Peregrine's Channel Is the Real Value For HPBy Elliot Markowitz | Posted 2005-09-23 Email Print
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Opinion: HP could learn a thing or two about how to treat the channel from Peregrine, a company it has decided to acquire.Hewlett-Packard is touting its planned acquisition of Peregrine Systems as a major step forward in its overall business software evolution strategy to strengthen its OpenView offering and add configuration management database technology to its arsenal. However, if HP executives keep their eye on the ball, one of the most important components of this deal could be bringing on Peregrine's channel relationships and adopting its channel mantra.
It has been no secret that HP solution providers are up in arms over many things the company has done during the past few months. First there was the changing of the guard from Carly Fiorina to Mark Hurd. Any changing of the guard is always looked at with uncertainty, but HP resellers eagerly waited to hear how Hurd would or would not embrace the channel. Immediately following this high-level move, HP changed the terms and conditions for its PartnerOne program leaving less rebate money in the channel's pockets. Strike One!
Then just a few months later, Hurd took center stage and told the world and its channel that it's time for solution providers to shape up or ship out, in a manner of speaking. What Hurd was really getting at is that HP is going to reward those VARs who are tying more of their business to HP and alienate those that remain stagnant.
Although Hurd did not say that specifically, VARs are very nervous. Foul Ball!
So now here we sit. HP and its channel are at a crossroads. And on this rocky road is this acquisition of Peregrine. While everyone is dissecting the technology fits, complements and overlaps, I am looking at the channel opportunity or potential disaster.
While Peregrine had a blended strategy of direct sales, consultants, ISVs and VARs, the last conversation I had with company executives centered around its channel focus. "We are emphasizing our partner programs," Peregrine Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Russ Mann told me a few months back. "This year our focus is on investing in our partners. We will only recruit new channel partners that fill a select skill gap. We value those that have stuck with us. They stuck with us and we are sticking with them," he said.
Mann went on to say the channel will be the biggest growth vehicle for the company. In my view, Peregrine executives realize it was the company's relationships with its partners that helped it turn the corner, and they were acknowledging that publicly. This goes a long way to building VAR loyalty. My hope is that HP realizes this hidden gem they have in Peregrine and shines it up strengthen not only its technology portfolio but its channel strategy as well.
Elliot Markowitz is Editor-at-Large of The Channel Insider. He is also Editorial Director of Ziff Davis Internet's eSeminars. He can be reached at email@example.com.