The phrase, “The New Style of IT,” is uttered so much at Hewlett-Packard’s Discover event in Las Vegas this week that it borders on cliché. But there’s a lot of power in this simple message, and Sue Barsamian, the senior vice president and general manager for the HP Enterprise Group, says the slogan represents a catalyst of change and tremendous opportunity for solution providers.
HP isn’t alone in marking the opportunity coming with the market shift from traditional on-premises IT infrastructure to cloud systems and services models. Some people could argue that HP is late to the game, as it struggled to stabilize the company after the 2011 near-meltdown. But HP is fully embracing the shift to services and outcome-based IT value, and is pushing partners to pick up the cause.
“With The New Style of IT, the reseller becomes more important because the customer needs their direction,” said Barsamian in an interview with Channelnomics.
In practical terms, HP’s channel vision for “The New Style of IT” isn’t all that different from the traditional role solution providers and value-added resellers have always played, namely integrating products and services that have a greater value than the sum of their parts. And HP isn’t alone in thinking the channel must play a significant technical and sales role in promoting and supporting cloud services, Big Data, mobility, and security – the pillars of its enterprise strategy.
Where things differ for HP is a not so unfamiliar, yet modified message – place fewer vendor bets.
“With The New Style of IT, partners have to place smaller number of bets on their vendor relationships,” Barsamian says.
If this sounds familiar, it is. For years, HP has promoted attached sales to partners, believing that the cost of sales would degrees and sales yields would increase if partners would simply sell more HP product per engagement. It’s a sound theory, but one that HP has had mixed results in executing. At one point, HP channel and sales executives were so adamant about wringing attached sales out of partners that they threatened to bypass solution providers that didn’t bring them into deals.
HP’s tone on its New Style of IT is far softer, in which it’s attempting to win over partners two ways: earning business through channel programs and support, and innovative new technologies that expand capabilities. The value HP believes it brings to the table is the ability to deliver end-to-end solutions. Not only does the HP stack reduce complexity, it enables solution providers to focus their attention on fewer suppliers, HP says.
Facilitating the end-to-end solution is the driver behind the bevy of product release at the Discover conference. HP unveiled several new products, many with advanced capabilities and economical pricing, design to attract partners and customers, as well as complete the jigsaw of the solution puzzle. Among the releases are:
- Apollo, a new high-performance computing platform with patented liquid cooling; designed to challenge IBM in supercomputing
- Atalla, a family of encryption and cryptographic key management solutions designed to protect data on networks and in cloud environments
- 3Par StoreServe 7450 Storage, a hybrid storage platform that incorporates flash storage to increase volume capacity, improve performance and reduce power consumption.
- Helion OpenStack, a development platform for building and integrating applications in cloud environments.
Additionally, HP Software is introducing new programs and support services to make it easier for HP’s Enterprise Group partners to adopt and sell applications alongside their hardware products. The software focus was made possible by the recent realignment of the PartnerOne channel program that removed the barriers between resellers, service providers and integrators.
HP isn’t thinking all partners should race to adopt every aspect of its program. Rather, Barsamian says HP is taking a deliberate approach in helping partners identify their best opportunities and expanding upon existing practices and capabilities.
With its programs and products, HP is doing more than repeating a carefully crafted marketing slogan – “The New Style of IT”; it’s building a culture in which partners can maximize their opportunities and build more valuable relationships with customers based on end-to-end systems that produce greater outcomes.
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