins and other partner sales trends during a quarterly partner webcast. The webcast came after HP announced its first quarterly sales growth -- a one percent uptick -- in three years. Here are 10 signs that HP's partner commitment is paying off in sales momentum.

A Flexible Capacity Partner Win

Whitman said partners that are selling the full HP product and services portfolio to "disrupt, capitalize and accelerate" are winning big deals in the sales trenches. Among the partners singled out by Whitman: Continental Resources (ConRes), Bedford, Mass., which closed the first flexible capacity deal in the world for HP. That deal aimed at allowing customers to pay for IT on an operating expense usage basis included 3Par, HP networking and HP data center services packaged with an HP Financial Services lease.

Big Data Sales Traction

Whitman applauded Tuscon, Ariz.-based BestComm Networks Inc. for winning a major deal with a telecom provider in Taiwain. The Taiwainese 4G telecom provider is using HP's new Converged System 300 Vertica for one of its high-volume data projects.

"Partners have been and always will be critical to HP's success," Whitman said. "That won't change. You remain a top priority for us as we continue to drive our collective businesses forward."

Client Device Sales Momentum

Whitman singled out Global Asset, a Carrollton, Texas-based HP partner, for winning a deal to provide HP devices to more than 24,500 children across 40 campuses within the McKinney Independent School District.

"This joint customer is planning for the future and Global Asset will add additional printing solutions to fit their needs," Whitman said.

The contract win came as HP's Personal Systems Group reported a 12 percent increase in sales for the quarter ended July 31. HP's notebook units were up 18 percent in the quarter compared with the year-ago period.

More Partner Focus On Printing Supplies

HP is implementing a number of partner programs to drive a healthy supplies business for both ink and toner in the office, Weisler said. He said HP's Officejet Pro X and HP Officejet Pro X Enterprise, which are winning rave reviews for their ability to provide double the speed of laser at half the cost, are gaining momentum in the channel. He said HP has invested in ink in the office sales specialists to help partners grow the business.

"We see this a tremendous channel opportunity," he said. "About one-third of our ink sales are happening through bringing ink into the office."

3Par Sales Continue To Soar

Veghte singled out HP national enterprise partner MCPc of Cleveland, one of HP's top enterprise partners, for helping drive double-digit sales growth of HP's 3Par storage offering during the quarter.

"Our platinum partners that are selling 3Par are growing 20 percent faster than those not selling 3Par," he said. "I am seeing partners betting and doubling down on that opportunity to build and sell across the portfolio."

HP's all flash 7450 array provides partners with 34 percent gross margin with product and services attached to it, Veghte said. "That's a great business," he said.

Getting With The Software Program

HP is putting a major emphasis on getting more HP infrastructure partners to sell HP software including HP security software. Citing the "immense market opportunity" around software," Youngjohns (pictured) invited partners to call him or HP Vice President of Software Harry Gould to help add software to their portfolio.

"We have been working hard over the last few months to find new ways that we can actually bring together the best of what our hardware colleagues do with some of our great software," he said.

A Better Cloud Partner Proposition

HP is investing heavily in programs to get more partners to sell, service and support the HP Helion cloud offering. Veghte (pictured), for his part, said the HP partner proposition is a far more lucrative opportunity for partners than what competitors are bringing to market.

"The question for partners is do you try and do the integration yourself, dealing with 15 different partner programs or do you have one partner that is focused on the channel and its route to market and delivers the complete kit of hardware, software and services to enable you to bootstrap your practice."

An Enterprise Mobility Partner Play

HP, which recently launched a commercial mobility business unit, is heavily leveraging partners to drive enterprise mobility sales growth. Key to success is using mobility to "massively transform" business workflows, said Weisler (pictured). He noted that a recent study found up to 73 percent of CIOs believe mobility will impact their business more than the internet.

"It's more than just about the device," he said. "It is about infrastructure. It is about cloud. It is about application, development and migration. You have to have a lot of breadth and depth to deliver it. We are incredibly well positioned with partners to do that."

HP Steps Up Its Big Data Bet

HP is accelerating its big data market offensive by combining all its big data software assets, including Vertica and Autonomy, into a single big data organization, Youngjohns said.

"That is going to allow us to drive that platform a lot, lot quicker," he said.

HP also recently made a $50 million investment in Hortonworks, the much heralded Hadoop big data startup.

"Our vision is really to build the most scalable platform in the industry on which applications that tackle big data problems can be built," he said.

A Robust Converged Systems Pipeline

Veghte said he sees a robust sales pipeline for HP's converged systems. He singled out U.K.-based HP partner Electronique for beating out Dell in a converged systems deal by delivering HP's Converged System CS700X as part of a "school in a box" cloud initiative.

Veghte said the converged systems pipeline is particularly strong in the big data market with offerings like HP's Vertica appliance, the SAP HANA appliance and the Microsoft Analytics Platform appliance.

"We have a market leadership position in that today and the innovations we have coming out will accelerate that," he said.